SASKATOON–Cable TV, science, history, and military channels, PBS’ Nova, and CD and DVD producers and other entertainment outlets everywhere faced ruin today after the man credited with virtually inventing “The Lost [Whatever]” as a block-buster media franchise was himself officially reported missing and presumed lost. He had been on a search for the Lost Moose Jaw of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Details are unclear, since authorities have now confirmed that all information about the disappearance of the self-styled “Mister Lost” has, ironically, also been lost.
Mister Lost was famed for his uncanny ability to locate valuable items of at least modest popular appeal that had vanished, been stolen, buried, suppressed, forgotten, or otherwise obscured from public view. “The ability to recover one after another priceless or at least slightly valuable cultural icon was his middle name,” said a spokesperson for one we-found-the-lost thing-oriented cable channel, “although not, of course, officially.”
The Lost Dylan-Torme session tapes, The Lost Tomb of the Dwarf Girl Pharaoh, The Lost Godfather II Outtakes Outtakes, all fifteen Lost Gale Storm Show TV episodes from 1954, and Abe Lincoln’s Lost Stovepipe Hatband were Mister Lost’s findings during the last month alone.
Media executives fear that Mr. Lost’s disappearance means curtains for myriad shows dependent on the digging up of new lost stuff week after week to fill airtime. “They wouldn’t have had the Lost JFK Autopsy Notes Manila Folder (History Channel), the Lost Beatles Apple-Break-up Paralegals’ contract amendments (Ovation) or the Lost Unhatched Pterodactyl Egg of Cincinnati (NatGeo) without him,” said a heartbroken doculostamentary show creator. “Sure, Lost Spanish Galleon Treasures of Lake Erie, Sir Winston Churchill’s Lost Broken Brandy Snifters, The Lost Anna Nicole Smith Royal Shakespeare Theatre Audition Tapes- they’re all in the can,” she continued. “But once we’ve exhausted the current Lost inventory, we’re, well– we’re lost.”
“Just last month we’d been talking about doing a show on Hitler’s Lost Orthotics,” added one cable-channel VP. “Mister Lost, of course, says ‘They just came in!’ But then he calls back ten minutes later to say he’s found something even better. He was right. That’s why we’ll be running ‘Hitler’s Lost Podiatrist’s Appointment Book’ next sweeps week — one-hour, prime time, Morgan Freeman narrating.”
Adding a note of extra piquancy, close personal associates have just revealed that … that Mr. Lost … that he …. In his honor, we have just lost our train of thought.
Bruce McCall is a New York City writer and artist whose work often appears in The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.