Continuing the saga of the lost wallet, it turns out that my uneasy premonitions about "Sidney"'s phone message were entirely correct.
He called me up at work, gave me a long spiel about how I should be glad he came from such a "respectful" family, mentioned that "someone" had gone through the wallet and taken the cash, and then asked again if there was a reward. Rude, I thought, but hey, rewards for wallets aren't unheard-of and he is doing me a favor...so I said, sure, I'll give you $20. There was a long pause, and then he said "that's really insulting, you know?" Taken aback, I asked what he was thinking of, and he said that he was thinking of more like a few hundred dollars.
A FEW F**ING HUNDRED DOLLARS?
That isn't quite what I said, I just said "No" and "I don't know what makes you think that's a reasonable amount." At this point he started asking again about "don't you want your wallet back?" and making vague threats about what would happen if it got into the "wrong" hands. I made one mistake, raising my bid to $40 (I shoulda just cut him off there), but finally told him I had to get off and get to work. He wouldn't give me a number to contact him at but said he'd call me later.
So, at this point it was obvious that a pretty nasty character had my wallet, so I double-checked that all my important cards were cancelled and started ordering duplicates of the remaining ones. I called my apartment manager (since my provisional license had my home address on it) and warned them to keep an eye out for suspicious people hanging around my apartment, just in case.
I did try calling the police; however, they were just as useless as you'd expect (considering I didn't know how to get in touch with the wannabe extortionist). The only thing they could suggest was that I try making arrangements to collect the wallet, then arrange to have a police officer arrest the guy when he showed up. Given the fact that I have no actual evidence of the extortion, though, I figured the main result would be to leave someone that I already know is a bad character, and who has my personal information and address, a grudge to hold against me. Not a good long-term move.
What depresses me most about all this is that "Sidney" is far more representative of the average person than I am, or (I assume) most readers of my blog; and he may very well be better adapted to the world than I am. People suck, life sucks, and the world sucks; I should be grown-up enough at age 25 to not care by now, but I still do.