This morning, as I do most mornings, I drove Mrs. Caliban across the harbour bridge to her work, after which the littlest Duck Noodle and I took the dogs for their morning silliness. Then we headed back over to our side of the city after the peak-hour traffic had finished, as we always do.
Since our electronic toll beeper thingummy doesn't work any more (long story, which honestly doesn't involve a strange-looking black dog slobbering on anything) I negotiated the requisite lane changes to access one of the few remaining booths still accepting cash: there's a $3 charge on all south-bound vehicles. Pulling up, I wound down the window, checked to see the afore-mentioned black dog was strapped in and not able to leap up and attack the collector in an act of misguided protection, and reached down for my wallet.
Which wasn't in my pocket. Nor was it in the centre console, nor lying on the floor by my feet, nor on the passenger seat. It wasn’t in my laptop bag, nor the glove box, nor in the back pack in which I keep a change of toddler’s clothing, spare nappies, crayons and her lunch. Along with all the other supplies necessary to get a small girl and two crazy dogs through a day in the office.
By which time the traffic was banking up behind. The toll collector was remarkably patient, and explained that he could give me ticket to pay later. Meanwhile I was desperately searching for the wallet, which simply had to be there somewhere. When a lady jumped out of the car behind me, walked up and paid my toll. And then dashed back to her car before I could say a word.
I waved thank you, and hoped to stop next to her at the next set of lights, where I could get her details and arrange repay her. But she took another exit and was gone.
So if you’re an attractive woman who paid the Sydney Harbour Bridge toll for a stressed guy in a small green car stuffed with two dogs and a toddler… thank you. I realise the odds of you reading this blog are pretty small, but just incase you do, this song’s for you. while you did much more than just let me change lanes, but this gives the general idea of how much I appreciate what you did. Thanks.
PS. I found my wallet once we reached the office. It had slipped under the carpet next to the seat. Now if only I could find some more money to put in it.