Peter Rosengard loses his mobile phone.
Visiting friends last half term holiday, we had just taken off on our flight from Montreal to Toronto.
“Can I have my phone back Lily? I asked my 13 year old daughter.
“I haven’t got it Dad.”
“I gave it to you at the Gate before we boarded darling!”
“I put it on the table.”.
I didn’t see it Lily.”
“Fine! – that’s not my fault!”
My mobile has only got 1200 numbers in it. …losing it means… business disaster.
(Also my mother would like to hear from me again.) “I have left my phone at the gate… please can you ask the Captain if he can find it..? I asked the flight attendant.
“Well he is a little busy …right now. Sir…you know… flying the plane.., but I’ll see what we can do.”
At Toronto. Lily said:
“Why don’t you text your phone Dad?”
“Good idea Lily.”
I borrowed a mobile from a friendly baggage handler.
-“…$500 Reward if you have found this phone etc…”
I was fast asleep when the phone rang at 4.20am.
-“Oh God!… who’s died!”
“Hello!?” I croaked.
“You have lost your phone?” a Middle Eastern voice asked.
“Yes!… have you found it?”
“If you want to see your phone alive again… $500 cash…”
“You’ve got it!… What’s your name.?”
“Just Mohammad.” .
“Ok Mohammad… just don’t hurt my phone…”
I gave him my friend Lev’s office address in Montreal.
“Mohammad… you go and give him the phone …and he will give you the $500… ok?
“Ok – I go there first thing.”
At 9.30am I got a call from Lev.
“I’ve got Mohammad in reception.. .he wants $500! Do you want me to knock him down …to $50, and take your phone back?”
“Lev! We are men of honour! …just give him the $500 for me …I’ll send you a cheque …and Fedex the phone to the hotel.”
My phone was back at my hotel by 5pm. Mohammad had even charged it for me.
At 8pm the phone rang.
“It’s Mohammad. Thank you.
I work at the airport… cleaning…
of course I would have handed it in…but, when I got your text message …the $500 reward …anyway I just want you to know…- I’m using it to pay for my relative’s hospital bill…
“Where? In Montreal?..
“No… in Gaza… he got hurt.”
I decided not to ask Mohammad how he’d got hurt… Just in case… he said “…the rocket he was carrying …it …er …exploded in his hands.”
I like to help people… but you know…
Three days later when we got back to London I went straight to Carphone Warehouse..and backed up all my numbers. Twice.
June 16th 2009.