The other day, before I became enmeshed in the horror of relocating my household to the Wild West, I was sitting around Jo’s Coffee with my pal Jovita Patino. Jo’s is basically just an open shed, but its proximity to tattoo parlors, bars, and vintage shops makes it popular with me and with the hipster denizens of South Congress. They sell a tofu egg salad sandwich that I have never had the balls to try.
That’s right, I said “balls.”
Anyway, while Jovita was in the process of being reduced to goop over an adjacent 180-pound Great Dane, I was addressed by the guy at the next table.
“Will you watch my bag while I go to the restroom?”
He didn’t wait for an answer. Off he biffed, leaving the bag.
Oh, Christ. Why didn’t simply take the bag with him? It wasn’t a big bag. But clearly it contained items the loss of which would disrupt his life.
Who leaves a bag of valuables in the care of a total stranger whose only credentials are that she is hanging around at a South Austin coffee shack? What, exactly, was to be my level of involvement with this bag? Implicit in the request was the expectation that his bag would be waiting for him, unmolested, upon his return. To what lengths did he suppose I would go to ensure this result? Was I to discontinue my personal coffee-drinking activities, which heretofore had not remotely involved stewardship of a foreign bag, in order to fulfill this request? Did he imagine, fanciful dreamer, that I myself was to be trusted? Was I to wrestle a thief to the ground?
It is quite an extravagant imposition to order a coffee-drinking spinster aunt in a turquoise cowboy hat to watch your bag while you go to the restroom.
Fortunately, I know that if you ever want to con someone, you ask them to assume responsibility for your bag. A stranger placing bag-confidence in you makes you eager to prove yourself worthy. This puts you one down.
Don’t never watch no dude’s bag.