Come home, little Coach.

As personal disasters go, it fell somewhere between breaking a nail and traumatic injury in an auto accident, but maybe a bit closer to the latter. Somewhere between parking the car and arriving at the hair salon across the street, I lost my wallet.

I knew it wasn’t in the car, because I’d had it out to feed the meter. It wasn’t anywhere to be found in the salon; I looked under every possible shelf and structure. (Found some nice Aveda products in sample-size bottles down there, however.) Retracing steps turned up nothin’. Hands-and-knees on the freezing pavement to peer under parked cars — nothin’. And so it began, off to the Grosse Pointe police to file a report, up and down the block to the other businesses to see if anyone turned anything in, a check of all area trash receptacles. Finally, home to start the inevitable process of rebuilding.

In the list of Inanimate Objects I Fear Losing, my laptop is No. 1, but my wallet has to be No. 2. Never mind the cash and credit cards; it’s the documentation that matters. Driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance. Costco card, Blockbuster card, Border’s Rewards card, just in the “commerce” slot. Park pass, library card, health insurance card. My University of Michigan student ID, carried strictly for sentimental reasons, and because I like the flash of yellow (er, maize) I get when I see it there. (Also, because the photo is recent and the expiration date not until 2009, occasionally useful for claiming a student discount on merchandise I consider overpriced.) Every one represented an enervating errand or argument with a clerk. Sigh.

And yet, oddly, I didn’t feel upset. I figured there was an excellent chance my identity was strewn all over some thief’s coffee table, but an equal one that a nice, honest person had picked it up and that the phone would ring momentarily.

(The phone rang. One of Kate’s friends, prank-calling us with one of her stupid voices. She thinks because she star-six-sevens, I don’t know who she is. Oh, to be young again.)

Credit cards cancelled, I set about rescheduling today. First to the BMV; did I have my Social Security card nearby? Yes. Then to the insurance agent for dupes on my proof-of card, jeez I’m not going to get a goddamn thing done today, and…


A Jaguar stood idling in the driveway, a 50ish gent in a nice topcoat on the step. Holding my wallet. Every card was in its place, my paltry cash reserves untouched. “I would have returned it earlier, but I had somewhere to be,” he said in an eastern European-sounding accent. Of course he wouldn’t take a reward, but he gave me his card; his name is Harry, and he runs Harry’s of Grosse Pointe, a restaurant on Mack. My new favorite place to eat.

I guess what I’m telling you today is: The Secret works! Now if I could only get that billion dollars I’ve been visualizing…

OK, bloggage:

Whatever you do, do not watch the reputed Gene Simmons sex tape. Are you listening? Do. Not. WATCH. Let me just say this, though: The day a man and a woman get into bed together, and the former does not remove his chewing gum, and the latter does not remove her platform flip-flops, they really and truly do deserve one another.

Headline you would only see in Detroit: Chevy Tahoe hybrid sips gas. Relatively speaking. (The particulars: The rear-drive hybrid Tahoe rated 21 m.p.g. in the city and 22 m.p.g. on the highway in EPA fuel economy tests. That compares with 14 m.p.g. city and 20 m.p.g. highway for a similar gasoline-only Tahoe.) P.S. It costs 50 grand. Sigh.

Re the eight-million-word revelation that John McCain is a sleazebag with shady ethics: You don’t say. Best single snark, from Metafilter: I hear she lets him be on top sometimes. That’s a better deal that he’s been getting from Bush.

Another glacier-glasses day. Upside: Ample vitamin D! Downside: 15 degrees. Enjoy it.

Posted at 10:23 am in Same ol' same ol' |

21 responses to “Come home, little Coach.”

  1. Dorothy said on February 21, 2008 at 10:30 am

    It’s so nice to know there are still honest people around. I’ve experienced both sides of that issue, and it truly feels just as good to give someone something they thought was gone forever, as it is to receive same. Hokey as that sounds.

    240 chars

  2. Danny said on February 21, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Dorothy, I read your comment directly after reading Nancy’s last one about McCain and almost did a double-take before I remembered the wallet.

    I must need more coffee.

    170 chars

  3. alex said on February 21, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I’ve done the same, returning found wallets full of cash. Last time to an ungrateful old schmuck on Lake Shore Drive who barely thanked me. Probably senile. But I’d do it again.

    My old friend Pat in Chicago was a bigger goodie-two-shoes than I would have been. He found five hundred bucks in the back seat of a cab once. He gave it to the driver who no doubt kept it.

    Only once did I ever meet a generous cab driver. He told me that his last passenger had been a pimp in a mink coat who’d spilled a big baggie of cocaine all over the back seat and that I and my friends should feel free to sniff the last of it up before getting seated.

    644 chars

  4. Danny said on February 21, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Nancy, every once in a while I see two headlines perfectly juxtaposed to highlight either the incongruous absurdity of modern existence (sorry for going all Sartre on you so early) or to give one a small, personal epiphany.

    Last week it was these two:

    “Exxon-Mobil Posts Record Quarterly Profits, Again”


    “GM Loss Largest Ever in Industry”

    Things that make you go “Hmmm.”

    389 chars

  5. Sue said on February 21, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Nancy, you’re up to 15 degrees? I’m so envious.

    48 chars

  6. nancy said on February 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I want to be a cab driver for a year sometime.

    46 chars

  7. Julie Robinson said on February 21, 2008 at 11:20 am

    At the movie theatre we found $100 on the floor and took it to the manager. The fellow who lost it came out looking a few minutes later and could identify the way it had been folded. No reward from him, but the manager gave us some passes.

    But this is what amazes me–I’ve mentioned this a few times to people, happy that we scored some free movies. Most have expressed surprise that we turned the cash in.

    412 chars

  8. nancy said on February 21, 2008 at 11:27 am

    One of our babysitters told a story about a neighbor in Fort Wayne. She said the mother had found several hundred dollars in her son’s jacket pocket, which he told her he had found in the alley behind their garage. She made him take it to the police station, where it was held for several weeks. When no one claimed it, they released it to the kid, and our Neighbors section carried a charming story about it, about How Honesty Still Lives, and Not All Kids Are Bad, and blah blah blah.

    “Everybody knows the money was his in the first place,” the sitter said. “He was a big pot dealer at our high school.”

    Quick thinking, young entrepreneur!

    648 chars

  9. 4dbirds said on February 21, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I can’t watch the Gene Simmons tape here at work but I did see some stills. Could it be a set-up? He’s wearing a T-shirt for goodness sakes.

    142 chars

  10. ashley said on February 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I managed to lose my passport on the streets of Prague in 1997. Panicking, I called the embassy. They said “Oh, Ashley Morris? Yeah, we have it. Somebody already turned it in.”

    Amazed, I was.

    And Nancy’s right. Just don’t watch the Gene Simmons thing. If you’re interested, he doesn’t use the tongue.

    312 chars

  11. Danny said on February 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

    If you’re interested, he doesn’t use the tongue.

    Right to the chase, he cuts! Just what every Kiss fan wanted to know.

    133 chars

  12. colleen said on February 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I once dropped my driver’s license in a las vegas casino. I had no idea which one. Cuz, uh, we’d been to several. Husband and I retrace our steps, winding up at Caesar’s. Went to the security desk. Ask the guy. He looks at me and says “I know that mug”. Someone had turned it in, bless them.

    Best luck I ever had in a casino, for sure.

    And too late on the Simmons tape. Ugh. But later, she does take off her shoes…

    433 chars

  13. Jeff said on February 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Oy. As the newspaper business shrinks, it . . . shrinks:

    (Did the happy honest fellow say “ZJagg-Eww-Are” or “Jag-wahr”?)

    205 chars

  14. leslie said on February 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I confess I am tempted to watch it.

    35 chars

  15. Dexter said on February 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    well, nancy, the late basketball guru Al Maguire always said everybody should take a year off and drive cab for 6 months and bartend for 6 months if they really want to understand people.
    Billfolds. I could write a book…I have found a few…one was stuffed with big cash . A friend had just been paid for his side-job as a cabinet maker. He only took cash for that work. It literally was several thousand dollars, but I didn’t count it…I just pulled the I.D., I knew him. He bought me a jug of bourbon and 2 cases of beer.
    I found one while cycling in rural Ohio. It was a purse, no cash, just a billfold in it, full of all kinds of credit cards and I.D.s.
    I called the lady…she lived in Royal Oak MI. She was so happy…until she asked me about the cash. She said “I had three hundred dollars in there!” She had lost it or had it stolen while at an I-75 rest stop by Findlay. Whoever stole it or found it kept the dough and chucked the rest into a ditch, many miles away. I took the time and expense to mail it to her, but she was an ungrateful human being.
    The last one was a ragged , worn leather billfold, found on the floor at a Wal*Mart. It was stuffed with what was most likely a cashed paycheck. Easy solution: don’t even look at the I.D.—take to store security, like I did last summer when I found a pitiful billfold with a guy’s state I.D. and a couple cards in it. It was in the street a block from my house—straight to cop station—they wanted me to fill out forms and all that, which I refused to do. I just said if they don’t want to take it to the person I would do it, and walked out.
    My personal nightmare was in 1986. I had exited Comiskey Park after Opening Day. I was boarding the 35th St. train to the Loop and as I stepped in I felt a brush …even though I had my wallet in my front pocket,I had been pickpocketed.I stepped backwards and started screaming at a kid who was scurrying away. It’s an art form. The thieves pass the stolen wallet back and forth so it’s 3 card monty figuring it out.

    I caught up with the kid and he acted innocent and pointed at a young man as the thief, and I screamed at him, and felt bad as he was innocent. Then a lady was waving my wallet around saying “Did someone drop this?” I thanked her…the little bastards had taken my cash ($118), my Amtrak ticket ($37) and my library card, but I got my drivers license and credit cards back. I was actually very lucky. I had to buy a new Amtrak ticket to get home.
    But it ruined me for a long time. For years, I kept essentials in a lock-box and only carried what I needed for that day…if I didn’t need gasoline, I would not carry my card…if I was walking or cycling, no driver’s license…if I wasn’t shopping, no credit cards left the lock-box. If I wasn’t shopping, no cash except a little coinage. I was paranoid to the max. I am still very careful and always have all essential information about my cards and all I.D. on a server-file so if I lose stuff, I can get right to replacing it.

    3084 chars

  16. Dexter said on February 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Go ahead, light that cigarette…MAKE MY DAY!

    156 chars

  17. Dexter said on February 21, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    “… the guy (Barack Obama) is no less full of crap than hillary or mccain. the establishment has won this election and that’s why i’m watching American Idol “—-Craig Crawford

    Managers and handlers were busy in the spin room, emailing MSM that what we all thought was an overture to Obama that she would be available to campaign or even join the ticket, was instead a throw-down line in the sand statement proving she was ready to lead the nation on Day One.
    It’s apparent the Clinton campaign was , well…pissed off at their candidate for that act and handshake that made me sit up straight and shiver…even though latest numbers have her up 50-48 and 50-43 in TX and OH, respectively, the feeling is , tonight, she is ready to join Team Obama. Maybe she feels like retiring to Chicago. She will have no trouble buying a nice home…hell, maybe she can get a nice adjacent lot cheap, too.

    897 chars

  18. Jeff said on February 22, 2008 at 7:54 am

    No. More. Snow. Days. (Grrrrrrrrrrr…..)

    [Said over the happy, delighted shrieking of an ecstatic 4th grader who has watched the bottom-o’-tub crawl run through 200 other central Ohio schools, with all the intensity of a Clinton campaign staffer watching precinct returns on CNN this March 4.]

    301 chars

  19. Dorothy said on February 22, 2008 at 9:03 am

    I don’t know how kids are learning these days in central Ohio; every day for a month seems like there have been 2 hour delays or entire days cancelled!!

    153 chars

  20. Jeff said on February 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

    They are all being homeschooled — i blame Phyllis Schalfly for the weather! 😉

    81 chars

  21. Terry said on March 1, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Nancy; Good on ya. Not only the best columnist in town, but now the best reporter, too. That chick with the sharp cheeks reported your story on CNN last night. Can you get her number?

    Prof. Terry
    (in exile)

    210 chars