Some of you may remember the following incident:
On Februay 7th, I declined to have my good deed punished. Walking the dogs, I found a brand new Galaxy phone, lying in an apartment complex parking lot. I called the number that seemed in heaviest rotation on the phone & got a girl who passed me to her boyfriend, owner of the phone. Said boyfriend proceeded to rip me a new one for “stealing” his phone. After I got the moron to understand that a thief would not be calling to return the phone, he began to explain that he was on his way to KC for dinner and I should meet him at Applebees to “turn over” his phone. (And who the fuck drives to Kansas City to eat at Applebees?!) When he paused to make sure I understood, I said, “Listen up, douchenozzle. I called to try to do you a solid, only you’re infectious human waste so I’m not going to. There are 3 empty lots at the corner of 19th & Tennessee. I’m going to throw your phone in one of them. It probably has enough battery power left that you’ll be able to call & find it, if you get here in the next 2 hours.”
Then I did just that.
Lots of very funny alternate solutions were suggested, but I was over all pleased with how I resolved my failed Good Samaritan attempt. However, it all left a bad taste in my mouth. I like being able to help people and do nice things for them, so when I’m thwarted by someone who can’t even graciously accept my aid, it makes me grumpy.
Today, I got another chance. Again, while walking dogs, I found a credit card lying on the sidewalk. I pocketed it and finished the dog walk. When I got home, I searched for the person on the internet. Although I found a listing for the card owner in the white pages, there was no phone number. Just the address–about twenty yards from where I found the card, and about two blocks from my house.
On my way back to work, I rode over to the address, but no one was home. Since the name on the mailbox matched the card, I opted to just pop the card in there. Only as I was about to bike away, it occurred to me that people rarely look into the dark depths of their mailboxes, and they don’t dig around in the bottoms, which are full of dead moths and things. They just pull out the mail that pokes out of the top. The card owner might never even find the card, or if she did, it might not be until she’d been through the headache of cancelling the card.
Getting back on the internet, I looked over my search results for her name and discovered that she has a Goodreads account. So I logged in and sent her a message to say, “Hey, I found your credit card and put it in your mailbox, so no need to panic and cancel it.”
By the time I got back to work, I had an answer to say, “Thank you so much! I didn’t even realize it was missing! &c.”
Now that, that is how good deeds are supposed to go.
(Also, how amazing is the internet? Pretty amazing, though in some ways, it has replaced old systems of knowledge and communication. After all, while I was standing on this person’s front porch, sending her a message on my smart phone, her neighbor drove up. I called out to ask if she knew her neighbor or had a phone number for her. Nope. Which made me realize I don’t have my neighbor’s phone number. Note to self: fix that tonight.)