Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Crank Call

A few weeks after hanging up my sign, I received an interesting phone call.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will recall that I found five dollars in the street and did a small experiment to see how much good I could accomplish with it. You can read more about that here.

I am happy to report that I have found the owner of the lost funds!

Surprisingly, I only received one phone call about it. I had expected to receive at least a few false claims, and perhaps that might have been the case if my sign had advertised fifty dollars, as opposed to five... but that's an experiment for another day, and a much greater pessimist than myself. :)

I was sitting at at my desk, wrangling with the right descriptors for my new character when the phone rang — a number I didn't recognize. I sat up, alert, at the possibility of a candidate, and flipped through the  mental files in my brain for the list of questions I had organized to help ascertain the true ownership of the funds in question.

My list comprised of these four questions, in progressive order:

1) Was your five dollars: a) a stack of ones; b) a roll of dimes; or c) a five dollar bill?

2) What was the condition of the bill: old? new? flat? crispy? wadded up? folded in half? starched? torn? stained with Cool-aid? scribbled upon?

3) Whereabouts did you lose the money?

4)  When did you lose it?

I was all geared to question my caller when:

"Did you order a pizza?"
This unexpected confabulation was followed by loud laughter from several people before the call was cut off.

I sat dazed for a second then realized that I had just been crank called! The last time that occurred, I was barely a teenager and the boys across the street were trying to lure me into a trap involving a tub of mud and a high-powered hose.

I had just expelled a lively chuckle when my phone rang again — the same number. I clicked the button and waited, but this time I got a "Hello?" quickly followed by, "Ok, guys, that's enough!"

The crank callers continued to snicker in the background.

How could I NOT have expected some super-great cranks with a sign like that? It totally made my day!

Photo credit: This file is lacking author information. / / Public Domain Mark 1.0
But this caller was serious, so I got down to the business of asking my questions, which he answered easily, with nothing to cast aspersions on the legitimacy of his claim. He lost the bill somewhere on his walk between the bus station and his girlfriend's house, which was right along the path. I asked my caller to tell me something interesting about himself, a hobby or something unique, and his reply was that there was nothing to make him special.

His friends razzed him over the comment, so I didn't press him further, but took down his mailing address so I could post his lost-and-found funds. I made sure to write him an encouraging note, having observed several nice qualities about him during our short conversation. He was of a sober mind, considerate, and embarrassed by his friends' behavior in crank calling me before he could make a serious inquiry. I liked this young man and felt he had a great future before him.

I have yet to meet a person on this good earth in whom I did not discern something particularly special.  Perhaps it's a talent of mine, developed from an early determination in life to leave behind a rather rotten side to me. It's my belief that hidden qualities are only hidden because people rarely pay attention to anything beyond the five inches of space immediately before their noses. I would wager that if we all took the time to observe, we would find, more often than not, that we were in the presence of greatness.

It occurs to me as I write this blog, that if someone would take the trouble to call over so small a sum as five dollars, they must be in real need of it... I think I'll send him ten.

Thanks for tuning in,

Eliott McKay
Spreading Joy Writing Books

1 comment:

  1. There's no phone number on that sign. You could have had the whole world "cranking" you. I might have even given it a try. (Another encouraging blog, but you missed out on a great phone call).


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