Monday, September 28, 2009

When your stuff flies onto the freeway ~ what hat does one wear?

Revisiting some of my infamous past today as I received the funniest e-mail from my friend Dave. But first this story only works if we go back to the beginning ~ this letter was sent to the COACH purse headquarters March 6th, 2003 immediately following the incident I described here.

Attn: Returns
One Coach Way
Jacksonville, Florida 32218

Dear Sir or Ma’am,

I thought this account would provide an interesting and unusual story about what happened to one of your bags recently. Last night I was riding north on the US 101 on my motorcycle in the Bay Area. Since I purchased your suede purse last November, I’ve been wearing it slung messenger bag style over my shoulder when I ride. For me, it was nice to have a big purse conveniently located on my person and actually making a small fashion statement as I rode my motorcycle., I thought my good judgment had prevailed and it seemed unlikely odds I would lose the purse this way. Well, much to my surprise as I was going past the Seminary exit in Mill Valley, I felt the purse release from my body and fly off onto the freeway as I was going 60 mph in the number two lane (second to the fast lane). I quickly pulled over to the shoulder, parked and ran back to the place where my purse had landed. Thank goodness I took hold of my senses and didn’t try to run out and retrieve it… but it was truly heartbreaking to see my months-old Coach purse being driven over by cars, buses and trucks. After several agonizing moments, I pulled off the freeway and called 911. The CHP officers were dispatched immediately and they recovered the purse and wallet (which had flown out because I zipped closed about half way) with not much in it. I thought you’d be interested to see what it looked like after only 10 minutes on the freeway! Anyway, I am going to get up the nerve to try and get another one of your purses soon and this time I’ll resort to tying it down with a cargo net on the back of the bike.

Almost three weeks after I sent this letter, I received a call at my office from the executive assistant to Lew Frankfort, the CEO of COACH who got wind of my letter and bag and they apparently all reviewed this at their monthly shareholder's meeting in Pensacola. My story was so unusual and they got such a laugh out of it that they sent me a new replacement purse within weeks.

The other good news from this bizarre incident was that I have become friends with the CHP Officer (Patrick) that retrieved my purse. For the past six years, I see Officer Patrick frequently at the local coffee house and we share the commonality of both riding BMW motorcycles, and he sometimes enjoys telling others how we initially met over the traffic break he ran to retrieve my purse!

Then today comes this e-mail from Dave, he writes:

So we are driving back from Bolinas yeterday w/surfboard on top of Marg's Honda. Past Mill Valley we turn onto 101 South on-ramp just after Buckeye Roadhouse. As soon as we get on 101, a violent gust of wind rips the surfboard off the car roof and across the highway to the area by the middle lane divider. How it didn't hit another car or worse yet a motorcyclist while blowing across three lanes in heavy traffic, is a miracle.

At any rate, Marg screams "LEAVE IT! FORGET ABOUT IT, YOU'LL NEVER GET IT... and you'll GET KILLED!"

But I can't leave it. I just can't.

So I drive Marg and the girls home and return to try to get the surfboard now pinned against the highway divider. Eventually the CHP patrol motorcycle officer comes, then another patrol car drives down the highway swerving in and out for a traffic "break" until all the weekend traffic heading back to San Francisco comes to an abrupt halt.... & I then creep sheepishly across the highway to retrieve the surfboard.

This is not the end of story.

When I return triumphantly back to the breakdown lane, the CHP officer says that "someone else had claimed the board!"

"You're kidding me," but he is not kidding....and they take the board away from me and start to stuff it in the back of the Patrol Car.

I get Marg on the phone and she tries to positively identify the surfboard. It was only then that officer Patrick, after learning we were your friend, coughed up the surfboard and returned it to us. Patrick mentioned something about a "Coach bag" and said that this event trumped it.

No comments: