This morning, on the way to work, I dropped most of the contents of my wallet down a street grate. Not intentionally. As fortune would have it, a Con Ed supervisor sort of guy was right there talking to some building maintenance people. When they were done I pointed out my problem, the Con Ed guy, while sympathetic, told me he’d have to get a crew out to rescue the wallet and, obviously, that was not going to happen.
Con Ed was really my only option, the space beneath the grate was particularly deep, at least twenty feet, and, while I could see my stuff quite clearly, there was really no way to get at it. I thought briefly of putting a dollop of tar at the end of a long rope–I remember seeing people fishing for dimes and other change this way a few times when I was kid, I think inflation has rendered this activity extinct, who is going to go through that kind of effort for ten cents–but my lack of either tar or rope kind of put the kibosh on that plan. So, I gave up. I’m not really a fighter.