A Gentlemanly Transaction by Stephen Mander

April 19, 2015

No. This is absolutely true, I swear. I saw this guy walking his dog in the park, and I thought, you know, that he’d be good for some.

So I walked up to him, said hello and that, complimented him on his dog, then asked if I could have his phone and his wallet, if he didn’t mind – I don’t see the point in being aggressive – and he said, oh, okay, like we were in a butchers or something and I was one of his regular customers.

He put his hands in his pockets and got them out, wallet from his trousers, iPhone from his inside jacket, then gave me the phone. He was about to hand me the wallet – stuffed full it was too – when he said:

Look, I can see you’re a good sort, you were polite and said nice things about my dog, so can I ask you for something too? You know, he appealed to my better nature. And, well, I’m a sucker for that kind of thing, and I’d already got the phone so I said sure, and he opened his wallet and said:

Look, I’ll give you this. I’ve got no problem you having my credit card, or this for that matter, he went on, pointing at what was a debit card. You can have all the cash too. I can call up my credit card company and bank once we’re done and cancel the cards – after you’ve bought some things, of course, you should get some fun out of them. It’ll take me half an hour to get home and do that and phone the police, if not longer, Benny hasn’t had much of a walk yet, and I can always tell a little white lie about when you mugged me.

Some of this other stuff, though, he carried on, I can’t let you have. I need this pass to get into work, and this is my library card, which I suppose you could have, but – tell me if I’m wrong – you’re not the reading type (I’m not so I didn’t). And as for these, well, do you really need pictures of my wife and kids? And he was right. I didn’t and told him so.

So he took out the photos, library card and pass, handed me the wallet and said, well, it was a pleasure doing business with you. Now, would you like to throw this stick for Benny before we go our separate ways? He really loves chasing sticks.

So I did. And you know what? Benny really did love chasing those sticks.


Stephen Mander is originally from Liverpool in the UK, but has lived and worked in Japan, Australia, Hungary, Slovakia, Syria and Vietnam. He currently lives in Jordan.