Bathroom USB

I was in the pub bathroom close to closing time and, as I was washing my hands, I noticed a little USB stick left by the cold tap on the porcelain.

I was very intrigued by it. I just stood and looked at it for a moment, thinking what — if anything — I should do with it. Who would leave that here? Maybe their phone number is the drive name or something. I had my laptop with me…

I should probably just leave it… Whoever left it will probably remember and it’s so close to closing time someone else will find it who is much more sober than I am and they’ll know what to do with it.

But as I turned to leave, I couldn’t shake the urge to check out what was on it first. I don’t know why. I mean, who leaves USB sticks in bathrooms? Only spies, as far as I know — and this is south east London. I could plug it into my laptop and find secret plans to blow up Greenwich Observatory like I’m in that Joseph Conrad novel. But I also know that sticking unknown hardware into your personal computer is just about the dumbest thing you can do.

I slipped it into my back pocket and headed back to the bar. As I made my coy approach, the woman serving said, “Sorry, last orders — we’re not serving anymore.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “I just found this USB stick in the bathroom and wanted to hand it in to you in case someone comes looking for it.”

I reached into my back pocket and brandished it at her, holding it between my thumb and forefinger and she gave me a look.

“That’s an empty Juul pod.”

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