Lost Cell Phone in New York

The holiday season in New York is renowned for its romance and charm – but also for its mobs of tourists, pick pockets and general fend-for-yourself attitudes.

So after paying the bill at an establishment not far from Central Park, I fumbled through my bag to check for my cell phone…, and lo, it was gone!

Minutes passed in a frantic re-searching of every bag, parcel, pocket or orifice of any kind.

Desperate, I dug out each receipt I had collected that day and called from my companion’s phone, leaving a contact number in case it turned up.  No one seemed to think it would.

Back at the apartment, I collapsed into the sofa and called my boyfriend in Germany.  My life was over, I moaned. I would never be able to reconstruct my phonebook. After a good whine, I began to resign myself to the fact that the phone was gone. Anyway, my boyfriend was right, it was ugly.

BRRRING! BRRING! I solemnly lifted the receiver.

“You love me right?” My boyfriend’s voice sounded much too excited for 3 a.m.

“Of course I love you, and I’m sorry for waking you up…”

“No, no! Some guy with a really strong accent found your phone.”

I couldn’t believe it! As I dialed, I thought about the odds, in a city of eight million people, that the one to find my phone would bother to track me down.


“Hi, I hear you found my phone.”

“Ah, your nice boyfriend in Germany.”

“Yes, he is fabulous, isn’t he?” I was hyperventilating.

“I at 5th avenue and 56th, but gone in 20 minutes. You be here?

“Uh, yeah, sure,” I said, grabbing my bag. “Thanks so much!” But he had already hung up.

Cabs are impossible to find when you’re really in a hurry. Finally one stopped and catching the spirit, sweetly honked the rest of New York into a frenzy, as we weaved between the taxis and limos to the corner of 56th and 5th. I tipped irresponsibly and scanned the four corners of the intersection.

The streets were packed with people, all on cell phones. Now what? Then, the one I had borrowed rang.

“Look at da hot-dogs.” It was My Man.

I turned. Before me stood a very fat, very jolly, chuckling young man holding what for me now felt like the Holy Grail. I ran up to the man and threw my arms around him.

As he handed over the phone, he said, “It was on da street, jus like dat. Good ting I was here.”

“Thank you so much, again, you saved my Christmas, and probably my career!  Can I buy you a beer or, I dunno, give you, ten bucks?”  He straightened up to his full height.

“No, no. Tank you lady, bot I’m African. I take no gift. Goodness gives and goodness receives.”

I smiled. And thanked him again. Then as I was about to say goodbye, the hot-dog guy, who had been watching us, piped up.

“What’d he do, save your life?”

“Well, kind of,” I said. “He found my cell phone and returned it to me.”

“Well, if that ain’t heaven sent! C’mere man, you get a frank for free.”

Unpredictable as ever, I do love New York!

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