You rang?

How many of you remember the episode of Seinfeld in which a parking valet left a certain something in Jerry’s car?

Fortunately, that didn’t happen to me.

The other night, I met a friend for dinner at a wine bar in busy downtown Bethesda, Md., where valet parking on every block is a zoo.

Around 10 p.m., I claimed my car from a most grumpy valet. Perhaps he deemed my 30 percent tip insufficient. His shoulder could not have been colder, his good riddance reeking of ‘tude. Like the Seinfeld valet, but in a different way, this guy was a real stinker.

I got in the car, pulled away and tuned in to an oldies station. Nearly halfway home, I heard some unfamiliar music within a familiar song. I thought maybe it was an alternate recording with an edgy backbeat.

The music persisted. I turned off the radio, but the music continued to play.

While driving, I carefully patted my surroundings and came upon a cell phone. I knew it wasn’t mine. (My ringtone is my cousin’s two-year-old granddaughter yodeling.) The music stopped before I was able to answer it.

I deduced that the villainous valet had left this valuable in my vehicle.

There was no choice but to do the right thing. I pulled a U-ey and returned to the restaurant, where I found a frantic fellow fumbling for his phone.

When I got out of the car, waving the attendant’s smartphone, his attitude changed.

In retrospect, I kind of wish I had done one of two things: change his ringtone to something like “You’re No Good” or ask for my tip back.

What would you have done?

8 Comments

Filed under Food, Rants and Raves, Technology and Social Media

8 responses to “You rang?

  1. Emily

    i would have thought about changing the ringtone only after handing it back to him and would have been thinking, darn it, all night. What did the parking attendant leave in Seinfeld’s car?

  2. chris

    maybe he would have enyoyed your cousin’s 2 year old grandchild yodeling…

  3. It was the BO. I just hate saying BO. 😦

    • chris

      And there you did it twice. Sorry to press the issue. SO many episodes revolved around the car: the NJ parking garage; Jon Vogt’s Lebaron; buying a car from Puddy…

  4. Actually, what you did was perfect… and probably more impactful than a prank or a request for the money back. You did NOT sink to his level. You did not give to him what he gave to you.

    Let me say I always think of doing the revenge thing. I’m a writer, after all, and I can’t seem to help hatching up schemes. But early in my personal history I found that “getting someone back” never really satisified me. Treating them how I’d wished they had treated me, on the other hand, did.

    Occasionally, the other person had a change of heart and attitude. Not always, but once in a while. That made it all worth it.

  5. I would not go anywhere that valet parking is required, but that’s just me. Putting my vehicle in a stranger’s hands is something that I would not pay for.

    Yeah, I know you didn’t want such a serious reply.

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