Friday, October 18, 2002

All of which makes my own experiences this week pale slightly - On Tuesday, after doing some bits and pieces on the InterSuperHighwayWeb, I hopped aboard my trusty bike and made the two or three mile journey home, pitched against rainy skies, a gusting, mockingly cold wind and the very real sense that the combined elements were doing their level-best to unfoot me and send me sprawling onto the pavement. Not to mention the intercessions of various cycle-hating rush hour drivers and conker-brandishing urchins from the local schools who just love to randomly step out into the road and give my Shimano brake-set a reasonably frantic workout.

Not a good scene, then.

One, however, which was shortly made significantly less attractive by the fact that somewhere 'twixt town and home, I lost my wallet.

The phrase "Yikes!", or a stronger variation thereon, may well have escaped from my mouth at that point - Suffice is to say that my brother and his fiance took one look at me, assessed my soon-to-be-foul mood and abruptly made their excuses, leaving my house so quickly that I half-expected to see Paul and Jo-shaped holes in the wall, "Tom and Jerry"-style.

Being present of mind, I swiftly cancelled my bank cards, video store memberships and anything else of value that might have been of use to Johnny Pickpocket or Jenny Cardfraudster, but this otherwise run-of-the-mill loss had an rather pronounced and instantaneously urgent effect on me - I can't remember the last time that I beat myself up quite so comprehensively and felt victim of such self-loathing. Essentially, I felt really stupid and pissed-off about my carelessness.

Imagine, then, my surprise when I happened along to the local Police station the next day, on my day off, to report the loss and found that the wallet had been found, intact, in the suburb of Scalby, a fair distance from where I live and where I haven't set foot for at least seven or eight years.

How it got there, I have no clue, but it does restore your faith in humanity to find that the money inside had not been touched and that other sentimental touchstones contained therein were happily present and correct.

Scalby? Beats me, mate...

You may have noticed that all kinds of strange and terrible things have been happening in the big, wide world of late - It's getting kind of messed-up when our Stateside cousins can't even pop out to their equivalent of B & Q without having some random sniper wiping them off the face of the earth. It's kind of like that absurd moment in Steve Martin's "The Jerk", only terribly, horrifyingly real.

And as for the bombing in Bali - words fail me. It would appear, sadly, that there is no safe haven on this planet anymore.

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