Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Episode 45: Lost and Found

For those of you who have lost something you wish not to have lost and have given up hope of ever finding it because you lost it decades ago, take heart.  Bill Fulton of Baker City, OR, lost his wallet in 1946 at a basketball game.  It was returned to him when discovered during renovations to the school 63 years later.  Only his student ID was not there.  Ruth Bendik’s wallet was stolen by a pickpocket in 1982 in Central Park.  It was found by a worker doing tree maintenance in 2009.  The only thing missing was $20.  All her credit cards and identification were still there.  It does seem a bit strange that the wallet was found in a tree, but it might make more sense if we knew more about Mrs. Bendik’s history with crows.

You see, crows recognize human faces.  If you get on their bad list, they all yell at you wherever you go.  In fact, if you get on one crow’s bad list, word will likely travel fast and you will find yourself on lots of bad lists in the crow community.  Scientists who tagged crows found this out the hard way when they started noticing cacophonic crows wherever they went.  

What does all this have to do with wallets from 1982? 

Well, let’s just say, for the sake of having something more to say, Mrs. Bendik baked some apple pies one day and set them out on her balcony to cool.  Let’s further say some crows noticed the pies, thought they looked rather tasty, (surely crows eat pies, especially apple pies, unless they are communist crows) and decided to drop in and have a few bites. 

Of course Mrs. Bendik would be furious if she saw crows desecrating her world famous apple pies. No one would care if the pies were no good to begin with, so we will say these were world famous.  She would grab whatever was at hand, a broom, a lamp stand, a wrench, a rope, a lead pipe, The Marriage at Cana by Paolo Veronese, or a toothpick, and go to swatting at said hungry crows.  The crows would be rather put out by this aggressive behavior, and they would add Mrs. Bendik to their bad list.  They would also tell all their other crow friends, which all look the same to us.  Even scientists have a hard time telling one crow from another.  Now, isn’t it quite likely that one of these friends, in an effort to avenge the ill-treatment visited upon his friends, would swoop down and abscond with Mrs. Bendik’s wallet?  And isn’t it just as likely he would drop said wallet in a tree?  And isn’t is just as likely this would all happen in the conservatory, or maybe the library?  And isn’t it also likely Mrs. Bendik’s real name is Miss Scarlet?

Anyway, the lesson here is if you are going to bake a pie and set it on a balcony, don’t go out with your wallet visible to passing crows, but if you do and your wallet goes missing, check the trees in Central Park in 27 years.

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