Have you lost your knickers recently?
Then it must be Christmas.
As we all know, Christmas is a time for celebrating with our friends in dodgy watering holes (if, that is, we can find a babysitter).
But that also means that it’s fun-time for the lost property counter of said watering holes. If it’s not your knickers, it’ll be your handcuffs or your set of darts.
We all get into the Lost Property habit at a young age. At school, I was always bewildered by a lost property cupboard filled with cake tins (when we didn’t do cookery), footballers’ jockstraps (at a girls’ school), and carpet slippers. Did girls not notice that they were making their way home with one shoe – and no kilt? Did the girl whose grubby tooth brace ended up in Lost Property never wonder what became of it?
We may like to think we become more careful with age. But we are wrong. And Christmas is prime time for losing far more than our wallets and keys.
“Dresses, skirts, pullovers… you name it, we find it,” chortled Jo, the manageress of my local hostelry. Supermarket uniforms feature large in her Lost Property box – as do travel agents’ uniforms, and even the odd wetsuit. “People come here for Christmas parties, get drunk, and forget their uniforms.” Men are particularly careless with their trousers, she says, although they tend to hang on to their underwear. Unlike women.
So what else is there to lose once you’ve lost your clothes? Plenty – especially if you’re a woman. “Handcuffs, joke underwear, boob-growing cream… our lost property box looks like an Ann Summers shop,” says another local club owner. Penises of the latex and chocolate variety also tend to stray.
Rather worryingly, they don’t tend to end up in the bin. “We try not to get too close to things that look as if they’ve been used,” said Mr Club Owner, “but if anyone wants their sex-aid back, there’s a good chance that we’ll still have it.”
So much for sex toys. Obviously, it’s easy to misplace someone’s thoughtful Secret Santa present of a latex penis. But surely it’s more difficult to lose your crutches? Or a month’s supply of contraceptive pills, as some poor woman (I presume) managed to do at London’s 333 club? Or your false teeth – or your colostomy bag?
However the Dodgy Christmas Clubber prize goes to… Edinburgh. Here, club staff were the lucky finders of a bag. In the bag was a towel – and in the towel was a poo. Nobody ever claimed it.
The one thing to be said for towel-wrapped poos is that they make dandruffy wigs seem positively savoury. “The really weird thing is when someone rings up and says they’ve just realised they lost their wig a month ago,” says Jo.
I know Christmas makes people do odd things – but wouldn’t you think the passengers on the London Underground who mislaid a theatrical coffin and a complete skeleton would have noticed something was missing? Perhaps it’s reassuring to know that there’s always a simple explanation for such bizarre behaviour. After all, the tooth brace that ended up in the school Lost Property got there for the simple reason that its owner, somewhat fed up with it, had tied it to her schoolbag with a hair bobble, and it had dropped off.
How do I know that?
Because it was mine.
And, yes, I did reclaim it.