Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost and Found

We are so encumbered by possessions "things" that the loss of even the tiniest device or keepsake can render us into babblying psychopaths. My Memorial Day trip to Eagle Lake started off great until I did the poor man's tap in front of McDonald's near Willows. My wallet was missing and so Pattyo-not one to miss out on getting an early start on the EL festivities-jumped into Heyman's rig and I was cruising backwards to find my Wallet at the last Wal-Mart.
Preoccupied with the thought of Wal Mart employees (or patrons for that matter) going on a spending spree with my cash, I hit the gas with boat in tow. As I pulled into the fast lane, the car I had just passed began shrinking and then turned to flashing red and blue lights. I thought my anxiety over a miss-placed wallet was causing me to hallucinate until reality caught up. Those really are red and blue flashing lights in my rear view. I glanced at the speedometer. The needle was flirting with 80. My heart sank as I quickly decelerated and tried to find a place to pull over, suddenly realizing that there were orange cones every fifty feet. Further enlightened, I finally realized that I was in a construction zone. My heart rate doubled and I thought I could feel it palpitating. When I finally pulled to a stop, the lack of inertia created a silent vaccum in which my brain fast forwarded to showing the cop my wallet. In this tranquil zen-like state of consciousness a realization set in: My wallet's at Wal Mart! F(^*^%^^(&***!!!
I don't think i've ever said "Sir" more in a twenty second conversation than I did that day on the side of highway 5. I did remember that I had my fishing license. Another example of grace and clear thinking under pressure? I'll leave you, the reader to decide on that. All I can say is that I was cursing myself out like I was playing on a team that I coach and just did something stupid. The officer seemed to believe me as he took my license back to his squad car. My thoughts vacillated drastically. One moment I had visions of having my car impounded and having to call my wife to come get me because I knew the guys were already annoyed with my forgetfulness and Pattyo wouldn't mind not having his dog with him so long as he had a cold one and a fishing pole. The next second I would entertain delusions of being let off with a warning. "Sorry you're having such a bad day. Didn't want to further complicate things for you sir. Just watch your speed next time alright, especially in a construction zone and with towing a boat and all. Have a good day."
Boots crunching gravel snapped me back to reality and my popped the bubble that was my fantasmal daydream. Apparently I had to use up all of my fishing luck before I even got my line wet. The Highway Patrolman only wrote me up for doing 60 when, as all the signs say, I should've been doing 55. If it said anything about a construction zone, I haven't seen it. The ticket ended up costing about $250 with traffic school which definitely hurts but probably could've cost me a lot more.
I had to build up some speed on the shoulder before quickly merging between the orange cones and I was back on my way backwards to Wal Mart with new thoughts doing battle. Would my wallet be there? Would I have to bribe the employees to give me back my credit cards and such sans cash? I decided to give the store a call, checking every mirror twice before dialing information and trying not to swerve as I wrote the number on the back of my traffic ticket.
It's no wonder I only caught a few fish that trip. A trustworthy Wal Mart employee had given my wallet to his manager. When I got in touch with the guy, he handed me back my wallet and, lo and behold, everything was in it-even the cash! I have a new found respect for the integrity of Wally World employees. Either that or the pervasiveness of their surveillance cameras and the mind control of their Big Brother management. In any case, the gods shined on me that day. While I'm always quick to remind myself that material possesions come and go, losing my wallet that weekend would have definitely put a damper on things-Big Time. I probably had as much cash in my wallet as the ticket would end up costing me but I'm scared straght when it comes to speeding. I'm slowing down:)

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