If you've ever lost your keys or wallet you'll know all about this.
Life suddenly gets put on hold.
No keys mean no car to get food from the supermarket in and, perhaps more importantly, no way to get back into the house where the booze is kept to drown your sorrows.
A lost wallet is an extension of that frustration. No wallet means no eftpos card to buy the booze.
And the worst thing about all this is you just know 100 per cent you'll find the keys and wallet 20 seconds after you've cancelled all your credit and eftpos cards and borrowed some cash off a mate to get the locksmith out.
That's sort of what happened to me this week, with a slight variation.
To start with my wallet and eftpos cards are safe. Which is good because I got hungry while searching for my keys and had to buy some chocolate to maintain my energy levels. As you do.
Anyway. Let me explain.
We have a small bus which has been converted into a motorhome.
Befitting our current status in society, it's not an extravagant vehicle. There are a lot of internal DIY components. One of these is a special key to provide access to the rear boot.
I say "key". It's actually an oddly shaped lump of metal about an inch and a half long which fits into an equally oddly shaped hole. It does the trick.
Obviously when we bought it three years ago it was on the list of things "to do" in terms of updating.
Unfortunately, it's still on the list, even though Mrs P has been urging me to get it replaced with a proper, normal lock with spare keys for most of that three years.
So, the other day I'm off out somewhere giving the bus a run and I need to get something out of the boot.
The lump of metal is employed as it should be and the task is done. The key is then replaced in its spot inside the driver's door. Or at least it should have been.
Long story short, it appears I left it sitting in the lock and only discovered it was missing an hour later when I went to get something else out of the boot. It obviously jiggled free as I bumped along the road and made a break for it.
So now I've got a problem. All the stuff I need is locked away and there's no way to get to it except costly major renovations to the boot area.
We're on a tight budget at present so that's not really an option. I need to retrace my route to try and find the key or, failing that, get my engineer mate to fashion a new lump of metal that will do the trick.
I go for the retrace option and go back to where it all started.
For the next two hours I painstakingly scour a two kilometre or so stretch of road. I figure I might get lucky. Besides it's only been an hour. Where else could it have gone? I mean it's not like it's making a break for the border and life on the run in Mexico is it?
An hour in and there's no sign of it. I'm outside the open door of a dairy and a Caramello chocolate bar yells at me to buy it. I do so in a daze and continue the search.
It turns out to be fruitless and eventually I give up and drive the short distance to the Engineering Guru.
He gives me one of those "I told you so looks" as I explain the situation. I figure it won't be the first look like that I get today.
He can't do it straight away but will get one of the young blokes to work something out if I leave the bus with him. I should go back tomorrow morning and he'll have something sorted. Naturally there will be a cost.
Next day I'm back at the engineers and standing there as a very proud young man shows me what he's made and how it fits the lock perfectly and, most importantly, opens it.
As he shows me the new lump of metal I can't help but comment, apart from the obviously fresh steel and paintwork, it is shaped remarkably like the one I lost.
"I just copied this," he says triumphantly holding up the aforementioned "lost" key. "I found it on the roadside yesterday afternoon."
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to email@example.com (Kevin Page in subject field).