Friday, October 06, 2006

The Defective Detective.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the car. The one thing about L.A. that you can count on is that if you really, REALLY need to get somewhere fast, you will be hampered at every turn on every boulevard. Dr. Tony was pleased that I had been faithfully keeping my exercise regimen going. I told him, "I ran 3.5 miles yesterday!"

I knew this because my friend Randy told me about the Google Map Pedometer. You can use it to mark your running route and it calculates how far you've run using a map. It's fantastic! You just zoom in click on your starting point and keep clicking on your turns, etc. and then back to where you started.

Dr. Tony was running late, as usual, so I barely had time to grab lunch -- "Hey, I'll take the Pad-See-Ew with chicken and the check at the same time!" -- which I wolfed down, and make it to Dr. Ruchi. I made it with minutes to spare. I had to inform her that I had declined to start on a new drug she wanted me to take on our last visit which was going to help with the triglycerides. (Sometimes I just don't want a new drug). Instead, I told him that I was going to buckle down and work on my "lifestyle change" to make it happen.

I proudly told her that, even on the road, I kept to my regimen. In Norwich, the hotel had a complimentary gym membership, so I was going to the gym every morning. And I was doing well with my diet -- only one pizza night.

So, this week or next I'll go in for a new blood test for triglycerides to see how well I'm doing. (It needs to be done after fasting all night).

By the time I got back over the hill, I had just enough time to get to the grocery store to get cat litter, then run by the bank to... Oh, I forgot to tell you.

I saw Chuck two mornings ago on my birthday. I was just making it back to my apartment complex after a long run when I saw him on the street with his shopping cart. He was wearing a hooded sweater.

"Hey, thunder thighs!" He said with a laugh. "I've been thinking about you! In fact I've been writing a song about you in my head. I'll sing it to you when it's finished."

I told him, "Hey! It's my birthday today and I have something for you."

I ran up to retrieve a huge bag of cans and plastic bottles. Then I thrust a bill in his hands and said, "Happy birthday to me."

He stopped me, "Oh, you don't have to do that." He always hesitates if I give him money. He might be homeless, but he "works" long hours picking up cans and bottles and he's very proud that he manages to feed himself this way.

"Hey," I said. "It's my birthday. I can do anything I want."

He took the money, thanked me and said it made his whole day. Then he said, "Hey, I've got something for you!" He reached under his cart and brought out a PDA, A Sony Clie. "I found this on the street. Cool, huh? It's for you!"

I hesitated. I knew he could get money for it at the hock shop.

"Naw. They wouldn't give me five bucks for this. There's no power cord. Take it. I want you to have it. Go on." He pulled out the sylus and showed me how it worked.

He said, "They backlight doesn't work, though. I dropped it."

He would not take no for an answer, and I didn't want to make him feel bad, so I took it. He was so proud that he could give me something for my birthday. I took it upstairs and noticed that there were a lot of names and numbers on it, so I thought I'd try to track down the owner and give it back.

But there was nothing that said, "Home" in the addressbook. I did notice that a lot of the listings were movie studios, location facilities, other stuff. Hmm, I thought. This guy or gal is in the movie business. Looks like he might be a location scout. I looked through a lot of the personal numbers and thought I could call them and ask if they have a friend who recently lost a PDA...

(I felt like a detective!)

Then I saw there was a entry for a bank. Next to it was an icon that indicated a "note." So, I pressed on the note and saw, "Account number..." And there was an account number listed. So, as I was sitting in Dr. Tony's office earlier yesterday morning, I called the number, told them I had this PDA with an account number and could I coordinate with them to return the PDA to its owner.

The bank person looked up the account number, saw that the owner lived in my neighborhood and gave me a phone number. She invited me to drop the PDA off at the bank, thanking me for being an honest person. So, I called the number but it was "no longer in service."

Okay, fast forward. I've done my doctor visits. I've run my errands. I've hit the grocery store and now it's 4:45. I'm circling this bank looking for a parking spot before they close, but it's crowded. Find one on the next block, halfway in the red zone and totally blocked in a Chrysler by backing up to his bumper, ran into the bank (which had this massive security door entry), found an officer of the bank, told them my story and delivered the PDA, made it to the drug store to get ear wax medication, cotton balls and an "ear irrigation bulb," and, finally, home.

Whew!
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For my birthday, also St. Francis of Assisi Day,

here is "Rescue" the song I sang to Erika Amato 's Buddy the dog. Imagine if we loved humans as much as we love our animals...