Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Missing wallets common woe

Plenty of comical tales involving men, loss

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Today we are going to present scientific evidence showing why guys of my gender should not be allowed to own nice things.

Exhibit A is my buddy, Mark, who dropped by our house the other night to join a group of friends who had earlier attended an educational event at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre wherein our buddy Bob gave a fascinating speech about the history of Swedish drinking songs, of which there are way more than you could ever imagine.

When Mark arrived at our door, straight from a long business trip, he informed us he had to go home for a few minutes to shower, change his clothes and cancel all his credit cards because -- and male readers will relate to this next bit -- he had lost his wallet while he was on the road.

When Mark returned about 30 minutes later, he was pleased to report -- and female readers will already have seen this coming -- that, surprise, he had found his missing wallet, and I will quote him directly, "in the pocket of his other jacket."

This news caused the women in our group to roll their eyeballs back in their heads, but the men were extremely sympathetic, which brings us to Exhibit B, which is my buddy Kevin, who was moved to share his own terrifying experience with a rogue wallet.

It seems not long ago Kevin and his lovely wife were vacationing in Bermuda, or the Bahamas or some country where it is extremely hot and the humidity can cause fungus to grow on all your personal belongings until they sprout tiny green feet and run away and hide underneath the bed in your hotel.

Anyway, Kevin and his wife were sitting in a local watering hole becoming acquainted with that nation's main source of revenue -- Hint: I am talking about rum -- when, suddenly and without warning, Kevin tried to pay for something and discovered (Gasp!) his wallet had been stolen.

He knew it was stolen because he had reached into the pants pocket where he ALWAYS kept his wallet and it wasn't there. This made Kevin extremely angry, because he was on holiday in a strange country and POOF, his wallet and all his cash had vanished.

Kevin angrily complained to everyone within the sound of his voice about the injustice of having your wallet stolen, then returned to his hotel and cancelled all his cards. Which is when Kevin -- I have no idea why he decided to do this -- reached into the other pocket in his pants -- this would be the pocket where he NEVER keeps his wallet -- and, yikes, discovered his "stolen" wallet had been in that pocket, safe and sound, the entire time.

You'd think it would be hard to come up with a dumber story about a guy "losing" his wallet, but you could not be more wrong, because you have not yet heard Exhibit C, wherein my buddy Pat accidentally stumbled on what he believed to be someone else's wallet.

What happened was Pat was travelling in a remote Latin American country and had checked into his hotel only to discover several workmen were in his room leaning out the fifth-floor window (OK, technically, I do not recall exactly what floor he was on) and doing some minor repairs to the hotel's electric sign.

When the workmen left, my pal Pat discovered a wallet sitting on the bed, and it occurred to him one of the workers had accidentally left it behind, so, being an honest man, my buddy scooped up the wallet, walked down four or five flights of stairs, and handed it in at the front desk.

It never occurred to him to look inside the wallet, because Pat is not a nosy guy and also -- I could have mentioned this earlier-- he also happens to be legally blind. After handing the wallet in, Pat returned to his room and sat down, feeling content about performing a good deed.

Which, of course, is when the phone in the room rang and a polite person at the front desk of the hotel chirped: "Hello, sir, it seems you lost your wallet, but a very nice gentleman just returned it to the front desk."

So Pat had to sheepishly return to the front desk to pick up HIS wallet from the same guy he'd just given it to a few minutes earlier. As far as I know, he did not leave a reward.

I personally have only lost my wallet once, which was years ago when I placed it on the roof of my car, opened the car door, climbed in and drove away, forgetting entirely about the wallet, which, at some point, blew off the roof despite the fact it weighed about 25 pounds due to all the loose change I kept in it.

I really loved that wallet, although it's not nearly as nice as the new one my wife gave me, which is... hold on a minute... OK, I could have sworn I left it on the table by the front door...

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 31, 2014 A2

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