Monday, February 04, 2008

The things left behind

We all find other folk's belongings, whether it be litter, a rumpled newspaper on the train or a sweater forgotten in the lunchroom.

While walking along the sidewalk at the beach tonight, I came across several things that'd been left behind by their owners. There seemed to be more abandoned goods than usual, but you can be damn skippy sure I wouldn't have found an orphaned twenty if I'd been out scouting around for one.

Anyway, were they simply forgotten? Or did their owners decide they were no longer needed and that those particular places were ideal for their disposal? How do these things happen?

~ A white bath towel over the fence surrounding a very expensive condo building on the ocean. It appeared stiff and a bit sandy, leading me to think it'd been used at the beach today, draped over the fence while its owner was readjusting her sarong, and was sadly forgotten. [Expect the towel's former owner to miss her, as she served the family well, but not enough to return to the beach to look for her. So sad. Can we have a moment of silence for hardworking, underappreciated towels everywhere?]

~ A single brown thong. No, not the underwear kinda thong; that woulda been even less hygienic but even more humorous. It was the flip flop kinda thong. And it was large with a thick lug sole, so I'm sure it was a man's shoe. It was sitting nicely, in a well-behaved sorta way, upright and clean-looking, at the edge of the grass surrounding a parking area. I envision some fella sitting down in the passenger seat, his legs out of the car, trying to get the last of the sand off his feet to avoid the wife's wrath (the Audi is new, after all). But the ungrateful witch just keeps rushing and nagging him, rushing and nagging, and tells him to get the damn door closed 'cuz she's a-peeling out! "Um, honey. My shoe. I've only got one..." [Don't think this dude's coming back for his lost item, either, only because I don't think she lets him out without a leash.]

~ A pair of filthy dirty white socks underneath a bench that faces the ocean from the sidewalk. These weren't just sorta dirty. Not even hella dirty. These were the kinda dirty that can only be accomplished by that 10-year-old boy who deliberately ran around outside in the rain after his mother told him not to in his brand new socks. Surely, he stashed them under the bench while she was loading up the SUV, in a clever attempt to hide the evidence. "I just don't understand why you never have any socks, Jimmy! I buy them almost every time I'm at Wal-Mart. What are you doing with them?" In a few years, Mom won't wanna know what he's doing with his socks or how they're getting so dirty, but anyway... [Little Jimmy's pretty swift; he has no plans to return for those socks. They'll get picked up by a city employee - the kind who wears a green polyester uniform and weilds one of those long-armed litter grabber thingies - and quickly dumped into his black bag-o-nastiness, alongside the cigarette butts, smashed soda cans and used rubbers.]

Oh! And this whole train of thought, lost and found items, was sparked this weekend when I found an iPhone in the ladies room at the bookstore. Man, I sure would like me an iPhone. (And I've already got AT&T service!) But, of course, I took it straight to Customer Service [note the foreshadowing], and explained to the man/twit behind the counter where I'd found it and that I'd probably have no luck finding the owner because there was no number labeled "Home" in the Contacts list. As I was mid-sentence, he took it from my hands, walked away, handed it to a coworker, told her to lock it up by simply grumbling "Safe," and never returned or looked my way again.

Now, I didn't expect a cookie or anything for my good deed, as it's not really a good deed at all but simply something you just do. But, if for no other reason than good customer service, I would've liked a "Thank you" outta that schmuck. Even eye contact and a nod. Look me square in the eye and belch. Whatever. Something. Anything to let me know I was, in fact, dealing with a human being. I want my existence acknowledged, damnit! [Insert foot stomping here.] The poor "customer service" really has zilch to do with the business of me finding the phone. If I'd been up there to tell him anything at all - maybe I was pleased with the service I'd received from one of his cohorts, or maybe I just wanted to tell him I fancy purple teacups - he should've looked me in the eye and said, "Thank you, crazy lady." Where are the manners?

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