Monday, July 16, 2007
A Bag and a Prayer
Preparing for a live broadcast of Wavelength was a soothing ritual I relished almost as much as the show itself. Hours before we went on, I picked out the videos from my ginormous collection of 3/4 and VHS tapes. Three quarter inch tapes, if you haven't seen one, about the size of 5 subject notebook and usually encased in a hard plastic case. They were awkward and unwieldy, but very durable. After I scripted the show, I filled my official Chicago Bears duffel bag with the tapes, usually in the same order they were on my playlist.
This was a very special bag. I got it for cheap at my day job at Burlington Coat Factory. It had a plastic bottom, a side pocket and two spacious compartments with a large C printed on both ends. The videos went in the middle of the bag, my clipboard, cassette giveways, tape recorder stashed on the ends. I couldn't have designed a better bag for what I needed. Well, I guess if it was Steelers bag, it would've been perfect.
So one day I was driving in Churchill went it struck me that I hadn't brought my bag into the house after the show. I pulled over at a gas station and opened the trunk of my '76 Camaro. The bag was gone. All my music videos, scripts, equipment were now missing in action. I drove home feeling somewhat less than whole.
It didn't take me long to determine what I done. I had brought my bag out of the studio, set it down to open the car door and left in in the middle of street. I was always forgetting little things back then, but this time I had really done it.
I moped around for a few days, considering ways to get the labels to resend the videos. It wouldn't be easy, as the tapes were heavy and shipping was expensive. I thought about the cost of replacing the lost equipment and the sentimental value of some of the things I carelessly left in the street. Days passed and hopes of being reunited with my bag began to fade.
I was walking out the door one day when my mother, may God rest her soul, told me something that stopped me cold. She said she had prayed that I someone would find my bag and return it to me. I was embarrassed she had taken my pitiful case to such a high court and I wasn't even sure I deserved my bag back.
After a week without my bag and my usual swagger, I got a call from a regional vice-president of Coca-Cola Bottling. He had found my bag in the street the night after my show, but didn't have time to track me down because his vacation started the following day. Immeasurable relief swelled over me, a feeling I didn't allow myself to anticipate.
When I told my mom, she smiled and said "I told you."