rescue by Dancing queen

Last night, ABBA came to my rescue. No, seriously.

A friend had a birthday this week, and since we were both busy, we arranged to celebrate on Friday. We met at her favorite restaurant, had some drinks and a lovely dinner, then decided to take the light rail downtown to see a show and give her a chance to finally meet some friends of mine I've wanted to introduce her to for a while.

I should back up a bit to mention that I am, for various reasons, slightly obsessive about my iPhone. I don't have a landline, so it's my only phone connection. (I've heard rumors that I have an office phone, but I never look at it or check messages, and the very few times it's rung while I was in the vicinity, it's startled the hell out of me.) Beyond that, I'm a bit of a social media whore: I have multiple Twitter accounts, I check in on FourSquare (via two accounts), I add tips to Whrrl... you get the idea. I promise I'm not the annoying person constantly checking email or texting at the table (unless everyone present is doing the same, which I don't really enjoy), but I do tend to stay fairly hyperaware of where my phone is, and get a bit anxious if it's not in reach. I want to know it's there, even if I'm not using it. Feel free to psychoanalyze me.

So, I had my phone at the restaurant, and I was fairly certain I'd verified its presence in my coat pocket. Yet, about halfway between the light rail stop where we disembarked and our final destination, I realized I didn't have it anymore. My friend tried calling me, just in case it had slipped into some hidden crevice in my (not very large) purse or into the lining of my trench coat, but no luck. We also called the restaurant, in case we'd left it there. No dice. It was gone.


Since, er, this wasn't the first time I'd misplaced my phone, I knew what to do: I told her how to get to MobileMe on her Blackberry, so I could use the "Find My iPhone" app. Before we got very far, though, her phone rang with an unfamiliar number. Certain it was the restaurant calling to say they'd found it, she answered.

It wasn't the restaurant. It was a complete stranger who introduced himself by saying, "Hi, I'm Noah. I think I have your friend's phone."

Here's what happened: Noah and his friends were walking along the sidewalk near a major downtown hotel. Suddenly, they saw a glowing object on the sidewalk, loudly blasting the strains of "Dancing Queen." (That's my friend's custom ringtone: they happened to be walking past while she tried to call me.) At first, Noah informed us when we met, they were convinced it was a Candid Camera-style setup, since it just seemed too random to be real. (Hmm, note to self: Too Random to be Real would make a great autobiography title.) Anyway, they decided instead to pick it up, and call back the last caller, which is how we ended up meeting in the lobby of said major hotel a few minutes later to retrieve it. I was immensely relieved, and Noah and his friends seemed greatly entertained by the whole incident--to the point where one friend insisted on filming us with a flipcam while we discussed what had happened--so I'd call it a win-win. Especially for me, since what very little disposable income I currently have is earmarked for another purchase that I'll discuss in a future post; I would have been very upset had I needed to use some of that money to purchase a new iPhone.

I'm still not sure how the phone managed to fall out of my pocket or purse without my noticing, but I'm grateful that Noah and his friends happened to walk past at just the right moment, and took just the right action. I'm often the beneficiary of these little strokes of unlikely luck, but I'm not complaining. And I also have a renewed appreciation of ABBA. You never know when a little Dancing Queen can save your evening and your bank account, I guess.