Les Vulnerables

Last weekend, few of us friends were planning to meet at a restaurant in Detroit some 100 miles away from our home town Lansing. On our way, we stopped at a friend’s place to say “hello”.

We always communicated well with each other. In fact our communication was so good, that Nortel Networks was planning to do a case study on our talking habits to design their next Mobility Networking Solution. None of us ever felt the need to ask what, where, and when our dinner was going to be.

The drive was smooth, and about 10 minutes from the anticipated destination, I perform the usual landing procedures of checking my hair, the hat’s tilt, the sunglasses, the lipstick overload on my wife’s teeth, the breath-mints, the wallet-pat to the back and….and…and the feel-the-cell-phone-bulge.

The Personal Landing System (PLS) did not match with the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI). Cell Phone missing! Cell Phone missing! Cell Phone missing! Whooooappp! Whooooappp! Whooooappp! May Day! May Day! May Day!

Experienced and certified to land on these conditions, I say, “My controls” and take a grip of the wheel. I can feel the sweat squishing on the leather clad steering. I don’t know where to go.
I say, “Relax…let’s call someone”. I figured that I really don’t know anyone’s number. I used to call everyone using the voice activated call feature and I don’t know even a single digit of anyone’s number.

I was sure the phone should have dropped at our “hello” stop and I could faintly remember my phone number. I pull into a motel to make a call from a public pay phone. Though I write User Manuals for a living, I don’t read the instructions to make a phone call engraved on the metal plate of the pay phone. I drop the two quarters that I managed find in my car and dialed my phone number. A very nice lady picked up the phone and said, “Humphrey’s Residence”, but the only problem was that I am not a Humphrey. I did not dial the Area Code. I lost my my two quarters and no one would give me change.

I drove to a gas station, nearby. I could not find one. I was already getting lost. I am driving fast. I am yelling at my son who is saying “Are we there yet?” My wife’s clothes seem to be gaudy. Every driver on the road seems to be a moron. Detroit seems to be cluttered. Speed limit boards seem to be very wrong. Steam seems to come out of my ears. Everyone seems to be scheming against me.

Now the worries begin about the lost phone. What if someone picks the phone?

  • Oh my God! The text messages from that girl.
  • Oh! The last dialed calls to that woman!
  • Will everyone know who Sally is?
  • Will there be crank calls to my wife?
  • Damn it….why did I have to save my Credit Card number as “CCard”?
  • Ah ha! The photos of the Bachelor party. Huh! Why did I have to take the seat on the stage next to the pole?
  • Nooo! I lost a bunch of passwords.
  • All hope lost on humanity: It’s a GSM phone and no one who finds it is going to return it. They will switch to a new SIM card.

My friends who were expecting to meet me figure out that I lost my cell phone. They also know that I don’t know anyone’s numbers. They also know what the alternative place I would have chosen. They call that restaurant. The bartender can only give a message. I let my natural GPS kick in. I reach the restaurant they are in. I let a sigh of relief. Everything was fine again. It is just that I lost my cell phone.

The next day morning, we receive a call on the home phone. “Hello, this is my name is Harold. I found a phone at this Seven-Eleven parking lot. Is this yours?”

Faith in humanity retained.

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4 Responses to “Les Vulnerables”

  1. K-IntheHouse June 24, 2007 at 12:44 pm #

    Pedro,

    I was part of the whole thing last weekend and no one else could have said it better!

    Faith in humanity retained, indeed!

  2. Pedro June 25, 2007 at 1:50 pm #

    It’s all in the gang

  3. Kyle Eslick June 26, 2007 at 7:27 pm #

    Glad to see it worked out. :)

    You live near Detroit? Are you fellow Wolverines-4-Life?!?

    Go Maize N Blue!

  4. Pedro June 26, 2007 at 8:34 pm #

    Hey Kyle…I used to have 1/2 a dozen tees and couple of hats.

    I have a special respect for the school for a variety of reasons.

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