Friday, 15 November 2013

CAFES, COPPERS AND CASH - HONESTY ALWAYS PAYS...



A couple or so years ago, I was strolling along Gibson Street in the West End of Glasgow having just enjoyed a latte in The Offshore Cafe, when I spotted a wallet lying on the road between two parked cars.  I went into a nearby restaurant to see if anyone had dropped it, but there were no takers, so I handed it in to a police station on the way home.

There was £175 in the wallet, plus two credit cards, so I knew they'd be reunited with their owner before too long.  I was asked by the desk officer if I wanted a reward, but I declined - the owner might've needed the money to pay bills, and I'm a great believer in doing the right thing for its own sake, not for personal benefit.  Yes, I know that probably sounds a bit pompous, but I assure you, I'm no saint - I do, however, aspire to honesty.

(And to be completely honest, I have to confess that my action wasn't altogether altruistic - it would've preyed on my conscience if I'd kept it and I'd have worried about the fates punishing me for my crime.)

Imagine my surprise when, some weeks later, I received a note from the police, informing me that the owner had left a reward for me of £50 - wow!  He'd been advised that I wasn't looking for one, but he'd left it anyway.  I can only imagine that he hadn't expected to see his dosh again, so felt extremely grateful that his expectations had proved unwarranted.

I felt grateful myself, of course, but even better than the money was the sense of perhaps having restored someone's faith in the integrity of his fellow man.  I recall a previous occasion when I found £5 and handed it in to my local police station, only to lose £20 of my own funds the very next day.  No, that wasn't handed in, but at least I got the fiver back in two months when it wasn't claimed.  I was still £15 down 'though.

So is this post just to blow my own trumpet about my honesty?  I'd like to think it springs more from looking for topics to write about and, in doing so, mining one's personal experiences to meet the constant need for material.  As someone else once said - if you blog for long enough you'll eventually start writing about what you had for breakfast.

That reminds me of a great roll and sausage I had the other day, which I simply must tell you about - - h'mm, maybe not, eh?   

10 comments:

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I was on the receiving end of a kind Samaritan some years ago so I can confirm that your kind actions were more than than welcomed - In my case it was round 1984ish , I had been in Glasgow after picking an Xmas wage advance from my employer and had £280 left in my wallet (having bought a few present in Glasgow) - anyway I lost my wallet on the way home (ok I had stopped of for a drink with some friends and my then girlfriend) and only noticed as I got of at Hamilton station that I had lost my wallet - thinking I had left it in the pub or dropped in in the street and considering the time of the year with folk being skint I assumed that was it and I would never see it again. So on the Monday I told my story to my colleagues at work (having just moved there some 3 month before) and got the customary "aw that's a shame" and got a cuppa coffee and a cake bought for me - anyway on the Tuesday when I got into work imagine my surprise when my new colleagues had presented me with a card containing £180 (they had had a whip round and I had only just started) I of course said thank you but I can't accept that , their reply was as you can imagine "dont be silly we would do it for anyone " so I (pleasantly stunned) accepted this kind offer - when I got home I stopped off as I did everyday to see my mum and Dad to tell them the story but before I got around to it my Mum said "the police called they found your wallet" So I went to the station and was amazed to find the wallet complete with the full £280 in it (and all my cards) with a letter saying "You dropped this in Argyle street hope you have a great Xmas" in addition the person that found it as in your case Kid refused a reward and in addition it turned out that they lived in Clydebank (some 8 miles north of Glasgow) AND had driven into Hamilton police station with my wallet (some 9 miles south of Glasgow) and personally handed it in as it was Xmas and they were worried I would have no money for Xmas (how amazing is that) anyway I gave £30 to the police charity (the officer looked tough) and agreed with my work colleagues to give the "whip round money" to York Hill Children's Hospital in Glasgow. Sometimes folk amaze you. McScotty

Kid said...

Great reminiscence, McScotty. Your good Samaritan deserves a Blue Peter badge at least - and a chocolate Dalek. Y'know, I actually used to feel embarassed about the money I handed in to the police over the years, because there was a fair bit of it. I started to think that perhaps they thought I was pretending to find it, so that they would think I must be a good guy who would never do anything wrong because I was so honest. "Of course, I never murdered anyone, officer. How can you suggest such a thing? Look at all the dosh I've handed in over the years. I'm so honest that you can trust me when I say that I didn't do it - despite my fingerprints being on the knife!" Y'know, that sort of thing. (What an imagination, eh?)

Gey Blabby said...

No lost wallets for me, I'm afraid, but this was my old stamping ground many moons ago.
It was on a cold winter's day when I passed a comic shop nearby and saw the first issue of The Dark Knight Returns sitting in the window, which got me back into comics after a long absence. I also bought a heap of albums over the years in Lost Chord, the second-hand record shop, which may be long gone by now for all I know. And the park, of course -- the West End was always a good place to spend a long summer's evening in those days when money was a bit tight.

Kid said...

I'd imagine the comics shop was Futureshock in nearby Woodlands Road, GB, but I don't know about the record shop. Maybe McScotty will know. As for the park, I remember walking through it with a young lady by my side, en route from Park Circus to The Grosvenor Cafe in Ashton Lane one sunny Autumn morning many moons ago. Happy days.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Last Chord wow that is a blast from the past, and yes despite most second hand record shops shutting down I hear it's still going strong (Park Street). I ve not been there in a few years (still mourning over "Lost in Music" in Cresswell Avenue going out of business)but recall it being very small but had a good vibe (as the kids say)Below is the Facebook page if you want a look at it (think its had a paint job from my recollections)-McScotty
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Chord/178848455523405

Kid said...

Well, would you believe it?! Took a look at the photos - so that's Lost Cord? Been by it many a time, but don't think I've ever been inside. If you keep going to the top of the street and cross the road, there's a lane which leads to The Pepper Pot (I think it was called), a pub where I used to help a mate do his DJ gig at weekends about 10 years or so back. Small world, eh?

Gey Blabby said...

So it's still going strong, then. Mind you, it looks a lot smaller than I remember, and a different colour -- I thought it was white.
Coloured vinyl singles and albums were all the go back then, and I remember picking up a few good examples here -- my most treasured being an American copy of The Stranglers Black & White album, which was pressed on black and white vinyl (see what they did there). One good thing about Glasgow back then, you could find lots of little specialist shops hidden off the beaten track, whether comics or records or books.
I think you're right about that comic shop, Kid. It was further up on Woodlands Road - near The Halt Bar - so I probably passed it that day while walking from Byres Road down to the town. I'm amazed that it's still there; they must have loyal customers to keep them going in competition with the bigger stores.

Kid said...

I think the guy that runs it (Neil Craig) doesn't really depend on it for a living, GB - more of a hobby. Could be wrong 'though.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I think Neil Craig is very much into politics and has stood for the Lib Democrats in the past - I think he even started his own party (or pressure/interest group) at one point. Futureshock was the fist dedicated comic shop I was aware of in Glasgow and loved it in the early 80s and when he briefly moved to bigger premises in Byers Road for a few years - but have to say I find his smaller (original) shop far to small and cluttered now with boxes of new unopened comics on top of the cabinets that contain the back issues (what I generally want to buy) and books and new comics all over the place crammed into racks ( saying that he has a great selection of comics if you can find them) I think he seems to be more into SF books than comics -McScotty

Kid said...

You're right, McScotty - the last couple of times I was in the shop, I found it too constrictive to negotiate properly. Also, the drawers of the filing cabinets in which he keeps back issues are knackered with the weight and tend to jam. Most of the stuff in his window looks as if it's been there for a while - it's well-faded. I tend to get most of my back issues via the internet now.

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