This year at Mardi Gras I lost my phone. After a full morning and afternoon of drinking and parades and walking, Amanda, Shannon, and I bought some pizza and sat down on the curb to eat. I had my phone in my lap because we were communicating with a friend who we were trying to meet up with. (It is nearly impossible to meet up with people during Mardi Gras). As we were eating, someone walked by and kicked over a half-full cup that was near our perch on the curb. We all jumped up to escape the river of watered down booze that came splashing our way, shuffled down the gutter a few feet and plopped back down to finish our dinner. Almost immediately, even as drunk as I was, I noticed that I didn’t have my phone. I searched my bag frantically and not finding it I sprang back up and with my eyes combed through the discarded beads, napkins, cups, and general mardi gras garbage that was in the gutter near where we had been sitting moments before. Nothing. I kicked aside the damp trash but still found nothing. I enlisted the help of three strangers who noticed my panicked searching, to avail. Facing the fact that my phone was probably in the possession of someone else I did my best to suck it up and keep a positive attitude. Pouting about it was not going to bring my phone back. Our party moved on and finished the night up at Molly’s on the Market.
Wednesday morning came with no sign from my phone. Texting and calling it was not producing any response. I called the police station on the off chance that someone had actually turned it in. As the afternoon rolled around I was giving up hope. Assuming that someone had picked it up and planned to turn a few bucks for it. I had begun looking at the cost of a new phone and making plans on how the heck I was going to afford to buy a new one when Amanda’s phone rang. On the other end was my friend who lives in Brooklyn. She told me a man had called her and that he had my phone!!! I hung up and immediately called the number. The guy gave me his address and I said I would be by to pick it up. My friends came with me because they were sure it was an elaborate rouse to kidnap me and use me as a sex slave. As it turns out it was just a nice dude who had lived in New Orleans for more than 20 years. It seems that he has made something of a habit of finding lost phones in the French Quarter and returning them to their owners. One year he said he found three phones and all three made it back to their homes.
Stranger danger can be a good motto to live by, but I am lucky to say that in my experience the kindness of strangers has far out weighed the danger.