Thursday, August 30, 2018

Baffling Appearances

Pockys are a tasty brand of snack food consisting of a long, thin coated biscuit.  When I woke up on August 29, I found on my kitchen counter a sealed envelope of Pockys, like you find inside a box of Pockys. No one else was in the apartment. I asked my wife whether she had left this treat for me. She said she hadn't, and that it must have been one of my daughters. I asked one daughter whether she had left the treat for me. She said no, and that it must have been her sister. I asked my other daughter whether she had left the treat for me. She said no, it must have been her sister who did it. So everyone else in the household denied having left the pack of Pockys in the kitchen.  I haven't bought the product in many years.

The next day something equally strange happened. I was sitting at the top of an apartment stairway, tying my shoes, when suddenly I heard a set of keys falling down the stairs, just as if they had fallen from my body. I assumed that they must have been my apartment keys, and that they had somehow fallen out of my pocket. When I walked down the stairs to get the keys, I found a set of keys I had never seen before. They were not my apartment keys, which were still in my pocket. No one else was in the stairway.

Since Pockys sounds like "Pock-keys," we have the "keys" sound in both of these strange cases of unexplained appearances.

Below are the keys that seemed to appear out of nowhere, One of the keys looked very old, and had the word "STAR" at the top.


The only imaginable natural theory I can think of to explain what I observed with these keys is the theory that someone might have previously dropped the keys at the top of the stairs, and that I might have kicked the keys before even seeing them. But there are three reasons why such a theory doesn't work. The first is that anyone dropping a key on the hard concrete of the stairs would have heard a distinct "klink" sound alerting him that his keys had dropped. The second reason is that I would have noticed a set of keys at the top of the stairs when I sat down at the top of the stairs. The third reason is that when I tested various foot movements such as I might naturally make when putting on my shoes at the top of the stairs, after putting the keys at the top of the the stairs, the result never caused the keys to fall down more than one step. But what I saw were the keys falling 8 or 9 steps. I am sure that when I heard the keys falling down the stairs, I had not made the vigorous type of kick someone would have to make to propel the keys all the way down the stairs. My feet weren't even moving when I heard the keys falling.

Baffling Pockys on one night, and baffling keys on the next. Suppose we subtract the "keys" sound from the "Pockys" sound -- we then get a "Pa" sound reminding me of my late father.

Postscript: The "STAR" key was made by Star Key Industries in Brooklyn.  The company is referred to in this link, which suggests the company went out of business. The STAR logo shown on that page is the same as on the STAR key I found. A check of the New York corporate database says the company went out of business in 1998.

If the keys had been house keys dropped by a resident of my apartment house, the key ring would have included a key to the apartment entrance door. But neither of the keys matched my key to the apartment entrance door.  Very strangely, the keys were sticky, and a hair was attached to one of the keys, with the hair sticking to a sticky glue-like material on the key.  I wonder whether there is any connection between that fact and the incidents reported here.

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