Three themes feature prominently in today’s musings. Ordinarily, none of their spheres would overlap. But this week, they all inconveniently collided.
The first theme concerns my propensity to misplace personal possessions, like my car keys. I’ve found them in dresser drawers, coat pockets, and under couch cushions. They’ve also turned up in the unlikeliest of places, including our toolbox, the freezer, and even the dishwasher! Sometimes I lose other items too. For instance, my digital camera vanished for days before its whereabouts finally came to light this morning.
That leads me to my second theme, nanny cams. As most anyone knows, they’re the hidden devices employed to record the behavior of home daycare personnel. Yet proving nanny abuse represents only one of the technology’s potential applications. Alternative, less justifiable, uses also exist. For example, certain unscrupulous landlords have installed hidden camcorders in tenants’ bedrooms or bathrooms to satisfy perverse, voyeuristic urges. The resulting gross invasion of privacy typically prompts expressions of outrage from the victims themselves and society in general; understandably so.
Of course, my digital camera isn’t a nanny cam, even though it records video. It lacks motion-activated functions, and its construction and lens position don’t lend themselves to hidden photography, as needed for a concealed recorder. In my opinion, only the most suspicious of souls, ignorant of current technology, could mistake a simple digital camera for a nanny cam.
Which brings me to today’s third and final theme: namely, my mother-in-law’s relationship with her priest. While I’m sure many Catholics feel close to their clerics, I seriously doubt any parishioners other than her have their spiritual leader on speed dial. Maria, however, regularly phones her holy man for guidance on issues of faith, albeit guidance mainly concerning the alleged failings of others. As I can attest, her communications most often request the Father’s skills as an exorcist, to combat supposed evidence of demonic possession, vampirism, and/or devil worship — my alleged demonic possession, vampirism and devil worship, that is!
Curiously, it was Maria’s priest who disclosed the location of my misplaced digital camera: in the Gambinos’ bathroom, where I’d apparently left the device after helping my father-in-law hang a new mirror some days ago. Except, that’s not exactly how the cleric framed matters when he telephoned this morning. He wanted to pass on his parishioner’s discovery of my “secret video recorder” in her bathroom, and to vent outrage on her behalf and his own at my immoral attempt to covertly record the woman’s ablutions.
Fortunately, two logical observations convinced the priest of my innocence: “Firstly, Father, had I intended to clandestinely photograph a woman showering or going to the bathroom, I hardly would’ve placed a ‘hidden recorder’ in plain sight on top of the sink. And secondly … have you seen my mother-in-law?”