You want to think the best of your fellow man. To believe that the good in them will always prevail. Their acts of decency and kindness making even the crappiest day seem somehow kind of wonderful .
Therefore, I would like to thank the person who on Thursday, September 18, between 7 and 7.15pm handed my watch into reception after I rather stupidly exited the gym changing
room, leaving it sitting in the locker. (Gym changing rooms are akin to bad relationships. You can't wait to get out of them, if only to escape the stench, not of betrayal and disloyalty, but of body odour, sweaty pants, wet towels and over-sprayed cans of Lynx Apollo body spray).
In fact, I'd really really like to show them my appreciation in some small way. Maybe with a
monetary reward. Perhaps with the offer of a free dinner at a fancy restaurant. Or by giving them a book token.
The only trouble is, I can't. For the simple reason that instead of doing the right thing, the cheating scumbag who found my chronograph did the complete opposite and waltzed off with it.
What a shame they never did receive a book token. They could have used it to purchase a copy of Dan Ariely's The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.
In the 10 - 15 minutes it took me to realise my forgetfulness, the vintage Tag Heuer Monza was, of course, gone.
Incandescent with rage at myself more than anyone else, I desperately wanted to find someone to blame. Admittedly the gym staff didn't exactly help matters. As I practically dragged the attendant upstairs, I pointed out the locker I'd been using. He immediately started peering in other lockers nowhere near.
Sarcastically I told him that next he might want to start looking in other time zones as well. "How about Florida?" I unhelpfully suggested. "You never know, it could have magically teleported itself to warmer climes".
If, by any remote chance, you're reading this on South Beach and my watch has, without
explanation, appeared on your being, I'd rather like it back.
I don't want to come across as pious here or holier than thou - I'm far from being either of
those - but in a similar situation, I'm 100% certain that I would have handed it in. I'd like to think that the majority of us would have done the same.
Why then didn't this person? They can't have been poor. This is a gym that's positioned in the heart of the city. It's frequented by men and women, many of whom work in the banking sector.
Furthermore, they had no idea of the sentimental value of my watch. For all they knew it could have been bought for me by someone very dear, someone extremely close to me who I simply couldn't live without. This is indeed the case, as the person who did buy it for me was ME!
I wonder what this lamentable episode says about the society we currently live in? Can we no longer trust anyone? Plainly not the very souls who only a few short years ago were responsible for the near destruction of the entire financial security of the world.
More's the pity, we now have to lock up everything. What happened to the days when we only had to lock up our daughters through fear that Rudolph Valentino might be in town to steal their chastity?
Increasingly, are we destined to live in a CCTV culture? Where next for these intruders into our personal lives? Not the changing rooms of Virgin Active, Moorgate, that's for sure.
I was reliably informed that they don't have cameras in them as it wouldn't be quite on to see members' members while they were getting dressed and undressed.
Frankly, I wouldn't have cared about the late night security guard staring at my knackers (Wasn't that a dangerous toy from the 1970s? Actually, that was Clackers) when Newsnight had finished, if it meant I still had my watch,
Ah yes, back to the subject of the missing watch. To the thieving hound who swiped it, I sincerely hope they feel guilty every time they stare down at its elegant face. I doubt it though.
It goes without saying that I can never go back to this branch or any other branch of Virgin Active. I wouldn't get any exercise done as I'd constantly be checking out that part of a man's body no other man should be lingering on for too long. Obviously, I mean their wrists. Accusingly, I would always be shouting out: "It was you. I know it was you."
As for a replacement that informs me whether I'm early or late, I reckon I'll settle for a Timex. 'Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking'. If I'm not mistaken, that was their slogan.
Never mind licking, I'd like to give a flaming good kicking to the new "owner" of my once precious and rather beautiful timepiece.