what's up?

pay it forward

1936 buick

stunning buick from the oldies san fernando show. had to wait a bit for the owner and his friends to move out of the way. i took the opportunity to hang out in the shade across the street, and to shoot a few of the dodges that were over there.

they finally finished polishing the car, and moved back enough that i could get a quick set of shots.

i might have told this one before, but its relevant today. a long and possibly boring and overly detailed story, that no one will care about, but it gives me something to write, which i haven't had much time to do lately.

besides, it will give my buddy jimbo39, something to read with his morning coffee.

couple of years ago, better half and i were in washington dc for our anniversary. 

this was back when the iphone 6 plus had just come out, and my better half had just purchased one before our trip. damn thing is so big, but he has big hands... [and big feet...he'd say sometimes big feet just mean big feet...]

one day on vacation, we had rented a car to get out of dodge, and head out to one of the caverns i'd visited as a kid growing up there. we realized we didn't have a car charger for the thing, and we were using it to navigate us there. so we stopped out in the middle of east jesus nowhere at some cell phone carrier's store, to get one. the phones were so new, that the hickified sales people had never seen a live one yet; they were expecting a couple in a shipment that day. they all gathered round and asked if they could hold it. golllll-eeee, jim bob.

they ain't my kin; i was a navy brat, so we just lived there for a few years, but my better half likes to say i'm related to everyone in virginia and west virginia.

anyway, they happened to have a charger that fit the phone, and he got his phone back and we headed on down the road.

during our trip, we had remained stubbornly on cali time.

end of the week, late in the afternoon the day before we were to catch a plane home, we were having a late lunch in the air & space museum on the mall, at mickey d's [a little vomit in my mouth]. that's what you have to choose from inside that particular museum, so we just went with it.

we hung out enjoying the air conditioning for about an hour. then realizing the museums would only be open for maybe another hour, so we headed over to the natural history museum.

if you've never been to dc and/or on the mall there, you don't really have a feel for how far it is to trot across the field and over several city blocks. add on top of that, the sections that are closed off for field renewal or other construction, and you're sort of running a maze. then run a gauntlet of school children on a field trip, sitting in large groups on the stairs leading up to the entry doors, waiting on their busses to take them back to the school, only to have to wait in line to get through security and metal detectors at every museum anymore.

all this took a bit of time. but then you get in, and everything slows down. things are changed from when i was a kid, but the elephant is still there in the rotunda. they've cleaned him up, and moved his tiger buddy to another room. and the worse thing is, they somehow removed that taxidermy smell that used to overpower the room, the one that would take me back to being that little kid on my own school field trip, or a weekend with my parents and sibs at the museums. sucks.

anyway, we were looking for a particular piece of furniture that has been there forever. if you go to the second floor in the bones wing, you will see a round, fiberglass nineteen-sixties vintage sitting pod, that sort of looks like a space ship. you can see it in a little virtual tour from the museum's website, if you take a little look around on the second floor, in the blue section of the map, bones: 3, you'll see what i'm talking about.

the reason is, when my brother and i were little little kids, we used to climb on this thing, though i think it was a bright orange back then. it used to be a little further down the hall, below a domed ceiling. the thing about it was the sheer perfection of the acoustics. if you've never experienced the concavity of an old fiberglass seat, you should, especially if you need to slice one off. my little brother's favorite thing to do used to be to sit in one of the shallows and fart. BANG! it reverberated. it embarassed our mother. it was perfection.

so anytime one of us are in dc, we have to go check to see if its still there, knowing one of these years they will pull it and replace it with some less durable piece of crap seating. i always take a picture and send it to my bro. 

this time, my better half suggested we each take a seat and take a selfie to send to him. leaning over to be in the frame, i hear a FRAP! holy shit, my better half let one rip—he was trying to help me get the full experience or something. but ewww, and omg so funny.

getting on with the original point of this bit of history, i wanted to take a quick stop down the end of that hall, to check out the mummies. i stopped to ask my better half how much time do we have left before the museum closes?

he went to check his phone for the time, and, well, his phone was gone. his brand new phone. lost in dc. a city full of tourists. and the ipad was back in the hotel room, so he couldn't just do a find my phone and hope at that point. and we were leaving the next day, not really any time to come back to inquire at lost and found desks anywhere, or to meet up with some stranger, if we did happen to locate them on the app.

i did have my old iphone five on me at the time, but i had to dig it out of my jacket or purse, or wherever. it had just been easier to ask him for the time, since his phone hangs off his belt all the time. it was about twenty minutes to closing.

after a quick, panicked melt down, we retraced our steps, through this museum, back to the farting chair. not there. we stopped at the lost and found room. no phones turned in there either.

remembering the last time he had it in his hand, was at the air & space museum, we decided we'd try to make it back in time. practically running through the mall maze, while i attempted to call his number, in hopes that someone would answer the phone, we moved at a suprisingly quick pace, even for me.

someone even answered, but said nothing, then hung up. shit. where could they be? i sent a few text messages hoping they would respond or call back somehow.

we got to the other museum entrance with minutes to spare. first we checked in at lost and found, in case someone had turned in a lost phone. nope. we headed back to the mickey d, where they had already shut the doors, and security was trying to get the patrons already inside to finish their meals and get out. we explained the situation, and talked our way in, figuring we'd just check the table where we'd sat for lunch.

sadly, it was not at the table or under it or anywhere. so so bummed.

on our way back out, we passed an employee, and asked if they'd found a phone. she was a little dicey, could practically imagine the little halo over her head, but she said no, she hadn't found a phone. she noticed her manager not far away, so we asked him. he was on his way out, but hadn't known about one being turned in. he left.

then the original employee, called over to another employee, an older lady, and said something to her in spanish. she came over and pulled the phone out of her uniform pocket.

better half was so relieved to get his phone back, he offered the lady a hundred bucks. she declined to take it several times, but he finally convinced her to use it to buy something for her grandchildren. she finally took it, and we left, tired after the adrenaline fueled hike over to this museum, and incredibly finding the phone.

fast forward to yesterday. i'm leaving work, heading to my mom's house for the night. exiting the parking garage, and in the turnabout outside, i swear i'd just passed over a cell phone on the ground. checking the rearview mirror, i quickly pulled to the curb, and got out to investigate.

figured i'd grab it before a car actually ran it over and crushed it.

yes, turned out to be an iphone six plus, just like my better half's. but in some sort of protective waterproof exoskeleton of a case. i'm sort of blocking the exit, so i throw it in my car and take off.

at my mom's i'm trying to figure out what to do with it. obviously, its locked, and it isn't going to recogize my fingerprint. i notice that there had been a missed call about an hour earlier. fortunately, the phone lets you swipe to call it back from a locked screen, so i give it a shot. 

second ring, some guy answers. sounding like an idiot, i explain that i'd found this phone, and was trying to find the owner, that i noticed he'd called, and hoped that he knew the owner, hoping he wasn't just some random telemarketer.

he did know the guy, though he wouldn't give the name or the number. said he's also lost a phone...

sorry, i only found this one phone, could he please contact the owner somehow, and tell him to call back on his cell.

later, after not getting any call back, i realized the thing was on silence, and i'd missed a few different calls and text messages. none, i think from the owner, just his friends, wondering why he hadn't called or what up? i would literally have to be looking at it to notice it had lit up and was "ringing." and since i was doing other stuff, i hadn't "heard" it.

it was low on battery, so i had to figure out how to open the charger port on this fort knox of a box, to get it some juice.

i figured i'll find out more about it in the morning and got ready for bed. then the thing rang with an obnoxious ring tone, very loudly. the owner had triggered the find my phone, and sent a message saying his name was bryan, and giving a phone number, which the phone offered to dial. so i finally got to speak to him. he offered to come get it right then, he's in santa ana, he'd meet me anywhere. he did describe where he had been, which did place him at my office building, so it was the owner. i'm betting he put it on the roof of his car and drove off forgetting about it, hence it hitting the ground on accelerating out of the parking garage.

told him, i'm ready to go to sleep, could he meet me at my office in the morning? he said he'd call back after i'm in the office at seven.

today, at almost eleven, when i go to lunch, i still hadn't heard from him. so i hit the call back button, that still was showing on his screen. he finally answers, and apologizes. not clear on if he had a contractor in his house, or if he was a contractor on a job in a house, but he hadn't been able to let me know yet.

he offered to meet me when i go to lunch. told him i was on my way out right then. settled on him meeting me in an hour, when i got back.

so, an hour later, he found me sitting on the wall, nearby where he originally dropped it. he totally wanted to give me a reward, write a check or something. sad to think he felt he had to compensate me in some way. maybe people expect to be rewarded. it's his phone, i was just doing the right thing, giving it back to him, as i'd hope someone would do the same for me, if i ever lose something.

he was insisting, but i told him i'd lost a phone before, and someone gave it back; i'm just paying it forward. he said thanks again, very happy to have his phone back, and i headed back in to ride the elevator back up to my desk.

the end.