As told to: Dave BidiniA few days ago, at the Blue Jays game with my daughter, I participated in some unintentional crowd funding. Seated in the 1st row of the 500 section, we decided to go get a snack in the 7th inning. Wanting to leave my jacket at my seat, I removed my wallet from the pocket and proceeded to the aisle. Turning to ascend the stairs, my wallet slipped out of my hand and plummeted to the 200 level seats below.
I watched, stupefied, as all of the monetary bills fell out in midair, as if jettisoned by some small explosion, prompting a dozen-or-so people to jump out of their seats, scooping up my money as it fell from the heavens above. Nobody seemed to look up. I called down in futility, “Hey… that’s… my… money…”
My mind raced, although I was surprisingly calm. I turned and said to my daughter, “I just dropped my wallet over the side and everyone’s grabbing my money. We’ve got to get down there.”
Fortunately, there was an unmarked elevator (a staff person tipped me off) close by so we were able to get down to the 200 level within a couple of minutes. Upon arriving at the section where I had seen my wallet fall I ran into a staff person who essentially brushed me off saying someone would by by shortly to help me out. I opted to go it alone.
So, with the empty wallet in hand I turned to the face the good people of section 228 to ask for my money back.
Turning to walk down to the bottom of the section where I had just witnessed my means being cannibalized from above, I was met by a gentleman holding my wallet out to me – apparently I looked exactly like a guy who had come to claim a fallen wallet. I thanked him. The wallet had maintained all of it’s ID and bank/credit/loyalty cards but was fully bereft of money as it had all fallen out and floated down upon it’s descent (which I had witnessed… believe me, the image is burned in my mind). As far as I can figure, there had probably been about $160 in the wallet, as I had been to the bank earlier in the day.
So, with the empty wallet in hand I turned to the face the good people of section 228 to ask for my money back. Before I even began, there were at least two people holding out $20 bills to me. As I started explaining what happened, a couple more people reached into their pockets to retrieve the newly acquired money that they must have known had been too good to be true, what with it falling from the sky and being free and all. One guy asked for a more comprehensive explanation before handing back the cash ($50 as it turned out), saying “So why did you drop your wallet?” A couple other people drew my attention to some other bits of paper that had fallen out: a “lucky” Detroit Red Wings hockey card I had received with my bill from a local sports bar, a doctor’s slip with my eyeglass prescription, a receipt…
I gathered it all up, thanked everyone graciously and headed up to the concourse. I counted the money I had recovered and with the possible exception of $10 or $15 it was all there. I went and bought my daughter an ice cream and a beer for myself and reflected on the crazy thing that had just transpired.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
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