Back in the day (I hate that cliché), I used to do features like this for slow TV news days. It’s been a week of family soap opera, spawned by disciples of “Ozzie and Harriet”, “Father Knows Best” and “Modern Family”. Oh, the angst! Today figured to be a reprieve. Lunch with an old pal from my working days. I looked forward to sharing stories about baseball, favorite TV shows, and guy gossip. Perfect weather. Tee shirt weather. My old, yellow, sports car with the sun roof would be my wheels. Girls call my car and me “cool and awesome”. Ready to roll.
But, as Columbo would say, “… just one more thing, Sir”. I couldn’t find my shoulder bag. My shoulder bag which contains my driver’s license, SS card, medical and credit cards. Marilyn joined me in the household search, from casual to frantic. Car searches turned up nothing. I stared accusingly at the dogs. Visions of a conspiracy grew. Why me?
Marilyn tried to calm me down as my grumbling grew louder, laced with profanity and anger. Why me?
She tried to call my friend to cancel lunch but his contact numbers were out-of-date. I had failed to update contact vitals. Why me?
I dashed off an email to my pal, explaining the situation and apologizing for the last minute lunch cancellation. My anger was growing. Except, I was the perp.
Finally, I decided to retrace my movements of the past 24 to 36 hours. Local deli to supermarket. I kept thinking of what potentially lay ahead if my ID and credit cards were really lost … or even worse, had been stolen. Dammit!
The supermarket folks were kind. They knew me. One of the perks of living in a small town is that everyone knows your name. One of the managers smiled and indicated they had it — even before I could get the question out.
I gulped and stepped back, taking a deep breath. They searched high and low, assuring me my bag was safe, under lock and key.
The long wait. Finally, with deep apologies, they said my bag was at the police station. Why were they apologizing?? I was the one who’d lost the bag. I gave myself a Gibbs’ head slap.
The police station is only a couple of minutes away, but season long road work has the middle of town in a virtual freeze frame. Twenty minutes later, I pulled into the police station parking lot. I counted to ten and got out of the car. I took a few steps, then got back into the car … to turn the engine off. Another one to ten count then advance into the police station.
They greeted me with smiles. Yes, they had my bag!! They recognized my police badge. Actually, it’s an auxiliary police badge given to me back in my working days. Yes, I still like to flip the holder cover open, casually revealing the badge. I’m admittedly an aging ham.
My bag was returned to me. I signed a release form with a BIG “Thank You”. The station personnel kept smiling. I wanted to slowly back out, feeling very stupid. They wouldn’t let me leave. Why me?? It seems they wanted to take pictures with me. To show off to their family and friends. Who used to watch me on television. Very weird.
I kept thinking … they shoot horses, don’t they?