Monday, May 16, 2011

Wallet of Voodoo

This post was inspired by a tweet from my fellow writer Stephen Douglas talking about how he left his wallet sitting in a puddle in the driveway for 3.5 hours. My thought: that's called a typical Tuesday for me. I mean, that might merit honorable mention on my all-time wallet stories, but that's about it. It's not cause for concern for me til it gets to 3.5 days. Until then, it's like a cat who stayed out too long. It will come back on its own timetable, and looking too hard does no good. If it loves you, it will return. That, or its dead in a gutter somewhere.

I mean, I've lost wallets in all the usual places--the couch, below the car seat, in my front pocket. I've probably had double digit occurrences where the wallet has been gone for days. I can't remember all of them. Here are just a few that I do recall.

My wallet was once in the large trash container outside for about three days. That one wasn't my fault, well, except I left it out somewhere and had no idea where I had left it. Forensic evidence (as well as observing the little thief later take a bank card out of my wallet and shove it in the air register) suggests that my two year old may have thrown the item in the kitchen trash can. I can't completely rule out that I threw it away, though, so she'd probably walk if Johnny Cochran picked up her case. I eventually decided, after calling 10 businesses and turning the house and cars upside down, to dig through the trash. Three bags deep, and there it was, covered in spaghetti sauce. Still have that same wallet.

My wallet also spent four days at Hy-Vee (local grocery store) recently. My best guess is I paid, but then left it sitting on the little counter as I wheeled the cart away. No big deal. Except I didn't realize it for four days. I was taking the son to a basketball practice at the local community center and needed to have a few dollars for admission. An hour and a half before we were supposed to leave, I realized my wallet was missing and immediately blamed the two year old. This time, I dug through the trash, with no success. I interrogated the two year old using questionable techniques that may have violated the Geneva Convention; it produced no actionable intelligence. I turned the house upside down, looked everywhere for a full hour and a half. We were already late for leaving, and on a lark, after trying to re-trace my steps, I decided as a last ditch desperate Hail Mary effort to call Hy-Vee because I remembered going there four days earlier.

"Yeah, we've got it. We were wondering when you were going to call."

The worst case, though, was the time I left it outside for several days, sitting on top of the grill. Now this wasn't the official family grillster with its fancy gas tank and two knobs and ignitor switch. This was the old little circular charcoal grill that sat on the side patio off the garage. This grill hasn't been used in years, but Mrs. Coleman and I have an emotional attachment that prevents me from just casting her aside.

Apparently, drawn by its cursed siren song, I removed my wallet from my pocket and placed it perfectly balanced on the wooden handle as I prepared to mow. I then proceeded to mow the lawn, but a thunderstorm came up as I was about to finish, and I ran inside (in very manly fashion, if you were wondering). The wallet sat, patiently, for three days and nights perched upon that grill handle--cold, wet, and alone. I looked everywhere in the house, turned it upside down, checked shoes and pants and trash cans and furniture.

Then I was reminded by my lovely wife that--for the first time in my life--I had failed to finish a task. I went back outside to mow, and there it was, staring at me from atop the grill handle. Like Han Solo finding Luke through the blizzard on Hoth, we were reunited. And my damp wallet kind of smelled like a dead Tauntaun.

Still have that same wallet.

1 comment:

  1. And this was just the times you lost your wallet this last calendar year.