Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lousy Helpful Stranger

I tend to be very good at losing things. Important things. Wallets, passports, important pieces of paper, keys, cell phones, you name it. Fortunately, these objects have a curious way of finding their way back to me. It's kind of uncanny.

Our office summer party was held on Toronto's Center Island, a short ferry ride away from downtown, but by virtue of that fact, definitely out of the city, in practice. The morning of the office party, I awoke to discover that my wallet had gone missing. By the process of elimination, I managed to deduce that it was either A) in the gutter somewhere between an Indian restaurant out Gerrard and Coxwell and my house or B) in the Alumni Theatre. I had seen some improv there the previous evening.

I finally reached someone at the theatre and they said they didn't know if my wallet was in the theatre. I should try to contact the improv troupe as they were in charge of the theatre for the duration of their run. Being actors, none of them would be up until about 4PM. I had vague plans to be on the 5:30 ferry with a bunch of my coworkers. I finally managed to talk to someone from the improv troupe just before leaving the office. They had found my wallet in the audience! I could come pick it up after the office party.

So I hauled ass over to the office party and had a good old time. Also, a cold, wet old time, as I was the first person to go in the dunk tank. I think I probably also spent the most time in the dunk tank out of anyone. In any case, eventually the party wound down and it was time to head back to the mainland and grab my wallet at the theatre and head to the after party. I went to grab my cell phone out of my pocket to send a text message before leaving. Bam. No cell phone. So here I am, freezing to death on Center Island, about to miss my ferry and completely bereft of wallet and cell phone. I chose to give up the search for the cell phone, as it was now quite dark, and take the ferry back with my coworkers.

I got the wallet back. I tried, unsuccessfully to call my phone from other phones.

The next morning I got an MSN message from my friend T. Someone had found my phone and given T his number! He was on the island. I called him from my house phone, took the ferry over and got my phone. It had fallen out of my pocket when I was drunk and climbing trees. Let that be a lesson to me. Yeah, right. I asked him how he'd managed to give my number to T. He said he just went to my phone book and looked for a girl's name. I laughed. Apparently people who don't know me still know me pretty well.

The way my lost objects always seem to find their ways home is quite handy, sometimes. Unfortunately, though, it can backfire.

I was at the movies with L on Friday night.
"I have to go pee," I told her.
"Me too. Hold this," she said, handing me her shopping bag, which I automatically took, being taken off guard. A split second later I realized what had happened.

The bathrooms at this particular movie theatre are up a flight of stairs. I raced up the stairs ahead of her and dropped the shopping bag on the top step. I turned around to watch the look of dismay on her face only to be confronted by a stranger with a helpful grin on his face, holding the bag I'd dropped. I glumly took it from him and said, "thanks." I'm not sure if I've ever seen L look so smug.

The joke's on her, though: I made sure I touched the bag with my hands before I washed them.

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