I found a BlackBerry the other day. It was sitting on the ground next to the bench at a bus stop just outside Oxford Brookes University. I initially thought that it must be broken or something to just be discarded like that, but I stooped to pick it up and have a look anyway. It was all in one piece and when I clicked on the tracker ball and a picture of a gormless looking guy appeared, I saw that it was switched on too.
Hmm. What to do.
Well, clearly I was going to have to ring someone. Now, I'm not familiar with BlackBerry's, but I know enough about mobile phones to be able to blunder my way into the list of recently called numbers.
Name. Name. Name.
Crap. Who the hell should I ring out of this lot?
I rang mum.
"Hello. I've just found this phone outside Brookes in Oxford."
I think someone must have already spoken to her as she seemed to almost be expecting me to call. "Yes. She's on the Oxford Tube [bus] to London. Are you a student at Brookes?"
"No." and, by the way, there was no chance that I was going to spend my time traipsing around the University looking for this girl's gormless boyfriend. "I'm on my way into Oxford, and I'm going to leave the phone behind the bar at the Angel and Greyhound pub on St. Clements. Do you know it?"
"The Angel and Greyhound on St. Clements? Yes. Okay"
I don't know if you've ever been there, but the A&G is an excellent pub: open fire, friendly staff and excellent beer (Winter Warmer at this time of year, which is worth the trip on its own). I don't need much of an excuse to pay a visit at the best of times, but the friends I was staying with are such regulars there that they actually keep their spare house keys in the safe at the pub. We were walking right past it, it's open most of the time, easy to find and it was just an obvious place to leave the phone to be picked up.
It was eleven o'clock on a Sunday morning. The pub didn't open til twelve, but the landlord was pottering about and he responded to Rich's cheery wave by sticking two fingers up at us, smiling and coming to open the door. We explained the situation.
"Oh, I need a new phone. I'll just pop my sim card in and this will do nicely!"
...of course he'd look after the phone until the gormless boyfriend turned up.
"Did you look at the photos?"
Of course not! Actually, everyone I've told this story to has asked me this. Is looking at the photos on other people's phones something that people do? I've got all sorts of boring crap on mine, but there you go....
So, we dropped the phone off and walked away, basking in a warm glow of smugness that lasted for most of the rest of the day. We really are the best kind of people, aren't we?
July to November.
1 day ago