A Chateau de Cheapeau Christmas Tale

One snowy day earlier this month, my husband stopped by Building 19 in Shrewsbury.  While browsing through a big bin of children’s winter hats & gloves located near the back of the store, he found a keychain that included a key & remote for a Saab vehicle.  He brought it to the service desk and explained where he had found it.  The clerk on duty said that, indeed, someone had phoned recently looking for some lost keys; another clerk nearby said that she, too, had heard from a woman looking for a set of keys.  Happy to have done someone a service, my husband went back to his shopping.


A while later my husband brought his purchases to the cashier; recognizing one of the clerks with whom he’d left the keys, he asked in passing whether they had taken down the phone number of the person who’d been calling for the keys.  The cashier’s eyes opened wide as she realized my husband was the one who’d dropped off the found keys.  She now had a story to tell.


Fifteen minutes after my husband had resumed his shopping  (after leaving the found keys at the service desk), an older woman arrived to ask whether anyone had found a set of keys that she had lost at Building 19.  She was told yes, in fact a gentleman had just turned in a set, which turned out to be the ones she’d lost!  She was overcome with joy, and asked whether the person who found them might still be in the store, wanting to thank him personally.  The clerks weren’t sure, but had someone look around; they were unable to find my husband, and assumed he had already left.  I’m sure by this point he was elbow-deep into one of many banana boxes full of discounted merchandise.

The keys had been lost a week previous to these events.  The woman was quite sure she’d lost them at Building 19, and had either visited or phoned the store each day since.  She mentioned to store employees that her husband was rather upset with her; they discovered after the loss that the key and remote for this sort of vehicle would cost them $1,000 to replace.  With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why she’d be returning & phoning frequently, and if she’s the religious sort, probably praying fervently as well.

If so, her prayers were answered that day.  But, unable to thank her benefactor, she thanked the clerks instead and walked away from the service desk.


Fast forward again to when my husband is waiting at the register with his purchases — the staff now realize that my husband hadn’t yet left after all, and one immediately went to the P.A. system to ask whether the woman who had recently got her key back was still in the store.  But it seems she had left, probably gone off home to tell her husband the good news.


My own husband was a bit mystified by all the fuss over having done what any decent person would have.  But the $1,000 keys being reunited with their owner evidently so touched the hearts of the cashiers at Building 19 that one of them made an executive decision on the spot and they presented my husband with a bottle of “Chateau de Cheapeau“, a champagne which cannot be bought . . . it is only given free to a person if he/she manages to find that an item in Building 19 can be bought more cheaply at some other store in New England.  As fun as it would be to “earn” a bottle by finding a bargain somewhere, it was very thoughtful of the staff to make an exception this one time and award a bottle to a good samaritan.  Jerry Ellis should be proud of his staff in Shrewsbury.

CheapeauWe haven’t yet popped the cork on this bubbly, but when we do, we’ll offer a toast to happy endings and prayers answered.  May we all be more careful with our keys; be willing to thank someone on behalf of another; and do the right thing . . . just because.

Merry Christmas.


One thought on “A Chateau de Cheapeau Christmas Tale

  1. Thanks for posting that. Those near to me know how much I hate the holidays but your missive has caused me to greet this morning with a smile. Thank you for that. Plus, I’m bound to love any story that involves either a car or cheap wine and this one had both! Have a terrific Christmas Eve.

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