Good Deeds Gone Almost Wrong


My wife found an iPhone on the street last month, near our house. She rang our neighbor’s doorbell to see if any of the guys had lost it; they had not. Then she went home, but as she was on the porch, she showed it to the woman next door, and it was hers; it must have fallen out of her pocket when her father dropped her off.

We’re always trying to do the right thing with lost items, in no small part because that’s what we would want someone to do for us. Once, a few years ago, I found a set of keys at a bus stop, lying on the top of a newspaper kiosk. Not knowing what else to do, I took them to the nearest CVS drug store – the person had one of those ExtraCare discount card. THEY could get his address and phone number.

Four or five years ago, I found a checkbook in on the sidewalk leaving the nearby Mobil station. I called the person – the phone number was on the checks – and asked the guy if he wanted me to mail the checks or did he wanted to pick them up. He said he would pick them up.

At the appointed hour, some guy comes on the porch, and I open the door to hand him the checkbook when I noticed a policeman standing off to my left. The cop wanted to talk with me. Almost instinctively, my wife grabs my daughter and comes to the doorway; she wants the officer to know that I’m a family guy. I explain to the officer the same thing that I told the loser the guy who lost the checkbook. Apparently, he was anticipating some sort of shakedown.

This really ticked me off. I COULD have mailed to him, as I told him. Subsequently, and I have found a wallet and a credit card since then, I drop off the item at the police station and let the cops sort it out.

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4 thoughts on “Good Deeds Gone Almost Wrong

  1. Roger, it’s getting harder and harder to simply do the right thing, but good for you for trying. I can’t believe that man called the police “just in case.” And if you were black with a hoodie, you’d probably have been shot. (I know, I know…)

    Smart idea to drop things off at the station. I remember the day when one could stop and offer help to folks stranded at the side of the road, or perform CPR and save a life without the person suing over a broken rib!

    Interesting post, Rog. Gonna troll some more… Peace, Amy

  2. Good lord. Does that actually happen? Shakedowns like that, I mean? I wouldn’t even think to consider that possibility if someone found something of mine.

  3. Roger, I seem to recall you told that checkbook story once before. I remember because I recall the thought I had with the first telling, that your spouse came to the door to show the cop that white people lived in the house. Sort of like a Keith Knight cartoon.

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