November 9, 2009

I would not do well in the Witness Protection Program

A few days ago I noticed something on my front porch as I pulled into the driveway. Closer inspection revealed a mens wallet. "Ha, ha," I thought. Ryan finally lost his wallet. Made me feel a little better for the dozens of times I've lost mine. But when I went to grab it I quickly noticed that it was not Ryan's. Although it was well worn, there was no identification at all. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

But there was cash. Hundreds of dollars.

Bizzaro, right?

So I did some sleuthing. Also on the porch were some books left by a friend. I called her to ask if she knew anything about the mystery wallet. Nope. It was not there when she had stopped by, only 15 minutes before.

I went next door and asked my neighbor if he knew anything. Nothing.

At this point, weird scenerios are going through my head. I had just heard a piece on This American Life where a couple noticed an unusual car in front of their house in their quiet little neighborhood. They tried to figure out who it belonged to, going as far as opening the door (it was unlocked) and rummaging through the glove compartment. No luck, so they called the police. Turns out, it was a "bait" car for thieves, and through a series of crazy events they ended up arrested, spent a day in jail and had a three year horrible ordeal until they finally went to the media and oops, the police had made a mistake and dropped all the charges.

So, despite my fear that Ira Glass and I may someday have something to talk about, I called the Sandy Police. A nice officer (with a big gun and a big tazer) came to my home, whipped out her spiral bound notebook and started asking me things like, "Exactly what time did you find the wallet," and "Did you see anything else unusual?" 2:33 and no.

She gave me her card with a case number on it and left me alone with my over-active imagination.

Was this a bait wallet? Was Chris Hansen hiding in the bushes, just waiting to see what I would do? Because, seriously, who takes everything from a wallet and leaves the cash. Was it drug money? Was I involved in something shady?

At this point I was a little weirded out, but no big deal. I went upstairs and did some laundry. Ella was wandering around entertaining herself. Suddenly I hear a loud noise, which I think are footsteps, I quickly look for Ella, don't see her, and FREAK out. { If you don't believe me, ask Thayer, who was on the phone with me at the time. She tried to be my calm, but I was beyond her reach.} I'm running around the house, yelling Ella's name, and picturing her abducted by the money-leaving thief.

But, no. She was just playing in the guest bedroom, steps away from the laundry room, a little scared by her crazy mom. Breathe.

I want to go on a walk, but worry that perhaps someone is watching the house (I know, it sounds crazy to me, too, but that's the state I was in), so I went to the Post Office. Because nothing crazy ever goes on there.

Ryan soon came home, and I chilled out. Now I'm just wondering if I get the money if no one claims it. I didn't even think to ask. Too intimidated by the gun.

Moral of the story: if anything freaky ever does happen, heaven help me. I couldn't even handle free money.

Post-edit: Mystery solved. Today my housekeeper Ifeta came by and randomly told me that she'd lost her wallet. A black wallet, no id, with hundreds of dollars in it! She had stopped by my house the day of the fiasco and rummaged through her bag looking for her keys when the wallet must have fallen out.

She explained that she had two wallets: a regular one with all her stuff in it, and this one with only cash. She is saving for a plane ticket to visit her son in Germany this Christmas and this wallet is her piggy bank. She had no hope of finding her stash as it had absolutely no identifying features. So I called the Sandy Police Department and informed them that I had cracked the case.


Thayer said...

Al, I told this story to my visiting teaching friends and they were freaking out and said to make sure you don't open the door for anyone you don't know. One thought I had was maybe it was missionaries? They sometimes carry a lot of cash and may not have had id on them?

Jane Anne said...

Last night at a little after 9:00 someone knocked on my door. Mitch had a couple of friends over so I thought it might be another friend. It wasn't a friend, it was a girl who was trying to do that "want to clean something for you" thing. I have a "no soliciting" sign on my window, but these aggressive cleaning people pay no attention to that. I said no several times, but she kept saying,"Can't I just come in and clean something for you?" and then moved like she was going to come in. It started freaking me out and I couldn't understand why she had to come in to my house and why she wouldn't get paid if she didn't. Who does door to door sales after nine at night anyway...wierd.. so I thought that she had some friends waiting in the bushes to follow her in and attack me!

Finally, she went away and then I felt bad. Maybe I wasn't being Christlike, maybe it really was legit. I don't know, but there have been some wierd things happen in this neighborhood and it has made me be more cautious then I normally am....bottom line, I understand your line of thinking:)

alisha said...

I'm so glad it wasn't anything mischievous going on. And that Ifeta got her wallet back so she can go see her son.


You are sooo funny!! I can just see you freaking out and hanging on to Ella for protection. Which is exactly what I did after watching a horror show one night when Andrew was a baby and Lee had gone on an outing with the two girls. Not fun.

noelle regina said...

i also have an overactive imagination. like how people break in at night through the windows wearing headlamps that only i can see flickering...

matt's a good sport.

but one day, your prowess will SAVE you. i kind of wish you got to keep the money.

Jessica said...

What a scary/hilarious story. I'm so glad your housekeeper got her money back, that would have been awful if she had lost all that money she had saved.

Kim Smith said...

Alissa - you are the one who needs to write a book. You are funny! I loved being an unidentified person in the story! It was weird and your feelings were warranted. Too many weird things happen these days. I am glad to know that at least in this case...there was a happily ever after. "The Neighbor!"

Lisa said...

my favorite line of this post... "was I involved in something shady?"