Remember that one time on the bus when Jimmy Carter lost his wallet and Snow White kept him together? Well of course you don’t, so I’m going to tell you everything that happened.
The bus in question isn’t of the mass transit variety, it is a luxury tour bus, full of tourists, leaving Glasgow early in the morning. Fronk told everyone the day before what a scuddy place Glasgow is, populated by lowlife felons. Lara thinks those might not have been his exact words. Maybe he said scalawags or hoodlums, but whatever terms he used, his contempt was clear. For Fronk, Edinburgh is a much more civilized place to be. Edinburgh is smooth, and Glasgow is rough in comparison. Since he personally has lived in both cities, no one on the bus feels too inclined to openly disagree with his informed opinion. But let’s get back to poor Jimmy who is working himself up into a state, convinced that one of those Glasgow blackguards must be responsible for this very unfortunate turn of events.
His name isn’t really Jimmy Carter of course, but the resemblance is astounding. When they think about it later, neither Lara nor Ainslee have any idea at all what his real name is. Or how he came to be happily married to a Snow White clone whose real identity they never learn either. She is just the sweetest little thing, maybe four-foot ten in her bare feet and ninety-eight pounds soaking wet with lovely smooth skin and jet black hair. Almost makes you want to start humming that “hi-ho hi-ho” song every time you look at her.
Lara is writing ”Glasscow” in her travel diary when Jimmy shows the first indications of working himself up into a full-blown panic, and Ainslee is helpfully pointing out that “Tincow” and ”Plasticow” are probably neighboring towns. Although she thinks “Rubbercow” might be somewhere in Wales. Things like this are snortingly funny first thing in the morning towards the end of your holiday when you are ridiculously sleep deprived. Watching a fellow traveller heading towards meltdown definitely puts a bit of a damper on things.
Jimmy is suddenly in the aisle, waving at Fronk, asking him to wait, please wait! His wallet is missing. Missing! It is not in his pants pocket. He is rather frantically patting himself down from head to toe, as if the thing might have grown legs and migrated to some other location on his body. Snow White calmly and methodically checks their carry on bags and then stands on their seat and rummages around in the overhead bin. Then at Jimmy’s suggestion she even checks her own purse. Nothing good to report. She gives Jimmy’s arm a reassuring pat and tells him not to worry, everything will be alright. Lara is completely mesmerized by her. Because she has not done the normal things a wife might be expected to do, like panic herself and ask a bunch of stupid questions. If that were me, Lara thinks, I’d have grabbed him by the arm and said completely useless things, like ARE YOU SURE? and WHERE DID YOU LEAVE IT? But those would be purely diversionary tactics to keep her husband from somehow making the whole situation her fault instead of his.
Fronk finally gets Jimmy to sit down and breathe deeply and try to recall when the wallet was last seen or used. Jimmy is pretty sure he had it last night. But perhaps not this morning at breakfast. Because breakfasts are always complimentary. Fronk smiles at Jimmy’s little white face and makes a phone call to the hotel they have just vacated. Jimmy’s head appears to be perspiring. When it becomes apparent after some lengthy discussion that the wallet has not been left behind in their room and has not been turned in to the front desk, Jimmy is skeptical. But before he can get going on his missing credit card rant, Fronk has persuaded him to come off the bus and identify his luggage down below. Snow White dutifully follows behind him, probably propping him up. Stand by your man, thinks Lara. What is it about this lady that makes her want to sing these stupid songs?
Lara flips back a page in her travel book and corrects all the misspelled Glass Cows. Honestly. She should get Ainslee to proof read the damned thing, but isn’t sure she wants to be the cause of all the hilarity that is sure to ensue. Ainslee is looking out the window at the post-dawn city. It’s going to be another sunny fall day, their last in Scotland. Their first in Wales, if they manage to get back on the road with a sedated Jimmy Carter duct taped to his seat.
But suddenly, there he is! Triumphantly waving his wallet above his head as he beams at his fellow travellers! The wallet was in the back pocket of the pants he wore yesterday, neatly folded in his suitcase. If Snow White is the one who folded them neatly and put them there, her expression does not give this fact away. She is placid and serene and not at all surprised that things have turned out just fine.
“Wow,” Lara says as she watches them sit down and sees Jimmy give his wife a hug and smiles as he kisses her forehead and once again reverts to his normal human color. “I want Snow White around for my next crisis.” Ainslee tells her to write that down for posterity, but Lara decides it’s not a statement she’d like taken out of context. She jots down “Jimmy Carter is one lucky guy” instead.