Dec 14, 2010

Losing It

I got a call earlier this evening from a nice man named Wayne at QPAC, informing me that he had my wallet. I was most surprised, as I was unaware that it had left my possession.

I'd been at the Concert Hall today to watch The Wah roll off the QUT production line as a freshly-minted graduate (a very proud moment; although we stopped short of greeting his debut into Bachelorhood with a vuvuzela blast, which was the triumphant sound that welcomed one of his fellows).

In all the excitement I must have left my wallet somewhere, and had no idea it was missing until Wayne gave me a buzz. He said it had been handed in, and he had tracked me down through the White Pages. I arranged to drop by tomorrow to pick it up, marvelling at the kindness of strangers that still exists in the world.

It was a much more pleasant experience than the last time I lost my wallet, at Hong Kong airport back in September. I'd just purchased a beautiful Swatch watch (I'm slightly addicted to Swatch watches), but left my wallet on the counter. I only realised after I cleared Customs, meaning I couldn't just pop back to get it. I went to about three different frustrating helpdesks before finding someone who would actually help. The kind staff used their own iPhone to find the number of the Swatch shop, and call them. One of them then crossed back through to get the darn thing. I was incredibly relieved.

By the way, that story proves the value of gluttony. I only realised the wallet was gone when I was queuing up for a Starbucks. Had I not had a craving for a chocolate cream frappucino, I would have boarded that flight sans money, credit cards everything.

Anyway, my father would tell you I'm a shocker for losing things, particularly wallets. It's true, I've lost my fair share. I remember the first one I lost was at Hawaii airport, just as we were beginning a two-month family trip in 1991. It wasn't much, but $24 in greenbacks is a lot to a 10-year-old.

The most spectacular wallet loss was probably in 1999, when I was leaving work at Coles to drive to a rehearsal at Redcliffe. I'd bought a few supplies and left the wallet on the roof of the car before driving off. I had wondered at the time why a car behind me was honking its horn so violently. A couple of weeks later all my cards arrived in the post, in an envelope with no return address. So I was never able to track that person down to say thank you, or to ask what had happened with to the $40 cash I had in the wallet at the time.

The other thing I've lost recently - along with my dignity, my patience and Paradise - is my beautiful Zoom Q3 audio/video recorder. Damn I loved that thing. It was sitting in its blue pouch on the kitchen bench one day, then bam! Gone. I've checked everywhere - the house, the car, work, my desk at parliament - and nothing.

Though not particularly Catholic anymore, my mother still swears by the sniffer dog abilities of St Anthony, the patron saint of recovering lost things. But St Anthony must be aware of the copy of The God Delusion on my bookshelf because he hasn't come up with the goods on that one.

"Somebody tell Spielberg I'm all over it."

I'm sure I can't be the only one. What have you lost?


  1. I'm not as good at loosing things as you but my boyfriend is. He's always asking where his keys, wallet and cell phone are. And usually I know or at least I'm able to find those things in a moment.

    I did enjoy reading your post, it was funny and sad at the same time :) I particularly liked the fact that someone send you your cards and that there are still nice people out there (40$ is probably a "reward" for kindness?).

    Since I'm a new follower I would like to invite you to check out my blog and become a follower. Do leave a comment, I appreciate constructive criticism:

  2. I guess I'm the first, and a New Reader/Follower at that.

    I dont usually keep track of what I lose unless its an interesting story. But One time I lost a book, I looked everywhere for it for 3 days and couldnt find it. Then a friend came over and asked what I was doing cause i was still looking, i said i was looking for my book and explained how long it was lost. My friend pointed to the table near the couch and it was sitting there, and it had to have been there the whole time because nobody else had been there.

  3. I'm always losing my wallets too! I lost one last Tuesday >_> Highly annoying.

  4. I'm losing stuff all the time too! Especially my keys!

    I'm a new follower-like your blog! I have family in Brisbane-nice to know another Australian citizen!

  5. i've gotten waaay better compared to a few years back. I used to lose my stuff A LOT but now I'm far more careful. But I do have a horrible habit of leaving stuff behind. =S Does that count as loosing stuff? Hehe.

  6. I am glad your wallet is on the way back to you!

    I seem to have lost my innocence.... LOL

  7. Omiosh, I LOVE your posts - they are so hilarious! (In a nice way.)
    I liked the 'value of gluttony' bit in your Hong Kong palaver.

    I feel very happy you managed to get your current wallet back - people do surprising things! (And then the one time you hope someone nice will find it and return it, they don't...) And I've had SO many things which REALLY HAVE just vanished. Things I KNOW I haven't lost. I just erm... can't find them!

  8. I recently left my handbag in a trolley at the local shopping centre. Wallet, glasses, phone, camera... the lot!

    Luckily it was handed in, and I retrieved it the same afternoon.

    Lately I've found that most things I can't find can usually be located in The Brat's Granny Flat .... camera, tomato sauce, mail from 6 months ago... (seriously, just a few weeks ago there was a card from a neighbour, that she had put in the letterbox just after I was diagnosed, suddenly appeared on my ironing board, and given that I avoid the ironing board like the plague, it could have stayed lost for ANOTHER 6 months)!

    I'll check the flat for your Zoom Q3!

  9. I lost my dignity when I went through a phase of pulling down my pants and dancing when I was drunk in the nightclub... boy I will tell you, those group of people who I thought were my friends were not pleased....

  10. I'm not as good at losing things as I am at dropping them. If I own anything worth more than $5, it has encountered gravity...expensive electronics included. People wonder why I don't want to hold their babies, but I think if they saw me with my iPhone they'd understand why. Glad you got your wallet back!

  11. I'm constantly misplacing my mobile phone. I'll complain and my lovely wife will ask "Do you want me to ring it?". But that always seems like surrender. The hell with getting my prey to sing out. I'll find it myself.

    My wife thinks I'm mad but now whenever my keys or wallet have been misplaced I'll whinge that I can't find them and she'll ask me "Do you want me to ring it?"

    There will be laughter and joy but in the end I still won't know where the F#$@ing thing is.

  12. I wore my wallet on a chain like some kind of hipster/skater/dickhead for three years while I accustomed myself to having my wallet on my person at all times.

    My most embarrassing loss was when I managed to spend a month in New York with absolutely all my chattel intact and accounted for (to my triumphant cries of IN-YOUR-FACE to nay-saying housemates); only to leave my mobile phone in the back of the cab upon returning to Australia.

  13. Occasionally I do lose some things, but very rarely. The thing I have more trouble with is Vic from the Arts Theatre stealing stuff and not returning it for a week! *sigh* Ghosts ;)

    I did lose my lucky charm, once. It was such a retty blue stone - the most amazing blue. I was about 9 and we were on holidays. It was so sad, I was looking for hours.

  14. Haha I am now non-denominational Christian, but used to be Catholic, and sometimes I still think of my grandma always saying "ask Saint Anthony to help ya find it!" :P What do I always lose? Hmmmm I think I am gonna go with sanity, yes. School has that effect. Although I'm not sure even good ole' Saint Anthony can help with this one!

  15. I lose my things but find everyone's keys...

  16. Ive lost so many things in my life time, wallets, keys, phones, DVDs ... forgetting where I parked the car. The most spectacular was losing my poor sister. Our first night in New York we were keen to suss out the subway, I was confused, coloured letters in multiple combinations for different train lines. Anyway in a mad rush to get on the train, we shuffled among strangers to get on, at the last moment realizing it was the wrong one. My partner and I jumped off thinking my sister was behind us ... She didn't make it off ... turned around to see her shocked expression behind the glass as the train disappeared into a black tunnel! :)

  17. I'm a big cell phone giver. They've stolen too many cell phones from me, though it was my fault. I always leave them in a strategic 'stealable' position. That's why I never spend much money on them.

    In Spain it's not St Anthony but St Cucufato.
    There's a saying "St Cucufato St Cucufato your nuts I tie, If you don't give it back to me (what I lost) I don't untie them".

    Quite agressive, huh?

    I really like the way you write!


  18. My passport! Every year without fail, honestly it's a miracle I even manage to prove I'm a UK citizen. This particular occasion I discarded of the vital item two weeks before I am due to go on holiday to Amsterdam. Needless to say I found it in the last place I looked and most obvious - underneath the hamster cage, I put it somewhere safe (here's the kicker) because I didn't want to lose it!

  19. I am SO pleased I am not the only one who loses things!

    I've forgotten phones but never actually lost one... and I did accidentally leave my passport on a plane on the very first leg of our 2006 six-month trip.... but remembered very quickly and ran back on to grab it!

  20. I've lost money more than once before. Sometimes just $5 but then I think I've lost as much as $100 at one point. But once, my mom and I were in the drive through at the bank and we had just gotten a check from my grandmother for $200 and we were going to cash it. So we get up the line and we couldn't find the check. But at least 2 years later, while cleaning my car out, we found it and we really needed it for some bills. Sometimes you lose things so that you can recover them at the right time.

  21. I absolutely loved your story. It was very well written, so thank you for posting it.

    I misplace things all the time, it used to be most commonly forms that I was supposed to fill in and take back to school. My boyfriend had a spectacular moment last night- he'd gotten back from work late, and had just got undressed. Turning to me he said, "Babe, since you're still dressed, could you go out to the car and get my phone?". I looked down, and handed him it. It was right in front of him.

  22. I've lost a thing or two in my time, but glad I found this blog. Bet St. Anthony would get a kick out it too!

  23. I'm not a big loser (!) and generally manage to keep my belongings close. All that means, though, is that when I do lose something, the panic that ensues is of epic (and melodramatic) proportion!

    I'm a new follower - check out my blog and let me know what you think.

  24. You name it, I've lost it. Everything from camera's to sister's to chapstick. (Particularly chapstick.) I love the generosity of people though! There has been many a day I had to thank the random stranger for the return of many items. Thank god for those souls and label makers.

    I'm a new follower and look forward to hearing more from you! Check out my blog sometime if you find time.

  25. I am glad to talk with you and you give me great help! Thanks for that, I am wonderring if i can contact you via email when i meet problems?