The Soupster helps a friend hunt for his wallet (back in ancient times, when Our Town had a “video store”).
Originally Published November 21, 2002
“I just can’t figure out where it could be, Soupster!” said Brian, sounding panicky. “It has my credit card, my driver’s license with my address and my Social Security card, with my Social Security number.”
“A truly dangerous combination,” commiserated the Soupster, as he scanned the ground for the black, checkbook length wallet Brian had said he was sure he had put in his jacket pocket when he left the house that morning.
“I know,” Brian moaned, “losing all that personal info sounds like a recipe for identity theft.” He looked at the quickly darkening late afternoon sky. “In a little while we’re going to need a flashlight.”
“Dark or not, you find things with your brain,” mumbled the Soupster.
“You don’t find things with your eyes, you find things with your brain,” the Soupster repeated.
“You find things by remembering what you did and retracing your steps.”
“So where did you go today?” asked the Soupster, as the two men rounded the harbor.
“I went to the grocery store and the video store,” said Brian.
“That shouldn’t be hard to check,” the Soupster encouraged. “Let’s go look.”
At the grocery store the two men squinted before a huge amount of fluorescent light and a surprisingly lively social scene. A school theatrical event had just let out and everyone was getting snacks. Their search turned up nothing and Brian’s brain was dormant on the subject of the missing wallet.
“A friend of mine in college once lost her wallet at the “Pageant of Hugging” celebration at her school,” said the Soupster. “Of course, she got it back the next day after somebody found it and turned it in. Who could be mean enough to keep a lost wallet at the “Pageant of Hugging”?
“And if they were mean enough, the probably wouldn’t be caught dead at something called the
‘Pageant of Hugging’ anyway,” said Brian.
“Precisely,” said the Soupster.
At the video store: nothing. Brian’s brain remained dormant. The Soupster shuffled his feet. The wind blew a mournful howl. The Soupster felt hungry. He told Brian about one time at the gas station, leaving his wallet on the roof of his car and driving off in the rain. A sharp-eyed police officer spied the wallet on the road before anything inside even got wet.
“Let’s get something to eat,” the Soupster said. “Something soft because of my loose tooth. It looks like I’m going to need to a bridge.”
“The bridge!” shouted Brian. “I was on the bridge today!”
He ran ahead. The Soupster could not keep up but stayed close enough to see Brian bend down and pick up something black and checkbook-sized from beside the pedestrian walkway.
“Eureka!” Brian said, sprinting back to the Soupster and then grinning like a fool. “If you’re still hungry, I’m-a-buyin!”