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Friday, May 09, 2008

An Unhappy Anniversary, or the Cautionary Tale of Carrying Wallets in May

It was already bad enough celebrating seventeen years yesterday since my brother Samuel Dieudonne passed away. At work, two colleagues apologised for my loss. Wondering how, I realised because of the "special request" I had made on radio. They were very much appreciated acknowledgements.

Little did I know that I was going to experience some mini-drama and grief last night.

It all happened when I went back to a shop I was just leaving to go and get some phone credit. It would prove to be a soul-searching mistake. I've been wondering since this morning whether next time I go into a shop, I should not return a second time. It would seem to me a question for the ages, for this is not the first time I've gone into a shop the second time, and realised it would have been better if I waited next time.

Seeing as we are not in a perfect world, it is only normal that we defy chance and uncanny patterns, dismissing them as just that -- patterns, but this one is too spooky.

Spooky because when I got to the office this morning to write a letter to my bank, I realised that it was almost a year to the day that I first lost my wallet!! I love mysteries, but this takes the biscuit!

The last time I wrote the letter was on 23 May, 2007 to have my card cancelled. Today is, what, 9 May 2008--just some two weeks shy of the anniversary of that lost wallet! So, do I deduce that the next time of loss should be 9 May - 2 weeks, = 25th April 2009, or a day before my next birthday?

Heavens! What a sorry thought to contemplate. I best be careful a day before my birthday next year then?;-)

Still, I know we don't live in a perfect world, but I would have thought that a wallet containing some roughly $30.00, some coins; a hospital ID; my complimentary card--with my MOBILE NUMBER!--and plenty of ID about yours truly would have elicited whoever picked it up to call me and say "dude! I found your wallet". And wait for me to give him/her something.

But no, nothing. Nada. While looking up lost wallets, this is the info I found:

Paul Kinsella performed a remarkable survey that tests a person’s honesty when faced with the prospect of keeping a $0.35 wallet containing $2.10 and a $50 gift certificate or returning it to the owner using the id card contained in the wallet. Paul had the bright idea of recording hilarious conversations from many of the thieves and a few of the honest ones.

Some of the interesting results are:
26% of the people kept the wallets
86% of women and 61% of men were honest
56% of young people were honest, 81% of middle aged people were honest, 88% of old people were honest
79% of white people were honest, 57% of black people were honest
The most honest group were white females (95%), the least honest group were young black people (40%)

Judging by that study, am not surprised I am not getting my wallet back.

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