Archive for November 26th, 2008

A Thanksgiving Gift I Didn’t Deserve (But Surely Did Appreciate)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I’ve always been a bit of the absent-minded professor – the guy who can spontaneously discourse on the Second Punic War, with my zipper all the way down.

So it came as absolutely no surprise to me this week when I lost my wallet – again. I chronically leave my wallet and/or cellphone at the grocery store cashier’s stand, but usually catch my mistake before leaving the parking lot. Or I will be at the gas station or airport, only to discover my wallet is on my dresser at home.

This week, however, I outdid myself. For reasons too stupid to explain, I set my wallet on top of the car – forgot about it – then drove off. I made it to my destination, buy my wallet didn’t.

When I realized my boneheaded error, I flashed on all those radio ads offering protection against identity theft. (It probably doesn’t work after your wallet is gone.) I canceled all my credit cards, and was planning a trip to the driver’s license bureau, when my phone rang.

A construction worker had found my wallet, lying in a busy street. At some peril to himself, he picked it up. Not being fluent in English, he gave it to his supervisor, who then called me. Within the hour, I had it back – safe and sound.

So – the next time somebody tells me how rotten the world is today – I’ll respond that my wallet came back to me, thanks to the honesty of two guys I didn’t even know. Either of them could have helped themselves to a free tank of gas at my expense (or a trip to Australia). Or, they could have simply done nothing. Instead, not one, but two different strangers re-confirmed the brotherhood we all share. Their selflessness made this Thanksgiving extra sweet at our house.

I am one lucky knot-head. And even I can remember that!