I had lunch at Wendy's yesterday; went in expecting to get a salad, but they have a new "4 for $4" promotion, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, fries, 4 chicken balls (they call them nuggets but we all know), and a small drink. So I had that, because I'm class.
That's not the story, though. Here's the story. While eating my treasure, I toyed with my Nexus 4 smart phone, as one does, until I realized that I was out of iced tea. Back over the to the self-serve iced tea dispenser I went, filled the cup, and got back to find... no phone! Had I carried it with me? No, I'd left it on the table... right there... not under the wrappers or on the floor... panic set in...
What had I done, I thought. What had anybody else done, I thought. I had a vague memory of a woman coming in the side door, walking past my table, and going into the ladies room, this while I was at the drink stand... could SHE? I felt terrible for suspecting a stranger, but suspect I did.
There was a Wendy's employee on his lunch break at the table next to mine, toying with his cell phone, as one does. "My cell phone seems to have gone missing," I told him; "did you see anything?"
He hadn't but was smarter than me. "You want me to call your phone, see if we can hear it?" I gave him my number; it went straight to voice mail, of course. I was getting more and more convinced that this woman had snatched the phone off the table as she walked by. My stomach was turning into knots (not connected to what I was eating I'm sure).
But then -- then -- out from the ladies room bursts a very tall woman, holding my cell phone up in her hand. "Is this somebody's?" she yelled. "Is this somebody's? I was just sitting there and all of a sudden this phone rings from the trash bin, is this somebody's?"
It was -- Nexus 4, black plastic protector, wallpaper the cover of pulp SF paperback "the Gods Hate Kansas." Mine! I was so relieved, I offered to buy her lunch. She took me up on that but then only ordered a side salad and fries. And then hugged me.
So here's what I'm thinking, that there are two possibilities for what actually happened.
- Woman A walked in the side door, saw the phone sitting there, idly snapped up the unguarded trifle, went to the ladies room, thought better of the theft, and put the phone in the trash. Then, Woman B went into the ladies room and had her business rudely interrupted.
- There was no Woman A. Woman B snapped up the unguarded trifle, and was startled into full consciousness (and conscience) when it rang, so she concocted the fiction that let her return the phone without consequence or blame, a fiction I am quite happy to endorse.
And I checked. I still had my wallet after the hug. Yeah, I feel a little bad about that.