Check it out, true

story by: Raychill Ellisonwonderland
Written on Dec 20, 2015

Saturday 16 February 2013: I pick up and worried about spiders, check my cherry Doc Marten boots that have been sitting on my front porch for a few months. From the left boot, I pull out some dead leaves and surprisingly, a neatly folded rectangular piece of paper.

Curiously, I unfold the paper and read the typeface: Pay: CASH the sum of One Thousand Dollars only. Dated: 20 December 2012. Business Account. Dumbfounded, I sit down. 

Scratching my head, I visualise a local billionaire believing the world was going to end on 21 December 2012, had decided to give all his money away. So he ordered his accountants to divide and distribute his considerable estate by $1000.00 cash cheques, to be dispersed to random and unsuspecting households in socio-economically disadvantaged areas. 

Absurdly possible but highly unlikely! Then, I remembered a more mundane but real morning event in late December 2012: 

I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, I heard a knock at my front door. Having to tiptoe to get close to the window, I yelled, "Who is it?” I paused and listened for a reply, but the only words I caught clearly in the response from an unrecognisable voice were, "the boot". Pretending I had heard all that he said, I bellow back, "Yeah. OK, come back later, I am busy!” I finish getting ready and now running late, I open the boot, scan the contents, find nothing out of the ordinary and drive to work, thinking nothing else of it. 

Could it be entirely probable and highly likely that the event I had just remembered, was connected to the cheque I had just found? After all, I only checked my car boot that day because, at the time, I didn’t even notice my cherry Docs! 

Somewhat satisfied with my plausible explanation of how and when the cheque ended up in my boot, annoyingly, I could not find a single reason why I would be given a $1000.00 cash cheque. Ultimately I had to accept that I was not the intended recipient and that it had been delivered to the wrong address. I questioned who in their right mind, would make such a careless mistake? I let out a loud sigh, shoved an angry middle finger in the air and chucked the cheque into a draw. 

For the next few days, I wrestled with what I should do about this cheque. I had heated arguments, robust debates and threw temper tantrums all by myself, with myself! And after finally settling all internal quarrels, on Monday 18 February 2013, I decided on a three Step Plan: 

Step 1: Confirm the cheque's authenticity.  
Step 2: Find the business account holder.  Step 2.1: find the intended recipient and hand it over and 
Step 3: If, at the end of 30 days I had no success, I would rip the cheque up. 

Tuesday 19 February 2013: I reveal the cheque and the story to a trusted work mate and ask her if it's actually real. "Yep, it checks out in my book. Just spend it!" she teases. "Yeah, NAH!" I growled. Step 1:  check!

I commence Step 2 of my plan and search the White and Yellow Pages, community and national newspapers, myriads of advertisements and all online search engines for the business account holder. I approach and cautiously question neighbours, local shop owners, work colleagues, family and friends and ask if they were expecting payment for services rendered. No one knew anything about it.  

Each fruitless day made me believe more and more, that the business account and, therefore, the cheque, was bogus. This made my initial urge to return what did not belong to me, turn into a quest to find the delivery guy and give him a tune up! 

Friday 1 March 2013: Ever closer to my 30-day deadline, and with nearly all avenues exhausted, I miraculously stumble on a single PDF file online. The file gratefully verifies the business account, the company address and the Director. Step 2:  check!

Saturday 2 March 2013: I write a letter to the Director explaining how I found a cheque from his business account made out to cash in my boot. I also admitted that I wasn’t the correct recipient and I outlined my 30-day Three Step Plan. I requested that he call me to talk about and to corroborate the whole situation or not. 

Saturday 16 March 2013: As yet, no response to my letter.
Tuesday 19 March 2013, the day before my 30-day plan dictates that I have to rip up the cheque.   It’s late in the afternoon, I answer a phone call with a male voice saying, "The cheque is yours. Have you still got it? Cash it in tomorrow morning. I see what you go through. It was to make your Christmas a bit better". 

Meanwhile, as he is talking, I am frantically thinking ‘what who goes through? So the cheque is not a fake? What did he just say?' 

He continues, "I see you and your daughter. I see how hard it is to get her from her wheelchair into your car. You don’t have a hoist or a mobility vehicle. I bet it's not easy for either of you; life must be tough sometimes. I have a son with a disability, but at least, he can walk. The money is yours". I am speechless and embarrassed. After managing to blurt out ‘thank you', I end the call.
Although I remain suspicious, I elect not to rip up the cheque on day 30. Step 2.1:  check!  Step 3:  abort! 

Wednesday 20 March 2013: I take a close friend with me and I park my unwarranted car outside the bank. I still cannot believe that someone would just gift me and my daughter $1000.00. Surreal scenarios run through my head; it's probably a big prank and any minute now a YouTube troupe will start dancing and singing with a TV crew recording my every horrific reaction or, the bank teller will look, laugh out loud and announces the cheque is fake or, at the counter, bright red lights will start flashing, triggered by a not-so-silent alarm, the bank's doors will slam shut, members of the armed offenders squad will swoop in through the huge glass windows, throw me on the floor, handcuff and arrest me, because the cheque was stolen from a previous armed hold up and the robbers are still at large!
I slowly walk towards the bank and I dial the Director’s number to double check that his phone number is still valid. I see pirate ships, Jolly Rodgers and feel a narrow wooden plank wavering beneath my feet. 

He answers, I snap out of it. I wait for the burst of laughter and ridicule, but it doesn't come. I stutter, "Um, h-h-hi. I'm on the plank, uh no, I mean, I’m at the bank. Is everything O-OK?” 

In a solemn and comforting voice, he replies, "Cash the cheque, the money is yours". 

So I do and it is, True Story


Tags: happy, humor, weird,


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