[ Sorry to be late; Michigan Adventure kind of day. ]
I'm used to odd things cropping up around me because odd things just happen like that around me. I'd discovered in one of the folds of my messenger bag a slightly broken plastic toy fishing rod. The rod itself was twisted sideways, and the string and the lure were missing, but otherwise it was clearly one of my niece's toys at some point and it worked its way into the bag ... somehow. My main theory was that it was slipped in at my niece's birthday party, after she started giving the fresh-unwrapped gifts to the person who'd given them to her, or in some cases, to people who looked like they needed gifts. It was odd that I hadn't noticed it for a couple weeks, but I can be pretty oblivious when I need to be.
But it wasn't that. What it was was, I'd stopped in to my brother and his wife's, and my niece's, on the way home from another side project. And while I was playing with my niece --- she's a bundle of toy cooking energy in her toy kitchen --- my sister-in-law slipped the fishing rod into my bag. Her objective in doing this? It was already broken and she wanted it out of the house. Quite correctly she figured I'd bring it home and not discover it until some mysterious later time at which it'd have to be specifically brought back up there, which might take forever. In all, a sensible scheme if you can't just throw it away yourself for some reason.
Where this plan malfunctioned is she didn't give me any warning that she was doing this, so I showed the broken fishing rod to my parents, a set which includes my father, a man who has never thrown out anything which might, given sufficient time and energy, be turned into something else. He immediately figured he might fix the fishing rod, and return it. With it firmly established that my sister-in-law does not want it back my father's started thinking of developing it into a cat toy. Reasonable enough but, again, why couldn't she have thrown it out directly, and why couldn't she warn me not to show this to my father?
Trivia: On 15 July 1903 Chicago dentist Ernst Pfennig paid $850 for a Model A with tonneau: the first sale of the Ford Motor Company. Source: Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire, Ricahrd Bak. (This was the original version Model A, not the famous one.)
Currently Reading: Time In Advance, William Tenn.