If I can't find my ball quickly, I'll drop and carry on. There is nothing worse than being on the tee box and you see four people looking for someone's ball..
My favorite is when you think you know where your ball landed and then it just "magically disappears."
Luckily I never open a new sleeve on a water hole (and I find enough golf balls while playing I can always just pull one of those out if push comes to shove). A friend of mine at work has this phrase when it comes to water holes..."I never use a ballwasher on a hole that has water in it because whenever I have in the past it never fails that that just turns it into a massive magnet that leads my ball right into the water."
And of course another friend at work has a story about how he was getting held like that to get a ball...and then the other guys just left go because he though it would be funny (and of course he went right into the water). I was dissapointed I missed that round of golf...I would have snapped pictures.