Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good Deed for the Day

I MANAGED TO SCORE one for the side of good, which, despite my low-smoldering desire to be reborn as a comic-book supervillian, is where my allegiance really lies.

I was at the Whole Foods supermarket, wending my way among pyramids of pornographically stacked produce, I noticed a handbag. It was sitting on a corner display table, alongside some avocados, as though someone had placed it there to make room for fragile fruit in the basket section of their cart, then rolled along without it.

I hefted it. Despite its small size, it was heavy. I peeked through an opening and spied a bunch of keys nestled against a loose wad of bills. So unless she walked to the market, she was a captive audience.

At the end of the aisle, I saw a woman walking around the corner. Keeping the bag in view, I got some jellybeans from the adjacent bulk-foods wall. She didn't return, but that didn't mean it wasn't hers. It crossed my mind to open it, look for a license, and match her up to the picture, but from the view of the security cameras, that could only look suspect.

I decided the best place for the bag was at the customer service counter. Once up at the front. I suggested to the employees there that they page the person to get her to come forward. Both of the crewmembers agreed, and thanked me for turning it in.

Shortly thereafter, a page did indeed alert a "Christine" somebody to come to the customer service desk. I peeked around the corner of an aisle to see that it was, indeed, the woman I had seen leaving the produce area earlier. I flirted with the idea of disappearing into the night anonymously like some sort of good-deed ninja, but then I figured, what the hell, at least wander past. It sounded like she was genuinely surprised to have set it down without thinking about it.

For someone who takes mass transit like me, there's always a chance of leaving something behind on the train. I have done so twice, with a return percentage of 50%. I left my prized light winter jacket on the bus, immediately drove to the depot when I realized it, and reclaimed it. With a fantastic long scarf I had gotten while in college to help defend against penetrating Boston wind, however, I was less fortunate. That scarf made the Tom Baker Doctor Who's scarf look like a well-used Kleenex. My point is that I know that feeling of having forgotten some needful item behind, like a pit opening in your gut, and the panicked retracing of steps to retrieve it. Worse than either of the two articles above was a credit card I had used to pay for a meal at TGI Friday's. I had gotten a few miles down the highway, and had pulled into the lot of a strip mall when I realized my mistake. I tore ass back to the restaurant and ran in, to find the card still under the bill on my table. Thank goodness for sluggish servers.

So for now my karma is in the green. I wish there were some sort of conversion chart to see what I can now get away with. Hopefully I can spend it like some spiritual green stamp and club an obnoxious cellphone user to death.

1 comment:

Ratatosk said...

A good deed well done!

I recall a summer some years ago ... I twice (due to shorts with shallow pockets coupled with my own stupidity) left my wallet behind in the theater , and twice it had been turned in, cash intact, and was waiting for me at the counter. I made sure theere wasn't a third time ... even I know when not to push my luck!