After a long weekend up north, I came into work yesterday afternoon to prepare four days worth of stuff for this morning's newscasts. That's when my wife sent a text message shortly after we got back saying there was no mail in our box--but instead a large cell phone--one of those "phablets" with a screen bigger than most people's first televisions that you are still supposed to carry around in your pocket.
Of course, the phone was dead--and being an IPhone household, I had to scrounge up a charger attachment that would fit an Android phone--thinking that if it was powered up, I might be able to figure out to whom the phone belonged. Initially, we thought it might be from one of the guys that installed our new fence last week--and the mailman found it lying in the yard and put it in the box? Or maybe it was just a passerby?
But before we could get the phone charged up, someone rang the doorbell. There, a young man named Donny--who says he is a WOSH listener--told me he had left the phone in my mailbox. A bit leery, I asked him for what purpose and he said that he had found it on one of the tanks at Red Arrow Park and thought it belonged to us. When I asked why he thought that, he replied that when it was charged, there were text messages from someone on the lockscreen and that he had looked up that person's address on the internet--thinking that perhaps they would know to whom the phone belonged.
It turns out that the person who had sent the texts was actually the person from whom we had purchased our house eight years ago (a lesson on don't always trust information you find on the internet). Fortunately, we know where the old owners now live--as it's just a block away and one street over.
So the wife and I take a little walk over to the former owner's current house and find the front door open and music coming from inside--but no one would answer the doorbell. Now we have an awkward situation where we could leave the phone in their mailbox--where it would sit for another day and then they would have no idea from where it came--or we could go back home, write a note explaining the phone's journey so far and hoping that they can figure out the rightful owner--or we could just toss it inside the front door and lead them to believe that someone broke into the house and left behind a valuable piece of evidence.
That's when my wife remembered that the parents of one of the former owners lives just a couple more houses down (because their dog used to run over to our house thinking the old owners were still there)--and maybe she could pass along the phone to them (along with the ever-increasingly complex backstory. Sure enough, she was on the back porch with her dogs and recognized the phone as belonging to her 15-year old grandson. We shared the story of how we came to possess the phone and she wanted us to thank Donny for finding it and starting the process for getting it back to its rightful owner.
I don't know if Donny listens this early in the morning, but I hope he knows that his act of kindness--he could have very easily just kept the phone for himself or just dumped it in the garbage--was appreciated.