Top Ten Things Not to Do When You Left Your Money and ID at Home


The inspiration for this list was going to dinner and forgetting to put my wallet in my pocket. Although it sounds impossible, I very seldom need to leave the house (Yes, Mr. Hughes?) so I have lost the natural tendency to check to see if I have everything with me. Lucky for me, none of the consequences materialized.

10 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not offer to pick up the dinner tab. If you do, at best your partner will have you covered. At worst, you and your guests will experience kitchen cleanliness first hand. (So you took your boss to dinner, Etu and he forgot his wallet as well. It is a shame about his new suit and that ketchup accident.)

9 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not offer to buy Tiny, the WWF champ, a drink when he has apparently had too much. If you do, at best Tiny will forget the offer. At worst, Tiny has been drowning his sorrows at being told no one likes him in his self-esteem seminar. (Notice how his eyes lit up when you offered to pay for his drink, Eustachy? The bartender is waiting for the money, and Tiny’s eyes are beginning to detect you may renege. Might be time to leave fast.)

8 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not exceed the speed limit. If you do, at best all the traffic patrol officers are in a meeting. At worst, trying to explain who you are and that you are licensed to drive may have to wait for the judge tomorrow. (You have to admit not being able to post bail has given you a brand new experience, Evans. I think that big guy over in the corner kind of likes you.)

7 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not unload your overstuffed grocery cart on the ten items or less conveyor belt. If you do, at best the store will be un-crowded. At worst, you will have sixteen construction workers behind you who only have thirty minutes for lunch. (As the clerk calls for the manager you can detect some discontent behind you, Everley. Might be a good idea to sprint for the door while you can still sprint.)

6 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not take a number at the DMV. If you do, at best you’ll come to your senses before long. At worst, you’ll wait the required number of hours until your number is called only to discover the missing items. (The only person who is happy with you now, Evin is the person next to be called after you are told to step aside.)

5 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not enter the toll road. If you do, at best a kindly motorist will pay your toll. At worst, the toll taker will exercise the right to have your car impounded. (No, the tow truck operator will not give you a ride home, Ethan. He’s going to take your car to the impound lot where if you are lucky no one will put another on top of yours.)

4 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not go through the drive-through at your favorite fast food restaurant. If you do, at best you can say you’re sorry and move on. At worst, the manager of the store has been given a reprimand for having high waste numbers and is now dialing the police. (Don’t be concerned with the honking patrons behind you, Eli. The manager is calling a SWAT team claiming you are holding up the store. Time for a Dukes of Hazard get away.)

3 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not get on that train to Yuma. If you do, at best the conductor may miss you. At worst, you might find yourself standing in the middle of the tracks in a place with no name. (Are those vultures circling overhead, Ezra?)

2 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not try to get through the TSA inspection point at the airport. If you do, at best you’ll be turned away. At worst, a picture of someone who looks like you just came across the international terrorist warning screen and the guy looking at you wants a promotion. (You might as well put those hands in the air, Elliot. That air marshall doesn’t look like he is kidding with the order.)

1 If you leave the house without money or ID, do not attempt to make a withdrawal from your bank. If you do, at best the clerk recognizes you. At worst, when asked for ID you provide some excuse that causes the clerk to hit the silent alarm. (How does the cold marble floor feel, Everett? I think I would follow the suggestion and don’t move.)


  1. “Yes, Mr. Hughes.” LOL! Great top-ten, John. Happy Monday!

    1. Thanks for laughting at my obscure reference, Jill. 😀

      1. If you haven’t read HIS LIFE HIS MADNESS, you should check it out, John.

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    Too funny, John, especially #3 … in the middle of the tracks in a place with no names. Having grown up not far from Yuba, I’d definitely fear that fate. 😀

    1. I can imagine, Gwen. Thanks.

  3. Poor Tiny. I think most people have had this oopsie happen. It’s nerve wracking, especially if you notice your wallet is home in the middle of driving. Then every traffic law pops into your head and you just start imagining a cop is lurking around every corner.

    1. So true, Charles. LOL.

  4. If you end up “standing in the middle of the tracks in a place with no name,” another “at best” possibility is that the horse with no name finally shows up to get you out of that particular desert.

    1. Good one Linda. Thanks. 😀

  5. You’ve done it again!

    1. *Looks around. “I didn’t take the last donut. Honest.” (Thanks, GP LOL)

  6. Melinda Lee · ·

    hah! I often forget my money and ID, and have run through many of these best-case and worst-case scenarios. I do not recommend any of them!

    1. Thank you for the visit and sharing, Melinda.

  7. Another good one, John. I’ve left home without my wallet and ID, and I’ve come close to a couple of these. Fortunately, I didn’t offer to buy Tiny that beer.

    1. Missed the pleasure, Dan

  8. I did that Friday night. My wife picked up our tab.

      1. Good thing they didn’t card me, or I wouldn’t have gotten any beer.

  9. These are GOOD, John — thanks for brightening my gray Monday!!

    1. Anytime, Debbie. 😀

  10. I just did this on Friday. Left for an appointment and realized halfway there I’d brought my Kindle (never leave home without a book) and phone, but no purse.

    1. You could always barter with the Kindle.

      1. Ha ha ha. I knew that.

  11. At the John Deere dealership while buying a $5,000 lawn tractor.

    “You don’t take credit cards?”

    “Nope, we don’t like getting dinged for the charges.”

    “I don’t have my checkbook, I’ll have to come back Monday to pick it up.”

    “No…take it now. You’ll need it this afternoon, it’s going to rain all next week.”

    “That’s amazing that you trust me. I’m new to the area and…”

    “We know who you are. You are Mike’s brother-in-law and that is good enough for us.”

    1. My car guy is like that. “Here take it home. See if you like it.” I never heard a John Deer Dealer doing that though.

  12. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Great list! A few of these have happened luckily my husband was nearby…ha ha.

    1. Always good to have back-up. 😀 Thanks, Denise.

  13. I didn’t know you were a third cousin twice removed from Howard Hughes! Glad you made it out for a short while, even if you did forget your wallet. Great list again, John!

    1. Thank you, John

  14. Very practical advices 😂😂
    Mmm, happened with a couple of times. Thx God I was at the store only and it was not so far from the house 🙂

    1. Yes a quick run and all is good.

  15. I hope you haven’t jinxed me. 🙂 Thanks for the laugh.

    1. Hey turn around. Isn’t that your purse on the kitchen counter?

      1. Giggle. I wasn’t leaving quite yet….

      2. Looked like it though.

  16. My favorite was #3. I’ve seen some of those places in the middle of nowhere. Those circling vultures would be really scary. Aren’t those the kind of places in mysteries where murders take place? I love the meme at the top. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. Thank you so much, Suzanne. Yes those are Twilight Zone kind of places.

  17. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out John Howell’s latest top ten list with the things not to do when you left your money and ID at home from this post on his Fiction Favorites blog.

      1. You’re welcome.

  18. LOL. Great list, John. They’re ingraining the ID thing into us at work…. that or conditioning us for the day they decide to keep us all prisoner for real. We have to use our ID badge to get OUT as well as in…
    I told them they should have just given us prison anklets. It would be a lot easier and cheaper than spending several million dollars on two new systems to keep track of all the in and out, and having us take all that time signing into and out of 3 systems every time we leave the office.
    Heck, I could have put some bedazzle stuff on that anklet and made it cute… How much is an anklet anyway? Probably a lot less per person than they spent.

    A coworker told me that Sweden or somewhere was experimenting with a scan-able chip in the index finger. They couldn’t do that here. They’d see how much time the executives spend picking their noses…
    Have a terrific Tuesday! Hugs.

    1. Ha haha. you kill me Teagan. I was at a place where you had to scan in and out. Rush hour was a bear. Had people all sweaty at quitting time. A new term came up “Hall rage.”

    2. Ha ha, Teagan. We have access cards to and if you should leave it in your car by accident [which I have done, of course], you can’t activate the lifts. You can get in but once in, you can’t press a button or get out again. Eeeek!

      1. Man, talk about disenfranchised.

  19. #7…yeah, been there, done that. Twice! Thankfully we have a long, and friendly relationship at my grocery store. 🙂

    #5: I am thankful for FastTrak!! 🙂

    Is the tattoo or Mark on the Forehead that much closer? It’s looking like it. 😒

    1. A replica of your thumprint as a second validation

  20. This is so funny, John. I am usually the one who ends up paying because other people leave their wallets in the car, at home, you name it.

    1. Why am I not surprised. You are so nice. 😀

  21. PS I really liked Greg’s daughter and I think she needs her own book.

    1. Ha haha. She is very competent for sure. Both of my daughters think I wrote the character with each in mind. I suppose I did.

  22. Oh my goodness where’s my wallet! I once left my keys and wallet in the house on my way to work. I had my car keys but nothing else. I had to ring the bell countless times until my sleepy daughter heard It! it was an anxious moment!

    1. I once got on an airplane (before TSA) and flew halfway across the country with no wallet. My first thought was I lost it in the airport. A call home (collect) confirmed it was on my dresser. That was a week from hell. Lucky I was being met at the airport because I woud still be there.

  23. So funny, John! 😅

      1. You’re welcome, John.

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