Wednesday, 15 January 2014
The Importance of Being Earnest
I had a phone call from the missus earlier this evening. She was lucky I answered. Having had so many cold and silent calls, I let the answer phone do the answering. Invariably, the call hangs up - it's a nuisance call from somewhere UK writ doesn't reach. This evening about 4:30 the phone rang; I let it ring and the answer phone whirled. "Darling, if you're there please pick up the phone". "I'm here sweetest humble pie" ( or something like that) I kicked in and killed the automaton recorder.
"I've lost my bag....with my phone, my keys (including her spare set for the Tower of London, Fort Knox and the one she nicked from Saint Peter). I hung my bag up and I left without it. It was only after about five minutes I realised I didn't have it. I went back but it wasn't where I'd left it. I'm phoning from the Information Desk at the Museum".
She was phoning me because she couldn't remember her mobile phone number. She was going to phone it in the hope that either it was close at hand or else the person who had it would answer. I gave her the number and she rang off.
It was then the enormity of what had happened hit home and I started to shake uncontrollably. The handbag of 'er indoors is no ordinary bag.It is not a fashion item, no it is fashioned out of the primordial stuff of this planet. In the beginning was the bag and the bag was all. Pandora's box pales into insignificance when set against the missus's bag. Within its dimensionless portal is contained the very stuff of existence, all the mysteries of life (Certainly I haven't the foggiest ideas what's in it and I have never dared to look inside for fear of the consequences).
"Darling", I'd say, "You don't happen to have a monkey wrench on you." As I was trying to force the lid off a tin of roasted almonds. Sure enough, from the depths of her bag a set of powered monkey wrenches would appear. "You wouldn't by any chance know where I could lay my hands on an extendable 40 metre ladder." In a jiffy she'd haul one out of the bowels of her bag.
I don't know why we worry about the national debt. The ocean of loose change and the innumerable notes that litter the bottom of her bag would pay off that debt and leave enough change to buy a fleet of executive jets. As for pens, pencils, rubbers, rubber bands, paper clips, stamps, burnt matches (just in case) and sticky backed plastic, there is no limit.
If someone had gone off with that bag, I felt sorry for them.
I phoned the museum, and explained that my wife had lost her bag with her mobile phone in it and had just phoned me from , I think, the reception. "That's right sir, she was with me just a moment ago. She phoned her phone and someone answered it. They had your wife's bag and she's just left to go to the address she was given to retrieve the bag". Clearly someone had opened it and seen their doom.
The next thing is the missus calls me. She's retrieved her bag and as far as she knows nothing's missing. In twenty minutes she arrives home in a state of high relief and incredulity.
Why did the person take the bag home? Why not hand it in? Why, if she had intended to steal it, did she answer my wife's phone and give her address?
We wondered whether the person had intended to steal it but when the phone rang, realised that at the end of the phone was a very desperate and upset person. They thought better of their actions and decided that it wasn't worth the guilt, so answered the phone and gave my wife her address.
It required a few glasses of wine for both of us to recover our equilibrium. She did cancel her debit card, just in case....