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Credit Card Hack

Hmm. Last week I randomly cut out a picture of an uncut boy and then subsequently met him. This week’s adventure makes me think I might be on my way to new a degree of royalty … King of the Small World.

Or if not, at least there's a bit of odd luck following me around this town.

One of the lovely ladies I used to work with in NY was in London this week and we’d agreed to meet for drinks and catch up (the social activity, not the condiment).

“We’re at the Lanesborough,” was the message on my Blackberry.

A few posh cocktails later (and I apparently was behind by a several rounds), I decided it was time to go.

“How does one get to Le Meridian Picadilly from here?” my friend asked, as we were getting our coats. It wasn’t far, and she seemed a little lit, so I put on my chivalry hat (the one that doesn’t get worn much these days) and said I’d escort her home. On the way to the hotel, she asked where to get a burger and we decided to go have some dinner. What the hell … she’d unwittingly helped me with my mood, the least I could do was blow off some work and have a meal with her.

After an all-American feast of roast chicken and Bush bashing, it really was time to go. We got ready to pay the bill and she insisted on using her corporate card.

“No no, you bought drinks at the fancy hotel, the least I can do is pick up dinner.”

She disagreed, but couldn’t seem to find the card she’d used at the Lanesborough. I was so hoping it was tucked away in her wallet or cute little handbag (if I were a girl … shut up, all of you … I’d have the cutest bags all the time). I really didn’t feel like schlepping back to Hyde Park to procure a misplaced credit card (the chivalry hat had apparently shrunk a little in the rain and was giving me a headache).

So we hoped for the best and I walked her through Soho and down to Picadilly. About 20 yards from the hotel, I heard a little chirp.

“Oh no,” J said. “I’ve gotten the hiccups. I can’t go into the hotel with the hiccups.”

“Sure you can, you clearly won’t be the first person to walk through the lobby with a buzz on.” I knew this to be true … I have stayed in that hotel.

I was not to be trusted, it seems. She stood on the curb, arms stretched out to the side, loudly exhaling through pursed lips. This was a hiccup remedy I’d not seen before, but certainly attention getting.

I heard the beep of a horn and a nearby cab driver was motioning towards me. I waved him on, not needing a cab, just needing J to put her arms down and get into her hotel.

He motioned to me again, and I shook my head … “no thanks, we’re fine.”

He pulled to the side of the road, rolled his window down and waved me towards him.

“Really sir, we don’t need a cab. We’re staying right here, just getting a breath of air.”

“Pardon gov, but didn’t I pick the two of you up at the Lansborough a couple hours ago?”

“Um, you might have … but I don’t …”

He held up a credit card that looked surprisingly like the one J had used to pay the bar tab.

“Are you f*cking kidding me?” I asked in my most eloquent American way. I confirmed my friend’s name, the driver looked at the card.

“Seems to be hers, gov. Here you are,” and handed me the missing card.

I thanked him profusely, gave him a nice tip and came back to she-who-invented-breathing-exercises.

“No, go take the *h’cup* cab,” she said, “I’ll be fine.”

I assured her I didn’t need the cab.

“But you paid him, I saw you. Go on, get in and go home.”

“I didn’t pay him, I tipped him,” I told her, handing her the previously missing piece of plastic.

“Did you have this the whole time? Just cause you wanted to buy dinner?”

I assured her I did not, and apparently it had fallen out of her coat pocket on the ride over to Soho, she was perhaps the luckiest woman I knew, and it was clearly time to stop pressing her luck and get to bed.

“Oh.My.God. I looooooooooove London,” she yelled.

So do I.

And I still can’t believe how random that was.