Of late I’ve been searching for ways to save money AND alleviate the creeping numbness of my feet following the onset of what is softly known as “peripheral neuropathy,” a kind way of saying that lots of nerves in your feet have deteriorated and now report “fake news” to the brain. One of my methods is to get into strenuous walking and try to get up to 10,000 steps a day under the “use it or lose it” program. I’m currently at 3,000 steps and am upping the ante daily. I don’t know if this will work but with this affliction one is ready to try anything.
Be that as it may, I’ve learned to incorporate the steps into steps taken while shopping. Today I was at a local mall and towards the end was still about 500 steps short. I decided to walk them off in the local working man’s food store, Grocery Outlet “Welcome to Bargain Bliss”. After all, following last week’s Miracle of the Nickel Brautwurst, I never know what I may find that will help me in my budget. With my trusty pedometer counting up to 500 I roamed about the aisles “saving” money by getting a few things I didn’t really need.
I’d taken a turn into the last aisle before checking out when I noticed something called Suckerpunch Pickles, and since I am a sucker for pickles I pulled a jar off the shelf. As I did a big black leather wad fell off the top of the jar and onto the floor.
Looking down I saw it was a wallet. A big fat wallet. The kind of trifold man’s wallet that when folded is still about 3 inches fat jammed with all the necessities of the owner’s life. It was packed full of credit cards, memo cards, business cards, and a driver’s license. In the currency fold was a stack of bills about half an inch thick. It was a SERIOUS wallet. It was the kind of serious wallet that, had I lost it, I would have been backhoeing the shelves, the store, and the parking lot tarmac to find it. Any good man would know the trauma of losing such an object and seek, immediately, to locate the owner.
I took the wallet, went to the front of the store and alerted a cashier. “This is someone’s wallet and you need to announce it right away in case” (glancing at driver’s license) “N____ L___ P_______ is still in the store.” There was, at this point, a bit of delay in making the announcement and I was watching men leave the store by the second. Something needed to be done.
[Interlude: In my youth, I took several university-level courses in rhetoric and public speaking and developed certain vocal techniques that center on the concept of “projection.” As a result, I can, if I want to, turn my voice into a human loudspeaker.]
I reached into my odd skill set and then spoke:
“N____ L___ P_______ your wallet is at the front of the store! DO NOT GO HOME WITHOUT IT!
I may have cranked my internal volume knob to eleven as several cashiers shushingly assured me that I didn’t have to shout. I replied that in this case, I had to do all I could to return it to the owner. I wasn’t just going to leave it to the staff to put in the manager’s safe with a half-inch of cash in it.
Then, from far back in the store came, “I’m here. I’m here.” And there he was. Short and elderly and haggard and rumpled and sweating but with a look of supreme relief on his face.
I forked over the wallet and he thanked me. He thanked me profusely as I would have — and as any man would have to have been rescued — from that dire situation.
“You might want to go someplace right now and xerox every credit card and other important cards in that fatso right away. If it happens again you’ll at least have all the numbers in another place.”
I’d learned that the hard way when I’d mistakenly left my wallet in a Brooklyn gas station back in 1999.
He allowed how xeroxing was a good idea. I didn’t suggest that he put his wallet on a diet. Maybe he’d think of that himself.
On the other hand, maybe not.