In my article “The secret life of NYC: Random acts of kindness at McDonalds,” I described everyday New Yorkers’ reactions to Pops. However, the word “random” in the title is erroneous. Here’s why:
Uplifted by the shared humanity in McDonalds that night, my friend and I lifted up our bundles, grabbed our umbrellas, and headed out into the cold, rainy night. All the way home, I raved about what had gone down.
About 15 minutes later, I braved my dog’s love attack. After I settled her down, I settled in. I hung up my coat, put my boots away and made a cup of tea. Then, I decided to call people to share the good news.
I had broken one of my steadfast rules that night. My cell phone was in my bag instead of my pocket. So, I went to the pile of bundles in my hallway to get my purse.
It wasn’t there.
And the hunt began. You know how frantic the search gets the more desperate you get. You start to look in ridiculous places like under the bed. When I snapped out of my search frenzy, reality struck hard.
I had left my purse at McDonalds…in New York City.
Wallet, credit cards, shades, cell phone, driver’s license and my home address all in the hands of some thief by now. I felt sick. More than half an hour had passed. Everyone knows you can’t leave anything, anywhere, in New York City for a minute because–snatch–it’s gone.
I was angry with myself. “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” I couldn’t even think of what to do next. My friend handed me his cell phone and said I should start canceling my credit cards, pronto!
Inspired by the events of that night, I said, “No! I’m going back to McDonalds to see if someone turned in my bag.” My friend just shook his head and laughed. But when I raced out the door, he followed.
We sped through the rain without umbrellas as he repeated, “Ridiculous.”
I burst into the McDonalds and cut the line muttering, “I’m not buying.” Three of New York’s Finest grabbing some grub eyed me. I reached the counter and blurted to the clerk, “Did anyone return a bag?” As I described it, the officers shook their heads. The clerk walked away without a word. I stood, the fool in the crowd until…
The clerk plopped my bag on the counter. “This it?”
I checked the contents with an audience and exclaimed, “Everything’s here!” One of the cops said, “You’re lucky, lady!” I gazed at him for a moment and said, “It isn’t me. It has nothing to do with me. It’s the person who turned it in.”
This is part of the secret life of New York City. Honest New Yorkers return bags of stupid fools. Random or commonplace? I’ll explore New York’s good deeds on my new blog, NYC Sunnyside Up.