Funny Stuff

Toronto woman asked to watch stranger's stuff at Starbucks still waiting for person to return 12 years later

November 01, 2016

(Shutterstock / GaudiLab)

TORONTO, ON—It all began one summer afternoon in 2004, when Lorna Motts decided to get out of the house and get some work done at her local coffee shop. Motts, a web designer, typically worked from home on Fridays and was initially just hoping for a change of scenery.

"Shortly after settling in with my latte, a man at the table next to me asked if I would mind watching his stuff while he went to the washroom," she recalls. "And then he just kind of never came back."

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The incident was over a decade ago and since then Motts reports she has settled into her new life living at Starbucks. 

"At first, I certainly encountered some logistical challenges," she explains. "Namely, in figuring out where to sleep and shower." Luckily for Motts, she soon learned that she was not the only one who had been held hostage in the cafe waiting for someone to return and get their stuff.

"There is actually an entire thriving community of people in my same situation who also live here now. We call ourselves the 'Buckers Crew. We are kind of like the characters in The Borrowers. We work with what we have and live together pretty harmoniously."

When asked if she has ever looked through the person's stuff she has been guarding all this time, Motts laughs. "Oh, no. Of course not. I mean I used to be kind of curious but that's not really the proper thing to do."

Motts was eventually was able to get permission from her boss to work remotely on permanent basis, no questions asked, and was also able to get in touch with her landlord and give up her apartment. "I'm just really happy I remembered to pack my phone and computer charger that day!" she says.

Motts also notes how grateful she is that online delivery has become so much more common. "I basically can get everything I need through my Amazon Prime subscription and when I want to treat myself, I order take out from Just Eat. Although I don't have to do that often, because I've really been digging these pumpkin spice muffins."

Ah, the great Canadian tradition of being too polite at coffee shops:

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