THE DRAMATIC TALE OF MATT STOUT'S INABILITY TO MAINTAIN POSSESSION OF HIS IPHONE CONTINUES WITH ANOTHER INSTALLMENT...HOPEFULLY THE LAST.
If you missed part one of my misadventures, you can catch up here.
I was on my way to visit my family in NJ at the end of July and decided to fly into NYC and see my good friend Pete "petegotaplan" Lubrano on the way. Naturally one of the main reasons I hit Brooklyn is to enjoy some of the world's finest pizza, and this night was no exception. Immediately after leaving the airport we decided to hit a late night pizza spot called J&V for some midnight pizza action. We feasted like wild animals on some primo pizza and headed back to Pete's house to relax and get our minds right.
A little after 1am I decide to test out a new Brookstone iPhone speaker I'd just bought, but the real story is that I wasn't even able to find that out until later because I COULDN'T FIND MY FUCKING PHONE AGAIN! At first I thought it was in our friend Johnny's car who we'd been driving around with, but he was already asleep so we couldn't check.
Just to *make sure* it was there, I logged into MobileMe and checked the location. As soon as I told Pete the intersection where it was coming up he shot me the "oh shit" look, and I knew it was neither Johnny's house nor the pizza parlor. This was NOT GOOD! I went through my typical level of panic, which mostly consists of figuring out the likelihood of retrieval combined, how long it has been since I've synced it to my desktop at home/how much data I'm going to lose, and if I've had it long enough for AT&T to give me the promo price rather than the retail price (read: rape rate of $700+).
As I was getting ready to send a message to the "holder" of my phone offering a reward and politely letting them know I know where they are, I realized that the location of the phone had changed! I watched as it continued to move around the streets of Brooklyn, and quickly realized that it was moving too fast not to be in a car. I watched and waited for the car to stop, then told Pete the intersection.
"That's the pizza shop..."
"What the fuck...the delivery guy took my phone!?"
So I called the pizza place and asked just asked if they saw a phone there matching my description. The guy who answered the phone asked another guy who was working the counter, and he replied that they hadn't seen it. I told him that was a little weird, because I had a GPS signal on the phone that said it was in the building. I gave him a couple locations that I'd just traced the phone to, and asked if the delivery guy had just been to those places.
Suddenly the guy's tone changed! What a surprise. He said that the delivery guy "probably" had it, that he'd just went out to run more deliveries, and that he'd call and ask him. I called back five minutes later and told him where the driver was delivering to right then, and he confirmed that the driver had it. He told me that I could pick it up in the morning when they open since it was after 1:45am at this point and they close at 2am. I told him I'd rather come by right then and grab it, and he told me as long as long as I got there fast enough it'd be fine.
When we arrived, the guy who we'd spoken to on the phone was very apologetic...even though I think he knew all along. He tried to defend the delivery guy in some strange Brooklyn way by saying, "He's a young kid, he saw a brand new phone, he took a shot! I called him up and asked him if he had something that didn't belong to him and he tried to deny it at first, and I told him he was a dummy and there was a GPS on the phone tracing him."
I'm still trying to figure out why he would bother saying anything like this at all, and the only explanation I can come up with is that he was ratting the other guy out to try to cover his own ass...which was not clean. Either way, I won't be returning to J&V Pizza in Brooklyn, and I hope my friends won't be either.
Fast forward just TWO WEEKS, when I'm back home in Las Vegas. You'd think by this point I'd have a high-tech homing device for my phone, or at the very least some sort of leash that would attach the phone to my person at all times. I did not.
Mike Matusow called me up and told me that he was going to the "Midsummer Night's Dream Masquerade/Lingerie Party" at the Palms Pool, and that he was going to have a private cabana with a bunch of girls in sexy underwear as far as the eye can see. Nothing about this sounded bad, except having to find a mask. =)
I brought my buddies Allan Taylor and Sean O'Rourke from high school with me since they were in town and I needed to show them how we party in Vegas. And show them I did. We all got smashed and were having a blast. Apparently I was having a bit too good of a time, because I only remember my first three hours or so at the party...then I remember waking up in my bed at home at noon the next day.
Now, those of you who read my blog regularly may already know that this summer included my first two introductions to blackout drinking, but somehow my phone hadn't been truly lost in either of these cases. Well, the third time is, in fact, a charm! As I staggered around my house I found a few cards from my wallet randomly tossed in a line from the stairs to my bedroom. It was as if I thought I was Hansel and fucking Gretel trying to leave a trail so I'd be able to find my way back to the front door when I woke up.
My phone was nowhere to be found, of course, but that's not really surprising. I was happy to find that my car hadn't made it home with me, and was presumably still in one piece at the Palms parking garage where I left it. Since I couldn't find my debit card I decided to check my online statement and make sure that there weren't any fraudulent charges. What I found answered one question, but raised another very good one.
I found a charge for $45.23 that I couldn't identify, so I googled the information provided by my bank. It turned out to be a cab company, so at least I found out how I'd gotten home the night before. The only problem with that is I couldn't figure out how the hell I'd paid for the taxi with my debit card -- which presumably would occur in front of my house at the end of the ride -- and yet couldn't find my debit card anywhere in the house the next day. This led me to believe that I might have managed to leave my debit card in the cab, and even possibly my phone as well.
The battery was already dead when I lost the phone, so trying to locate and send a message to it through MobileMe failed. As soon as the phone was powered on the message would go through and I'd be sent a confirmation email, but days went by and that never happened. I eventually got in touch with the lost and found at the cab company after several voicemails, but they didn't have it. After three days went by I decided to give up and bought a new phone, figuring that the person who found it knew what they were doing and were able to restore the phone to factory settings without turning it on.
The next day around 6pm I received an email saying that the message had been received on my phone! It was in one of the worse areas of town near North Las Vegas. They ignored the offer of a $150 reward with instructions to call/email me, and I sent another message. When they didn't respond to that I called the Las Vegas Metro PD and made sure they were willing to do the same thing Henderson did. They said they were, and told me to call when I was near the house.
I called them from the parking lot of a Burger King nearby, and only had to wait about 15 minutes before two officers showed up in separate cars. I told the officers the story, gave them a description of the phone, and explained how precise the GPS was. One of the officers asked plenty of questions as he formulated his plan. Then he explaned his plan, which was something like this:
"Since we can't get a search warrant, we have to do our best to get him to hand it over. I'll give him an exact description of the phone and tell him that since the phone wasn't technically stolen we understand that sometimes you can find a phone and not have a chance to turn it in yet. But if he doesn't want to cooperate I'll tell him that we can do this the easy way or the hard way, and that if he doesn't give up the phone that we'll have officers stay around the house and watch his every move while we get a search warrant, and that we'll be back to come in and take the phone once we have it."
PERFECT! I loved this guy's style, and I was damn near positive I'd be getting the phone back. We pulled up in three cars outside the guy's house to find him just hanging out on his front porch, which was perfect because it ruined his ability to thwart our efforts by not answering the door. He looked terrified as soon as the cops started shining their flashlights on him, and it took about two minutes of them chatting before he led the officers inside to get the phone. We were there and gone in under five minutes. Easy game.
I'd also like to explicitly state that I don't think I'm cool when I tell these stories about blackout drinking. Blackout drinking sucks, and is stupid and dangerous. In a way, I can't even believe that alcohol is legal considering the potential effects. The fact that alcohol is legal and marijuana is not makes no sense to me on many levels, especially as it relates to overdosing/blacking out. I've never been that into alcohol and was always been a very responsible drinker in the past, so I'm think I'm going to go back to that approach.
...I'll probably still lose my phone, though.