An Honest Person

Merrill wallet

I”ve written about the jungle of thievery we inhabit (Lost and FoundThe Bicycle), but what about the honest souls we occasionally stumble upon? They certainly don’t get their due. I need to tell about the anonymous, honest soul who helped me.

I was traveling on one of my many business trips out of state (The Appointment), and stopped at a convenience store in Kremmling, Colorado. I’m such a genius because I always put my wallet in my front pocket. I fear pickpockets out in states where there is one person every 300 square miles. Actually, the real reason is: I don’t like to sit on a wallet – it just bugs me. It feels like a growth that needs to be removed. I walked out of the store after the purchase, and thought I put my wallet back in the front right-hand pocket of my khaki pants, but apparently I hadn’t, because it fell on the concrete parking lot without making a sound. I probably need to attach a bell to my wallet, because this has happened to me 3 different times! The other 2 times I didn’t hear a thing either.

My next stop was an insurance inspection of a house in Craig, Colorado, about 100 miles away. When I finished the inspection, I got back in my car, and suddenly realized I didn’t have my wallet. I hurriedly got out of the car and traced my steps back around the dwelling – it wasn’t on the ground, or anywhere in sight. That sick feeling came over me. It’s similar to the feeling you get when your girlfriend dumps you. If your girlfriend or boyfriend has never dumped you, then it’s similar to the feeling of losing your wallet, with all your money and credit cards inside.

You begin imagining all the possible scenarios – some dishonest punk is racking up thousands of dollars in purchases, while dancing and doing backflips at the same time. I rushed back to the car and searched it thoroughly – maybe I had dropped it inside there.

What do you think?

Of course I hadn’t dropped it inside my car – you never drop something of value in a safe place.

IT’S ALWAYS DROPPED IN THE WORST PLACE POSSIBLE !!!! The parking lot of a convenience store. OH MY GOSH TO IT ALL !!!!!!! NUTZZZ !!!!!!  HOLY BALONEY !!!!!

I thought back to the last place I remembered holding it – inside the store. I called information for the number of the store in Kremmling. I got the manager on the phone. I told her what I thought had happened and asked if anyone had found it and turned it in.

You’re thinking this is the payoff of the “honest person” part of the story, aren’t you? Nope. This roller-coaster ride is just beginning. By the way, I hate roller-coasters. The manager checked with a couple of co-workers and said nobody had turned it in. I rehashed in my mind what I remembered happening – I was pretty sure I had dropped it in the parking lot. Ergo, someone had absconded with it.

I was doomed.

The manager took my cell number, just in case someone had a mighty change of heart and turned it in – yeah, I thought, a change of heart after they spent all the money and maxed out the credit cards. Who does that semi-Good Samaritan move? Somebody who doesn’t care for the color of the wallet? Fat chance.

I had to think things over. I called my bank and inquired if anyone had made purchases with the credit card – none. Good sign … or bad sign, who knew? They could be heading to a store right that minute for a shopping spree. I made a tough decision. I had to pull the plug and cancel the cards right then and there.

Visa Card – gone. Discover Card – gone. There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s Master Card – except in this case. Gone.

But now I’m in the middle of nowhere (my sincere apologies to the citizens of Craig) with no money and 3/4 tank of gas. Gulp.

And what happened? Tune in tomorrow … same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

From A Memoir of Most of It

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