I shall try to mitigate my stupidity to some degree. Yes, I was laden with things to carry. Yes, I was on a strange bus route destined to an unfamiliar destination. Yes, I had spent hours doing one thing after another. But the upshot is, as I gathered my things together for the walk up the hill and watched the bus continue on its way, I realized my wallet was missing. Again. As it had the year before in the midst of the Festive times. At about the same time of day, eight in the evening. Slipped out of my pocket as I sat on the bus. Departed down the road.
This time there was no swift walk to a home and a phone and a quick-thinking friend who said "Jump in the car" and away we went to chase the bus. This time, laden as I was with a respectable hill to climb, it was fifteen minutes before I got to a phone. Then I had to search for a phonebook. Then get on a phone to get nothing but machines and automated voices with their automated messages. Finding Metro Bus on the internet did nothing to further my progress. Leave a message at 'Lost and Found'. Phone during regular business hours the next day. Don't drink too much wine (I ignored that instruction, but then it was mine to ignore).
Although I did not want to start the round of cancelling cards, I realized someone could do much with credit with a happy twenty-four hours to fill. So, I phoned the companies (no answering machines there) and - to give them credit - the chore was not too difficult. One even promised FedEx replacement in two days. I drank to that.
Next day I phoned Metro Transit within business hours, to find that it is still a recording at Lost and Found and that they will get back to me. So, it seemed there was to be no swift resolution and I would soon have to start cancelling Driver's License and other such cards. However, within the hour [this is a Christmas tale, after all] the phone rang and a man responded to my last night's phone message. The wallet was returned, seemingly intact (it had money and cards). I could get it at Metro Transit headquarters.
I'll pass on a description of trying to find bus fare with no wallet containing tickets and change. Eventually, after a forty minute bus ride (one transfer) one thirty minute walk, admittance behind locked doors, the cheerful man from the phone handed it back to me. I had my wallet - intact. I will even refrain going on a riff about the man who looked exactly like Hitler (yes, including mustache) as I retraced my steps. And bus rides.
So, thank you to the person who turned in my wallet to the bus driver. I hope there are rewards aplenty for you this Christmas season.
But the tradition can stop here.