Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Woman sort of looks for owner of lost Father's Day gift

(This is my latest submission for FakeOnion.com)
Just another Sunday turned into anything but for Davenport, Iowa, waitress Jodi Chestnut on Father's Day. 

As Chestnut was picking up her tip from a table at the Davenport Denny's, she noticed a gift bag left behind by her customers.  She knew right away what it was.

"It was a family of four," she told local Fox affiliate KIOA-TV.  "They ordered three Grand Slams and a Cali Jack Turkey Burger with a side of ranch."

When asked by one reporter, "Could you please get to the point, I have to cover the ribbon cutting for the new dog park at 10?" she continued.

"Oh, right!  I saw the son hand the dad a gift card to Home Depot, unwrapped.  That went in his pocket right away.  Then the daughter (who 'looked to be in her early twenties' and was wearing 'this super adorbs top that I'm pretty sure is from the J-Lo line') had gotten him the cutest tie. There was purple in it.  And orange.  And little monkeys on it.  And it was in this gift bag."

Chestnut went on to say the family paid with cash so there was no credit card or check from which to gather an ID. After asking "the couple at table four" if they knew the owners of the gift bag, she says she placed it in the restaurant's lost and found box, thinking surely someone would call about it. 

But no one did.

"I remember the mother saying something about 'let's go, my Hallmark movie starts in half an hour.'  They all got up and started for the door. The dad was the last one at the table.  He dropped a couple of ones for a tip, picked up the gift bag, looked around the restaurant, then he sat the bag back down, sort of over behind our stand-up dessert menu."

Nearly three days after the event, Chestnut was trying to chalk it all up to being "a dad thing."

"You know how dads are.  I'm pretty sure my Dad has lost half the presents I've given him over the years.  I got him a matching wool scarf and hat set for Christmas three years ago.  I've never seen him in it."

Still, the 31-year-old says it's the first time anyone has left behind a Father's Day present in all her four years of waitressing.

"I mean, people have left purses.  Sunglasses.  (They've) even forgotten kids.  But never a Father's Day present.  It's heartbreaking.  This gift represents a daughter's love for her father.  Someone put a lot of thought into that."

A recent survey by the Center for Really Awful Presents (CRAP) said Americans spend, on average, 6-and-a-half minutes selecting their Father's Day gifts.

At press time, the tie was still lying unclaimed in the Denny's lost and found next to a lime green fanny pack and a pocket-sized Gideons New Testament.  However, one of Chestnut's co-workers, a woman named Ruth, had taken the gift bag to use for an upcoming Bar Mitzvah.

UPDATE: The lime green fanny pack belongs to Martha, who works the register on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, day shift.  And turns out the Denny's doesn't even have a lost and found, just "a box where workers sometimes keep things."  This according to "Big Ron," a cook who was taking a smoke break out back.

"Don't call what you're wearing an outfit / Don't ever say your car is broke / Don't worry about losing your accent / A Southern man tells better jokes..."