I got off early from work today, so Joe and I met up in Silver Spring and had a bite to eat. We then checked the movies times at the AFI to see if there was something good playing.
Lo and behold, The Man Who Would Be King was playing! This movie, in case you didn't know, is a wonderful John Huston epic starring Michael Caine and Sean Connery. Even better, it was playing in the beautifully restored big theater, the same theater that I spent most of my Saturday afternoons in when I was a kid.
What luck! Off we went. We got our tickets, popcorn, and drinks; and settled down to watch the show on the big, beautiful screen. Joe plopped our red-and-white striped souvenir Capitals golf umbrella and his jacket in the seat next to his; I plopped my purse in the seat next to mine.
After the movie, which was great (did I mention that?), we got up to leave. I headed out, then realized that Joe was still by the seat. He had on his jacket, but was searching for our umbrella. He thought maybe it had fallen behind the seats, but it was nowhere to be found. It hadn't rolled ahead of our seats; it wasn't stuck between the seats -- it was stone gone.
We looked and looked again.
We finally gave up. As we walked out into the lobby, I noticed an old man standing by the doors.
He had an umbrella.
A red-and-white striped umbrella.
Just like our Capitals umbrella.
Tucked behind him.
It didn't really register completely with me; Joe told me he was going back to look again -- because really, umbrellas just don't disappear into thin air -- and I had to go to the bathroom.
There was an old lady washing her hands there.
Then, as I was in the bathroom, it hit me.
That old guy kifed our umbrella!
Joe was waiting for me out in the lobby and I told him about the aged pickpocket. We walked outside and I spotted the kleptomaniac couple heading up the sidewalk, almost to the crosswalk. The old lady was the same one who had been washing her hands. If she hadn't had to pee, they would've gotten away clean; as it was, they almost did.
"There he is!" I said to Joe.
Joe took off like a shot; I followed at a somewhat slower speed.
When I caught up to him he had already reclaimed our umbrella.
Oh, Joe was quite polite. He asked if that was the octogenarian's umbrella. Mr. Grifter just mumbled and acted like a foggy old absentminded professor. Joe asked him where he got the umbrella.
"Someone handed it to me," he claimed.
Joe said that it was our umbrella and we would like it back, please. Mr. Grifter handed it over and we went our separate ways.
Now, maybe someone really did hand it to the old guy. But why would he take it if it wasn't his? Did he think it was a gift from a random stranger? That people normally go around handing out Caps umbrellas to people in the movie theater?
It still means somebody stole it from us.
What's really odd is that we didn't notice the theft AT ALL. We have no idea when the bumbershoot got boosted. While we had a smooch before the show? During the previews? After the film ended and we were talking about much we liked it?
No clue. But somehow, our intrepid senior-citizen felon managed to snag it out from under our noses.
I like to think the best of people, I really do. I mean, who suspects an 80-plus year old man at the movies of stealing? But no matter how I turn it over in my head, I come to the same conclusion.
We got ripped off by old folks.