Here's a little play-by-play of today's early morning phonecall.
“Hello Mrs. Shepard, this is your credit card company calling to confirm some unusual activity on you card. First is your card in your possession?”
“First, a transaction at orderviagra.com…?”
Silence and confusion on my end.
“… $897…? Mrs. Shepard..?”
I was just kind of stunned at this point. I am physically holding my card (let’s pretend it’s black) and in that moment, it’s like it suddenly transformed into a bag of dog poo. It’s like the most Harry Potter experience that I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve got it in this primal pincher-grasp, too repulsed to touch it too much, but also afraid to drop it for fear of what it’s gonna buy next if I take my eyes off of it.
I find my voice and deny the purchase. The MasterCard guy continues to list charges made on various male enhancement sites, all the names of which are increasingly cringe-inducing, and by the time he finishes, I honestly feel like this little rectangle of plastic is in need of a bleaching. I also feel like it's betrayed me.
I deny these charges, too and he proceeds with a string of others as I rub my temples and wonder if my credit report has now been irrevocably smudged with a big perverted smudgey blemish.
“Alright, Ma’am.” (That title never helps when I’m irritated) “We had a little bet around here that you weren’t planning a party.” Great, I got the humorous fraud investigator. “How about $700 for miscellaneous charges at 1-800 flowers.com?”
$700! For flowers!! Now I feel really betrayed. It’s my credit card—why can’t I drop benjamins like that on flowers. Yeah, I just said benjamins. I’m the victim of fraud—a brush with crime like that allots me the use of a few choice bits of slang. I speak into the phone, “No.”
A little laugh on the other side of the phone, “Alright. Moving along. There’s a few more floral places. Have you bought flowers—a lot of flowers-- in the past 36 hours?”
“No.” Bitterness actually has a taste, I can tell you now.
“Okay, another Viagra one…?”
“We already discussed those. Not me.”
“How about Lowe’s for $245? It was for a shipment of wood.”
“Not me. But if it's being shipped, then you have an address. Can you give me that address and I can go there and wait till this guy gets home ?"
"Why would you want the address Ma'am?"
"Because he stole my card. And I would like those flowers. And that wood, too."
"I don't have the address and I don't think that would be a good idea. We'll handle prosecuting the crime and all the charges will be removed from your account. Don't worry about your credit score."
That's all good and well, but not as satisfying as I would have thought. All of the sudden, I don't care about me and my sorry little pile of legit purchases and my shiny credit score. I want to know what happens next in Fabio's story. What's going to happen to Fabio's weekend? Will the flowers and viagra never arrive? Will he be slapping on his cheap cologne-- (actually who am I kidding, he probably stole your number to buy some good stuff.) Anyway, will he be getting all ready for this hot weekend and lady after lady dumps him because the flowers he promised never arrive? And what of the wood?-- how does that fit into the romantic mood he's setting here? It's this cryptic puzzle... my own riddle of the sphinx. What's gonna happen?
But as the fraud investigator wraps up his queries for me, I realize I'm never gonna find out. My credit will remain unbesmirched. I won't have to pay for any of the stolen charges. My credit report will remain a boring string of predictablility.
All in all this Romeo was planning on having quite the weekend on my dime. And do you know what I'm wishing?
Not that he'll get run over by the flower delivery truck.
Not that his mother will see the packages of Viagra and make him feel really embarrassed.
Not even that he gets a wicked splinter from all that wood.
What I'm wishing is that he makes one more purchase on my card. One more purchase that ties the story together for me. What are you doing this weekend criminal man? Why the wood?
So, hat’s off to you, purchaser of an expensive romantic weekend on my card. You made me actually desire to be robbed again.
You also made my $1 purchase at Redbox seem really lame.