Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a superhero? Luckily for you and thanks to a series of fortunate events, I know the feeling and will gladly share with you. Let me set the scene. It was a hazy Saturday afternoon, we parked up and Paul turned to me and like something out of a horror film pointed across me and said “Look, that’s odd.”
I was terrified to turn around. What was it? Twins sat on tricycles staring back at him? An unidentified flying object? A body? A three legged goose?
Now is probably a good time to admit that a three legged goose has always been a fear of mine. Imagine the extra gravitas and speed another leg would offer them. Hissing and running like Roger Black. It doesn’t bare thinking about.
Anyway, it was a bag. A solitary bag positioned in the middle of an alleyway. It looked like a handbag from where I was sat but it may have been a goose cleverly disguising its three legs as bag handles (sorry, I’ll move on from that now).
“Strange” Paul says “let’s get the shopping in.” “We can’t leave it there!” I proclaim. “We also can’t just take a random bag Sarah!” “Yes I know that but at least it would be being taken by an honourable member of society Paul. I’m not going to steal anything! And another thing-”
He cuts me off mid rant. He knows me well enough to be sure that I am far too nosy to not go and retrieve the bag so he has no need to hear any more of my speech.
He calls my bluff. “Go and see what’s inside it then.”
Suddenly I’m scared again. Oh bloody hell, what if it’s a baby? Or a puppy? Or body parts? Or drugs? What if I’m interrupting some kind of handover and get caught in the crossfire of suburban gang culture? Damn you Netflix for planting all these ludicrous scenarios in my head! This isn’t Ozark, or Santa Clarita Diet or Breaking Bad. This is a mundane coincidence, a normal event with normal people. The perfect plot for a new Netflix series some may argue?
There is no one else about. Not a soul. I don’t have any other option really. I head over to the bag and slowly and carefully pick it up. I feel myself pulling faces and huffing, acting as if it is my own bag that I’d forgotten so that if I was witnessed by a neighbour I wouldn’t be accosted. (Again this is all very ‘What would Walter White do?’)
If its cash, can I keep it? I mean morally I can but, legally? How would I explain my sudden gold rush of cash to friends and family? I could say ‘oh I found it in a bag on the street’ which they would assume is a joke as I swiftly change the subject. Yes, that’s what I will do.
I’m getting carried away. I open the top flap and have a quick rummage. Nappies, wipes, teeny tiny jars of food. I quickly establish it’s a baby bag, boring! But then I then notice two sets of car keys and a purse. Blimey, whoever has dropped this is going to be in for a right bollocking.
I carefully transport the bag in the house, carrying it as if it were a newborn child. Paul slowly follows me carrying all 7 bags of food shopping (oops!). He looks like the Law and Order scales the amount he is balancing on each arm.
“Shall I message her on Facebook? Tell her I have her bag?” “You want to be careful Sarah; she might think you are holding it as a ransom.”
He makes a good point, albeit sarcastically. We dutifully decide to drop it into the community police station. I check inside the purse and look at the driving licence to see the name and face of the victim. Samantha Bacon. What an excellent, delicious name. A blessing and a curse one would presume. I.E – Unfortunate to be named after smoked pork produce. Fortunate to have such a memorable name.
We make our way to the station to find it is closed, Brexit eh?
Defeated and homeward bound I start scanning the locals walking down the street as we turn the car around. Man. Old woman. Small dog. Man. Woman with buggy. Man. Smaller dog. Aww!
Wait. WOMAN WITH BUGGY!!
Even though her driving licence photo is in black and white and probably 5 years out of date I manage to recognise her. Ah we meet at last, Ms Bacon.
“That’s her! Stop the car!”
Paul quickly pulls over. I leave the bag in the car and run over to her. I feel my hand approaching my face as I draw closer to her. Am I pretending I have a microphone?! It’s not the postcode lottery Sarah, get a grip! Suddenly I panic. Shit, what if it isn’t her?! I’m too close to turn around and at this speed I’m going to mow her down.
I abruptly stop in front of her.
“ARE YOU SAMANTHA BACON” I excitedly ask, managing to keep my hands by my side and not thrust in her face.
Thank god, I was looking at harassment and GBH charges there if it wasn’t her. I was like roadrunner, just not as flamboyant.
She looks terrified. She looks concerned for my welfare, let alone hers.
“I have something of yours”
I dash back to the car and return the bag to her. She looks at the bag, then me, then the bag again, getting increasinly confused with every glance.
“I found this about a mile away, had to look in your purse to check for ID, sorry about that!”
I start to walk off and hear her shout thank you. I continue walking, almost jogging back to the car. My cape is flapping in the breeze. Bystanders start applauding and someone shouts ‘GOD BLESS YOU BEAUTIFUL STRANGER!’
Okay, so that last little bit is slightly exaggerated. I do run back to the car as Paul is parked on double yellows and we make a quick and majestic exit. I check the rear view to see her rummaging around to ensure all the contents are still in there (quite rightly so, I wouldn’t trust me).
I make a very smug expression and turn to Paul in the Batmobile*.
“Just another day in the life of a superhero eh?!” “You’re not a superhero Sarah” “Today I am.”
*2007 SXi Vauxhall Corsa