So this happened (For simplicity sake, conversations in French are noted with italics):
I started my day with my post-Malcolm drop-off walk in the park. Last week, I saw Mary Joe Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe in the park, as the French Open is going on right now. Today, I only saw a cute old beagle. Or, maybe it was one of the German mixed doubles players. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
Anyways, my walk was pretty aggressive. I stopped often to do pushups, squats, danced a little to the Beasties, and got several minutes of planking in. I was very sweaty and tired at the end, and the resulting mental fatigue was probably why I tried to make out with the beagle on my way out of the park.
My day continued with a trip to the golf store. We are going to Norway this weekend and, you know, no sane person goes to Norway without bringing their golf clubs, right? At the golf store, this conversation took place:
Golf man: Where are you going to play golf?
GM: Where are you, err, Where are you going to go play golf?
P: Oh. Norway.
GM: Unintelligible negative sentiment.
Luckily, they had golf club travel carriers in stock and soon on I was on my merry way home. The man asked if I wanted a bag, but being only a few blocks from our house, I declined.
As I approached our street, I felt like there was something wrong, like the feeling you get on a blind date when the person across the table asks if you enjoy having tea parties with cats. I quickly searched my pockets and discovered that my phone was missing. Evidently, awkwardly carrying the golf travel carriers (without a bag) had dislodged my phone out of my pocket, leaving me with absolutely no ability to play scrabble or stalk my friends on Facebook. What a disaster!
I briefly retraced my last few minutes, and seeing no evidence of my phone, did what any self respecting, sweaty Parisian would do, I went home, showered and put on pants. My next few moves were going to depend on the kindness of strangers, and navigating the complex world of cell phone cancellation while sweaty and dressed in workout gear wasn’t going to get me any favors. So, while someone was possibly out there running up my cellular bill, I bathed and put on some respectable clothes.
With a fresh wardrobe and outlook on life, I headed to the cell phone company store to suspend my account. The first person I spoke with had excellent command of the English language and I was easily able to explain what I needed to do. However, they soon handed me off to a second person who was less able. A portion of the conversation went as follows:
P#2- Did you lose your phone yesterday?
P#2: What time?
Me: 30 minutes ago.
P#2:Wait, did you lose it yesterday or today?
Me: Who? (My French “question” words suck, as you can tell)
P#2: (confused) Did you lose your phone today?
Me: Whoops. Yes, today.
P#2: Unintelligible negative sentiment.
I left the phone store, safe in the knowledge that I had either suspended my account or just purchased a new phone and extended my plan for 5 years.
On my way to the police station to fill out some paperwork about the phone, I stopped at the golf store to check to see whether the phone may have popped out before leaving. This conversation ensued:
Me: Hello there, I lost my motorcycle. (I have replayed this conversation in my head many, many times and for the life of me I cannot understand why the word for motorcycle came out of my mouth at this time.)
GM: Unintelligible negative sentiment.
Me: I lost my cell phone while out running errands. Did you find one here?
GM: A what?
Me: MY CELL PHONE.
At this point the man put a pretend phone to his ear and pantomimed making a call.
Me: Yes, yes A CELL PHONE.
GM: (Blank stare.)
Me: Is it possible that I left it here, did you find MY CELL PHONE.
The man then pantomimed making a call again, and I realized he was asking whether I had tried calling my phone.
Me: Oh, I haven’t tried calling it. I guess I should try that.
The exceedingly nice golf man then handed me their store phone to make the call. He is quite nice to not just be done with me, and I began to appreciate his generosity. I called my number, and, lo and behold, a woman answered it. I was elated for exactly one second before becoming irritated that the cellular company hadn’t shut it down yet. This mental distraction was the reason the following conversation took place on the phone:
Nice Woman Who Found My Phone: I found your phone in the street!
Me: Good morning madam, I lost my phone. My name is Paul Schwartz! (It was 1 pm.)
NWWFMP: I found your phone, and I don’t [untranslatable words in French].
Me: Uh, do you speak English?
NWWFMP: A moment.
Nice Woman Who Found My Phone’s Friend: Hello, we found your phone in the street.
Me: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I then made arrangements to pick up the phone and did so. Luckily for me, the NWWFMP found my phone near the gutter in the street, evidently after I had dislodged it while walking back to our apartment. I found all this out because her friend was from San Diego and could give me a full account. Boy, am I lucky! I then proceeded back to the cellular store and the golf store to show everyone I had retrieved my phone. I felt like I was a total winner and not a complete loser who had just lost a cell phone by causing it to fall out of his own pocket. Now I can play Scrabble again, but not without some serious pain inflicted.
After experiences like this, I like to do a little mental inventory and take down some lessons learned. Here is what I learned:
1. Don’t try and make out with anything at the park.
2. If the man at the golf store asks if you want a bag, say, “Yes!”
3. Learn the correct French word for cell phone.
Perhaps you already knew these things. I didn’t. Now, I do.
Malcolm wasn’t there for any of this, but if he was, he would have looked at me like this: