This is a quick, throw-away post. It was triggered by a tiny square piece of plastic. To be exact–a small piece of grey trim that was manufactured to cosmetically cover the Phillips screw head that retains the interior latch release of the right front door of my Toyota. It had been long ago, accidentally pried out of position when a passenger’s long fingernail snagged it while exiting the car.
The day had been extremely cold, so I placed the trim piece inside the little watch pocket of my jeans so I could save it to put it back in place on a warmer day. While unloading the jeans pockets that night, I placed the plastic square in a small compartment in the kitchen junk drawer that is reserved for small automotive items. At least that’s what I vaguely remember doing. On the other hand, perhaps I placed the part in the Camry’s center console storage compartment.
Anyhow, this Tuesday I glanced at the right door panel while the car was stopped at a traffic signal. That’s when I finally decided to put the plastic thingie back in place. It’s been a few years since the part had been snagged so I figured the very minor repair should be made before the weather becomes colder and I end up procrastinating again. After returning home, I searched the center console compartment, but only found a flashlight, a pair of sunglasses that are designed to go over regular glasses, an orange bandana, two pennies, and some paper napkins from a fast-food restaurant.
The wild goose chase then commenced. I then checked the ashtray (I don’t smoke, so the ashtray seemed like a logical place to store a tiny, found object.) I looked under both bucket seats, but found eleven cents and a pair of Nebraska license plate stickers for April of 2015. I don’t know what the stickers were doing in the car because my license plates are always renewed in September–so, there’s another mystery. I came up completely flummoxed with the car search. The next step was to check the kitchen junk drawer.
As mentioned earlier, there’s a small section in that drawer for tiny automotive whatnots. In that place were three plastic retainer clips to attach trunk trim panels, an allen-wrench, and a small latch-spring for the center console compartment lid that needs repair. Again, no little plastic trim piece for the door panel.
At that point, I decided to search through the rest of the drawer just in case the little car part ended up inside of another drawer organizer section. This quickly morphed into the decision to purge and clean the entire junk drawer.
The organizer sections did contain the things they were designated to store plus other stuff. There were enough small nails, screws and bolts to fill a small can. Scattered throughout the drawer were countless old twist-ties and several expired grocery store coupons for good measure. However, the little door panel part was not among the hundreds of tiny items in the pile of stuff. I had come up empty-handed.
I placed the nails, screws, and bolts in an old, used steel coffee jar. Then it was time to sort through the rest of the pile. I then purged most of the twist-ties, dried-up pens, a leaking battery, and all of the coupons. The drawer organizer and tray were then cleaned and sanitized. Eventually, the pile of items were sorted and placed into their proper places. The drawer was picture-perfect, so I took a snapshot of it.
All things considered, I want to solve the mystery of the unused license plate stickers and find the little plastic trim part for the door panel. Until then, I’ve resolved to accept the minor appearance flaw because the car is rather old. Otherwise, the car is still in near perfect condition. Besides, there are other, far more important problems in the world than this. I’ve learned again, to fix things soon after they break. Also, the junk drawer should be cleaned more frequently.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author, entrepreneur, and investor, Scott Belsky. “Everything in life should be approached as a project. Every project can be broken down into just three things: action steps, backburner items, and references.”