Experiments in Chaos—Failures from November 10, 2013

Over the years, I've had conversations I could never have imagined, and I like to think I have a pretty good imagination. For instance, I never would have dreamt that under any circumstance whatsoever (I was an apartment manager), I would look someone in the eye and tell them, "If the cat vomits in the hallway, you have to clean it up immediately even if you don't feel like it." But the conversation, and I use term quite loosely, that I want to tell you about was one that happened a week or two ago. I say I'm using the term loosely because the person on the other end spoke quite rapidly and rather loudly, and I mostly listened without the opportunity to ask any of the questions that I'm certain will occur to you as well.

I was sitting in front of my computer doing probably nothing of consequence, when the phone rang. I answered it and before I could even say "Hello" the person on the other end called me by my first name and asked if I had seen his cell phone. He then informed me that he had been sorting his mail on my porch because of the rain and thought he might have lost his phone when he bent over. At least that answered the question of why he thought I might have seen his phone. It did not, of course, address other concerns.

He told me he had borrowed a friend's phone to call me, and I'm quite positive I know who the friend was. And that's fine, I'm considering her an innocent bystander in all this. But since he's her friend, why wasn't he sorting his mail on her porch? For that matter, why would he be sorting his mail on a porch at all? I'm sure she would have let him inside. It's not as if porches are ideal for sorting mail, after all. She has a table in her kitchen which would be much more convenient for one's mail-sorting needs.

And why was he bent over? (I'm not just absolutely certain I want the answer to this question.) I've sorted some mail in my day, and occasionally a good bit of it, and I never had to put the mail down anywhere, much less bend over. Unless the call was from Santa. I expect Santa has so much mail he bends a bit just trying to carry it. Otherwise, not so much. Really, if you've ever played cards, you should be able to sort your mail without bending over. But let's pretend for a moment that he's Santa, and accept that bending over is a sensible thing to do when you're sorting mail on a stranger's porch of an Autumn evening.

Now, I don't use cell phones, for reasons that might be failures for another day, or might not, who knows? But the point is, I don't use them, so I don't really know much about them. I know they're making them lighter these days, but how much lighter? Aren't they still heavy enough to make a kerplunk sound if they fall from your pocket onto a carpeted porch? And I realize that it was getting dark when this occurred, but if you're bent over, wouldn't your face be close enough to the floor that you'd see it fall? Unless he was bent over backward, in which case I really don't want to know.

Anyway, he paused long enough for me to tell him that I hadn't seen his phone, and he thanked me, told me how to contact him if I did find it, and hung up. Leaving me with questions that I sort of hope will never be answered. Because I suspect the questions are more entertaining than the answers could ever be.

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