The case of the boomerang bag
Whenever I lose something, it always comes back to me – kind of like a boomerang.Like this one time I was in Switzerland on assignment for a ski magazine when I realized I had left my passport and wallet on the bus. We had just arrived in Murren, a tiny cliff-top village that can only be reached from the train station in Interlaken via bus and two trams. I was traveling with these super-chill pro skier dudes from Lake Tahoe with funky facial hair and chain wallets and wrap-around sunglasses and shaved heads who smoked pot 24/7, and they still totally freaked out.”Oh my god, we’re going to have to go to the consulate in Zurich! What are you going to do? How do you plan to get back into the U.S.?” they asked, slightly hysterical. “Don’t worry about it. It’s a boomerang. It will come back to me,” I said with a shrug.So I was not the least bit surprised when the concierge at our hotel knocked on our door a few hours later to let us know the bus driver had found my stuff (including my trusty itinerary so he knew where we were staying) and was sending it up on the tram.For the rest of the trip, the boys were all over me, making sure my jacket pockets were zipped and nothing was falling out of my backpack. They kept the important items out of my reach, like lift tickets and car rental keys, fastening the ski pass to my jacket each day like I was 8 years old. Even though it was a little overkill, I loved all the attention. Whenever someone misplaced something, they’d turn my name into a verb, as in, “Dude, did you Berkley the remote control?” They just couldn’t get over themselves.I have to admit, my faith in Boomerangology started to slip when my pink leather bag was stolen from the back of my old Jeep Cherokee in Steamboat over the Thanksgiving holiday. I think I already told you that story, but here’s the abridged version in case you missed it the first time:I decided to stop at the gym on the way home from working on my book at the cafe; all the livelong day. OK, so I left my $400 designer bag with wallet and new laptop computer with book on the hard drive in an unlocked car. But I am a sheltered little biatch from Connecticut who was under the impression that having faith in my fellow mountain town humans was a good thing.I got back in the car and immediately sensed the bag was gone, my hand wildly feeling around the back seat while I was driving down Highway 40 toward my parents’ place. I knew I probably hadn’t “misplaced” the bag within the confines of a crusty old automobile. I pulled over and crawled around the back in a panic, screaming “No! No! No!” at the top of my lungs. I put on quite the performance. I collapsed on my knees and pressed my face into the dirty, dusty old interior, dog hair creeping up into my nostrils. I figured if my computer was really gone and this book thing didn’t work out, maybe I should try my hand at acting. I was pretty damn good.I threw the biggest temper tantrum known to man and made sure everyone in Routt County heard about my malaise by writing the most obnoxious possible letter to the editor of the local paper to ensure that all the attention would be focused on me, me, me.Low and behold, it worked. I managed to offend and piss off so many Steamboatians with my little “I can’t wait to get back to Aspen” remark that this columnist chick wrote a whole thing about me and all the trouble I got in last year with the Skico and what a horrible writer I am and how theft actually is a big problem in Steamboat. Whatever! I was just trying to let everyone know that my stuff got stolen so they would be more careful, so maybe it wouldn’t happen to them, too. See, I really can be nice if I want to be.So I’m driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway through Laguna Beach last Wednesday morning when I get this call on my cell from the postmaster in Steamboat. He goes, “You won’t believe what I found this morning – your pink bag.”He said there could only be one pink bag in the world and he figured it had to be mine. “I read all about you in the papers,” he said. He found it while he was digging snow out behind the post office and discovered it buried deep in a snowbank. “It’s frozen solid but looks to be in pretty good shape.”So he sent it over to the police as evidence (where I’m sure they were very excited to have something to do that actually involved real police work). They told me they wanted to hold on to it for a few days so they could thaw it out and see if they could get any fingerprints off it. (Ooo! The plot thickens!)Guess what. The computer still works (Macintosh rules), the bag is salvageable, the ugly wallet my mom gave me for my birthday is still intact (Damnit!) and all my credit cards and I.D. are still in there (thank God because my new driver’s license picture really sucks).See, that old saying really is true: If you love something, set it free. But if you just happened to misplace it, don’t stress because it will turn up under a snowbank behind the post office in a couple months. No worries!The Princess has a really bad cold and is sitting under a pile of tissues acting like a big baby. Send your get well e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Columnist Paul Andersen continues to hope that the moral arc of the universe trends toward justice.