Why is there a dirty rock and a one-armed Spider-man on the second shelf of my freezer? I will tell you why. Because when a boy thinks of a new thing, the thing he was thinking a few seconds earlier completely vanishes into the black hole of lost boy thoughts, that’s why. This pattern continues all day long, and is the primary reason there are various boy items abandoned all over my house.
The probable scenario is that the boy was running through the house thinking “One-armed Spider-man can throw this giant dirty rock! One-armed Spider-man can throw this giant dirty rock!” But then he heard his mother tell his brother he could have a popsicle – an event that completely supersedes any and all superhero activities – and instantly all thought processes are now “Red or blue? Red or blue? Red or blue?” Plus he’s jostling for position with two brothers as they tear apart the cardboard popsicle box like a pack of cheetahs ripping into that unlucky antelope on the Discovery Channel. The rock and the Spider-man are dropped in their tracks, never to be remembered again. In this case, second shelf, between the blueberries and the pizza crusts, frozen solid.
This is known as the drag and drop. It is responsible for the silverware in the back yard, next to the trampoline. For the ziplock bag half full of pretzels lying between the shower and the toilet… For the pillow with the Thomas Train pillowcase tossed on the front sidewalk when I arrive home from work… The list goes on. Junk is everywhere and nobody knows why. “Why is there half a glass of apple juice in the linen closet?” Boys have no idea, they’ll just give you the look.
The drag and drop can occur at any time and any speed too, as proven just this week when my wife and the kids arrived to meet me at church for a midweek evening service. I turned the corner on my way to find them and was greeted by Connor and one of the brothers drag racing down the hall right at me, completely barefoot. Absolute top speed, right down the long vacant hallway at church, zero shoes or socks. Immediately I sidestepped to avoid the tackle, and they both ended up in a pile on the carpet behind me. Looking down, I didn’t even ask – just shook my head and thought of Jerry’s epic line to George, pants-less on the floor: “And you wanna be my latex salesman.”
All four shoes were located, strewn in a twenty foot-long trail of Crocs and flip flops, just inside the door. As soon as one brother decided that racing to find dad would be a genius move, full scale drag and drop operations went into in effect. Anything that was loose, including items of clothing or shoes, was abandoned.
The drag and drop is responsible for the vast majority of household debris, misplaced toys, and other tripping hazards around most homes with boys. You can ask boys to pick the stuff up and put it away, but don’t bother asking them how it got there. Boys have no ability to remember such details.