It is the end of another month and thus time for another installment of the Ohmygod saga (the prvious installments: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four). As you will recall, I used to be a cycling tour guide in Europe for several years. Through that job (yes, it is a bit difficult to call it a ‘job’) I met countless interesting people and have a few compelling stories to tell, but most of them pale to the story of Ohmygod, one of the clients that I had for two weeks. Some may wonder about the moniker, but the name chose itself really; it is what I uttered repeatedly during just about every interaction with him.
In the last episode, shortly after beginning our trip down in the Loire Valley, Ohmygod informed me that he had been robbed–someone had stolen his wallet.
I hustle upstairs to my room, call the office in Paris, take copious notes, get a plan of attack. Go downstairs to lay it all out for him. First, I assess the situation:
“When did you last see it?”, I ask.
Normally, if this were absolutely anyone else on the planet, I would have made a snide remark. Since I was dealing with perhaps the most literal thinker I have ever encountered (remember I was a high school teacher and basketball coach), I resisted the urge with just about every fiber in my being (as many of you know, I am a bit of a smart ass and therefore this was much more than an elementary exercise).
“Last night at that bar, somebody must have pick-pocketed me.”
“But you were wearing your cycling clothes…. Wait a minute, you took your passport to the bar? Are you completely ins–” He cut me off.
“Oh, I still have my passport–I hid it here in the room.”
“So wait, you said all your identification was stolen. What is exactly missing?”
“My social security card, my birth certificate, and my driver’s license. Actually, it is only half of a driver’s license.”
I was more then taken aback by this statement. Myriad thoughts and wisecracks raced through my head. At the same time, I thought that if it were just about anyone else in front of me, I would have felt the need to make a quick response to help assuage the angst of having been robbed. Clearly, this was a different situation altogether and I had a bit of time since I knew that whatever I said next I would have to repeat at least four times. Even then, there was no guarantee that any of my words would be absorbed, much less acted upon.
So I took a bit more time to assess, asking a few more questions.
What did he lose? His social security card, his birth certificate, and half of his drivers license (I do not know why on earth he brought his social security card, his birth certificate or half of a drivers license, nor was I going to ask, some things in life you must simply let pass). It also turns out he did not lose all of his money. For some reason he does not consider travelers checks money–he still had those. In fact, he only lost about 12€ (the cost of about two beers at the bar the night before). I let that pass as well. He was clearly distraught and I now realized that the only thing worse than Ohmygod in need of a beer was a freshly victimized Ohmygod.
He wanted to “call the cops” he had to “call the cops’. Every utterance was either preceded or followed by “call the cops”. After the fifth “call the cops” It became abundantly clear that for Ohmygod it was vitally important that he get his documents returned. He underscored this revelation by stating I needed to “call the cops” at least eleven more times. Finally, realizing that my week was about to spiral out of control, I felt compelled to get some clarity. I asked why he brought all that crap with him to France in the first place.
He replied simply and somewhat matter-of-factly: “in case I lost my passport.”
How do I respond to that? Given the chain of events, it was probably the only logical thing I witnessed him say or do up until that point.
For the rest of the installment, click HERE (or go up to the menu bar and drag down to ‘Ohmygod–Call The Cops! (Part B).