License to Pitch

I’ve used wallets of various design for decades, but there’s one feature that’s always the same: they break my credit cards. I tried carrying my wallet in a front pocket, but honestly it looked like I had an unusually rectangular thigh tumor. More importantly, it wasn’t easy to pull out my wallet when I was seated.

After ordering the latest replacement for my debit card, I decided it was time to try a steel wallet. These are all the rage among the paranoid because apparently naughty people can read your cards with spy beams or something. Me, I just want a wallet that won’t wreck my shit.

I checked Amazon for ideas, and stumbled on This webshop sells metal cases decorated with various posters and iconic images. I scrolled through for a while; nodding, smiling, and shaking my head. Then I saw it: a poster of the spectacular Daleks from Dr. Who and the Daleks.

I’d have recognized the image even without the title, rendered in blocky yellow movie font. The film’s a favorite of mine because of its design esthetic. Also, because it’s fun seeing Peter Cushing acting like a congenially befuddled grandfather.

The Dalek’s command center in the stylish “Dr. Who and the Daleks”.

Because of circumstances I receive my packages at work. I stay friendly with the administrative staff because they have to deal with things like my constant influx of packages. Pro tip: be good to people who can hold up your 2-day shipments of comics.

When my Dalek case came in I rushed to my desk and immediately began transferring everything from my wallet. I made sure to check all the hidden pockets where I tend to stash things like my proof of insurance. Then I had to work out where to put everything. The case was general purpose, with clips in the lid and bottom. Condensing everything from several slots and pockets into two sections took a bit of thought.

I didn’t relish sitting on a hard metal case, so I wouldn’t be able to put it in my back pocket. I’d need to find a different way of carrying it around. Eventually I worked it out, and everything ended happily.


The next day Wendi and I had to drive in separately. It was my City of Villains league night, and Wendi was going to a friend’s house to make crafts. I got in my car that morning, but as the new wallet had altered my routine I had some compulsions to deal with. I’d have to check a few times, just to make sure I hadn’t misplaced it.

I pulled out the wallet and opened it up. Credit cards, documents, random bits of paper — everything checked out. Hold on, where’s my driver’s license? I went through everything twice more, but the license failed to turn up. Crap!

Thinking back, I could recall intending to remove my license from the old wallet. I could also clearly remember being distracted by all the pockets in the removable id fold. Had I gone back and pulled out the license? Was it or the id fold still on my desk, or had they both been in the wallet when I’d thrown it away?

Why did my compulsions to triple-check everything never strike when I was throwing my driver’s license away?

I decided to risk driving in to work, in the hope that my license would be waiting for me. Wendi, having found me still in the driveway, expressed somewhat justifiable concern about my ability to not get pulled over. She didn’t press it though, and I drove safely and cautiously to work.

My driver’s license was nowhere to be found.

I whined a bit on more conversational social media. Then I looked up how to get a replacement. As it turned out, all I needed to get a replacement was the license number. I went back to the social media and whined some more.

While I was gloomily formulating a plan for getting a replacement license, I received an email from our chief office administrator.

Hi — the cleaning crew brought me an empty wallet of yours, with a chauffeur license in it. Is this something you meant to throw out?

Why, no. No, I had not. I responded:

OMG THANK YOU! What a fantastic cleaning staff we have!

Then I ran to her desk, scaring the contractors who had never seen me move that quickly. I retrieved the license and put it into the Dalek case. I thought about tossing the wallet again, but I decided to do it at home. At least that way I’d have a few days grace for digging it out of the trash before it went to the curb.

Two weeks later, it’s still on a table in our living room. Despite numerous investigations that came up empty, I’m terrified that there’s still something in it.


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