Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hey, I Wondered Where That Went

I’ll preface what I’m about to write be because I think I’m coming down with something as I can feel the cloud of sickness moving over me (which is bound to happen when you have been coughed at in the face continuously by two 4-year olds for the last three weeks). However, with that being said, I have to ask if there was a tear in the space-time continuum or a “Do Good Deeds Several Years Too Late Day” recently? In the last 48 hours, I have read three different AP stories about things being returned to their rightful owners decades after they should have been. It’s great that all has been made right with the world, but it’s odd that it has all happened at the same time. It is events just like these that make me feel the urge to update my last will and testament and go back and restock my recently abandoned Y2K bunker!

In Ferndale, Pennsylvania earlier this week a man received a letter in his mailbox addressed to a previous occupant. The letter was dated and postmarked 1954! The man did not open the letter and has not been able to find any relatives of its intended recipient. Good thing it was a letter and not a utility bill. It was probably just something minor anyway, like a letter from the recipient’s long lost twin brother that he didn’t know he had. I can just imagine all the people that worked at the postal facility where the letter was apparently ‘lost.’ I’m sure that every few years a postal worker would find the letter wedged somewhere or sitting behind something, pick it up and then realize he didn’t want to be associated with the 50-year-old missing piece of mail. To distance himself from it, he would look around to make sure no one was watching and then drop it back behind something else. Finally, all these years later, a person bucking for promotion came across it and actually reported it. It reminds me (in a strange way) of the Cheers episode where Cliff and Norm sit in the bar reading all of the magazines and catalogs he was supposed to be delivering. I guess that’s the price you paid (literally) for service when standard shipping was only three cents. I’ve ordered things from and apparently selected the same shipping method as this letter without realizing it.

Next, I read about a man who got his missing wallet back after 60+ years. He had lost the wallet in Europe during World War II. It was found by a fellow American soldier and brought home to be returned to its rightful owner. He must have forgotten to do so because after he died, his son found the wallet in a drawer. Fortunately, this time the wallet’s owner could be found. There is no indication that the gentleman who returned the wallet took out a few dollars for his trouble. See, maybe there still are a few nice people in the world. Of course, his Diner’s Club card had been stolen, but he’s not complaining. I’m just kidding; it was his Aluminum American Express Card - the most elite card that AmEx could offer during the WWII rationing era.

Finally, to compound the bizarre trend of things from the past showing up out of thin air, there was the man who after almost 50 years decided it was time to return the book he checked out of his local library for a school assignment. He said his mother had originally misplaced it and then they would occasionally come across it but not return it. The AP story says the man is a seventh-grade teacher and wanted to set a good example so even though the library had long since written it off, he returned it…with a check for $171 to cover the late fees! Not only is there good in the world but there is still some honesty left too. It remains to be seen if the book, which was about Egypt, will be put back into circulation. Seeing as it is almost 50-years old and refers to the pyramids being built by volunteers, I doubt it.

I don’t know why the return of all these things happened so close together, but it’s quite a phenomenon. What will we do as things from our past reappear? Boy, could it get spooky if every time we turn around we find things that have been missing for years, like the collection of Smurfs I has a little kid. Awww shoot, did I just write that? There will no doubt be stories of people who keep trying to lose things on purpose but they keep showing back up (no, I’m not referring to our weight).

On the positive side, all of these stories give hope to everyone that has lost something that maybe it will eventually turn up in the hands of a good person willing to follow through and return it. Which reminds me, if you are the person who happens to find my dignity, my email address is listed on the links bar to the right…


Violet said...

That sounds a pretty small fine, for a book that's 50 years late.

abbagirl74 said...

Loved the post! It's interesting to see how much time can pass and what changes occur in the time frame. Amazing.

abbagirl74 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lizza said...

Better late than never, eh? I'm sure you'll find your dignity again soon. Ask the twins, maybe they borrowed it and forgot to give it back. :-)

Josie said...

Isn't it bizarre when something like that happens? Isn't that called synchronicity?

I hope you're feeling better soon. (I'll bet the twins are adorable.)

There was a woman here in Vancouver who gave birth to six babies last weekend. Goodness.


Odat said...

Oh wow...will someone return my mind, ya think? Nah that's ok..I like being out of it.
(Feel better! you're got an island to run!)
Peace from
(Princess Odat) ;-)

mist1 said...

I have to wait until Amnesty day at my local library to show my face there again.

mist1 said...

Wait, I'm not finished...

A blond walks into a library and says, "I'd like a Big Mac and a Diet Coke."

The librarian says, "Ma'am, this is a library."

"Oh," says the blond and then whispers, "I'd like a Big Mac and a Diet Coke."

Okay, now I'm done.

Michael C said...

Violet: Maybe you get a deal the longer you keep it?

Abbagirl74: I agree. Just imagine getting a wallet back over 62 years!

Lizza: If Lucy and Ethel got it, they'd parade it around the house while giggling!! ;-)

Josie: I hope they were all from the same father!

Odat: If you are out of your mind, I'd hate to think about my state of affairs ;-) Maybe the stress of dreaming about my own small nation has got me feeling sick!!

Mist1: Wow, two comments! The joke was worth the wait! ;-)
Knowing me, I would tell that in a libray and be asked not to return. Maybe it's in the delivery or something...

James Burnett said...

I lost my good sense a few years ago. I hope I find it in less than 50 years.

And the library fine doesn't shock me too much. In college I checked out a book from a local city library and kept it for about two years. My fine was $10. That's what they maxed out at that particular library.

Le Nightowl said...

At least you haven't lost your sense of humour :)
Reality by far surpasses fiction.

ShadowFalcon said...

Hey hope you don't get sick and if you do I hope you feel better. Wow I never would have thought people could be so nice returning all those things...makes me think better of humans

Irene said...

You can never lose your dignity, my friend. It's much too embedded in you.

Well, ok...maybe you did lose it once on that day you tried to impersonate David Letterman.

Bwahaha! You didn't think I would forget that easily, did you? ;p

Yes....I'm back! Just got tied up with a lot of work at our studio. Hopefully, I'll be able to blog more often in the coming weeks.

Thanks a lot for your concern, Michael! You're too sweet! =)

Lee said...

Oh! Oh! Pick me!!

I'm praying that someone will return my exhusband's spine.

Cool post!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

hey mist who you callin' blond? i'm just sayin'

Irene said...

Who could ever accuse you of losing your dignity, Michael? That could never happen!

Oh! But then again, there were those who saw you impersonate David Letterman that fateful Halloween.


You didn't think I'd ever let you live that one down, did you? ;p

I'm still around, my friend. Just been busy with work at our studio. Thanks for your concern. You're too sweet! =)

Natalie said...

I have a library book I will never return. It is Lolita. Actually, I think a friend has it. I took it out when i was 12 and read it, not knowing what it was about. I was then to embarrassed to return it.