Incident the First
On the way home Guido needs to stop at Publix for the ingredients she needs to concoct whatever it is she’s making for the evening’s entertainment. I’m driving — I have eyesight now and Guido sits there clenching her jaw and using her foot on the passenger-side brake — and we pull into the Dania store parking lot at 5th and Sheridan. We locate a parking spot with a cart beside it inside of which there’s an abandoned woman’s handbag.
I figure we’re set for another few months.
“I’ll take it inside,” she says. “Whoever lost this will be back for it, and after she looks and finds it missing, she’ll go to the manager and ask if anybody turned it in.”
I suggest instead that I remain outside, guarding the item, while Guido starts her shopping and if the owner doesn’t turn up by the time she’s finished, then we’ll turn it in. Which is what we do.
I put the handbag on the roof of my car and wait. In less than five minutes a smallish sedan rolls in, driven by a woman in her late 20s or early 30s, a child in the back seat among various beach items. She pulls up behind my parked car and stares over at the shopping cart, at which point I capture her attention by holding up the bag.
Relief floods her face. She throws herself out of the car, puts a hand on my shoulder and plants a big kiss on my dirty unshaved cheek. “Good man,” she says, “Thank you!” She doesn’t look inside the bag, just shakes her head ruefully and says, “I’d lose my own head if it wasn’t attached.”
I give her a smile and a wave and advise her to be careful. She nods her head, sighs, and roars off. I lock up and head into Publix, noting to myself that sincerity is a true turn on, which is why I’ve soiled my shorts. (Okay, I made that part up.)
Incident the Second
After lunch with a famous blogger at Jack’s Hollywood Diner, I pay in cash. The waitress gives me a dollar too much change. I call her over and return it. She grits her teeth, says, “Yeah. Thanks. You’re a good man,” and the grit becomes a smile. We leave, and the whole wait staff says Good-bye Come Again.
1. I agree: I’m a good man. I have the 3-digit bank account to prove it. But —
2. Wouldn’t most people have done what I did? Still —
3. Had the roles been reversed, I would not have been surprised to find the handbag missing when I returned, and the cashier charging me back a dollar for my error, because —
4. It only takes one floating turd to ruin an entire punch bowl, and the way we live now, we always anticipate that punch bowl at our party.
Really, that’s all I can draw from these incidents, but I’m interested in readers’ reactions (except Kent Standit’s and Hugh Bris’s. Perverts.).