A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. (NASA, NASA Know, 2015).
I have a black hole hanging around my house. Because it is invisible, I do not know where it is. The only reason I know it exists is because it is the only reasonable explanation as to where random objects in our house go.
• Pacifiers desperately needed before naps lost 9 years ago? Never found.
• Girl Scout cookie money/checks from four years ago? Never found.
• Coupon books bought from a neighbor’s fundraiser? Never found.
A piece of my mother’s jewelry, one shoe from a favorite pair, Annie’s religion project, Will’s baseball cup, Katie’s music stand, Mike’s favorite pen. These are just a few of the items that our black hole has stolen.
I know you space scientists—both casual and real—are shaking your heads saying, “This lady has no conception of what a black hole really is. A black hole sucks up everything.”
Well, for your information all you Smarty Pants out there, I do know what a black hole is. I learned about them whether I wanted to or not. I am married to a chemical engineer who I believe secretly longs to be an astrophysicist. (As a matter of fact, I just heard to term gravitational wave from my husband’s computer. See? This is my life.)
But, the black hole I am talking about is just as real as those light-sucking phenomena out there in space. It just happens to hang in my space. Let’s call it Turner Inner Space, which is mostly at my house. Sometimes it travels in my minivan, which is like a house on wheels. Don’t believe me? Besides a home (or dump or Walmart), where else can you find toothbrushes, water bottles, socks, pencils, a can opener, four smashed Skittles, a complete set of Sharpies, and dirty Corning Ware?
This black hole is not as powerful as the ones that hang out in the galaxy. For example, it has not yet sucked up the dog or my washing machine. Socks? Yes. Water heater? No. And, it is random. For example, it never ever sucks up dog hair or leftover string cheese wrappers. Those nasty old tennis shoes are still around, and not once has it taken out the garbage. Why be useful?
Now, lest you think I am just using this as an excuse for weak or lazy searching habits, I want to set the record straight now that I am a thorough investigator. I always search in the regular places—random piles in kitchen and bathroom, under kids’ beds (can you say health hazard?) and all known drawers in the house. I overturn every item in the garage (aka Man Cave). I also hunt in the deepest darkest corners of my house, like way back in closets, dilapidated cardboard boxes that say “Taxes-1997,” and way back in the refrigerator where sticky green slime survives.
Sometimes I call in the heavy hitters for help. No, not any member of my family. I have already established they are all “bad lookers.” Besides, if I involved my husband I have to listen to three days of ranting about how we have too much stuff (the polite word) and we need to take trip to Good Will. No, I am talking about St. Anthony.
My mama always taught me to say a prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. Said he always came through for her. The prayer goes like this: “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and needs to be found.” I have to say it worked for me as a kid. However, as much as I would like to say this is a foolproof system for retrieving lost articles, this saint has not come through for me as an adult. I don’t mean to be dissin’ the saint, but I think he’s on a coffee break every time I’ve called on him. Either that or my house really is cursed. (That’s another story altogether.) I know people who have their house blessed by a priest or minister. Maybe that would be the way to go.
However, if you subscribe to the random-black-hole theory as I do, these valuable articles are simply gone and not lost. So, St. Anthony must know there is no use in searching. (Wow, I have completely moved to a place of hopelessness.)
So, all you astrophysicists, or better yet, moms out there? Do you know how I might retrieve these items that have been sucked away to no-where’s-ville? I am completely open to suggestions from anyone. Completely open.