Some people are just naturally lucky. Take Kyesha Smith Wood for instance.
By now most of the country is familiar with Wood, the Alabama mom whose unsupervised kids behaved poorly in a movie theater, much to the chagrin of fellow movie patron Rebecca Boyd, sitting one row in front of them. Boyd politely tried to silence the kids to no avail. When Wood heard about the situation from her son, who told on his sisters, she made her children apologize and used their allowance to pay for Boyd's movie tickets. The two women even appeared on Good Morning America.
What makes this story amazing is that Wood first had to find Boyd, seeing the two did not know each other prior to the incident. So how to locate her? Here's what I would have done: Gone to the movie theatre, asked the manager to turn over security footage of every paying customer, taken the footage to the FBI, demanded that a team of agents drop whatever it was doing and employ the bureau's facial recognition software to identify all the customers, Googled every address and then conducted a door-to-door search with my kids until I found Boyd.
Of course my plan would be in ruins after the first court challenge but it seems like a good idea, right?
Wood elected slightly simpler tactics: Search for the victim via Facebook with a post that began, "I know this is a long shot, but I'm looking for a woman that was at Tannehill Premiere tonight seeing Cinderella at 7 p.m."
Darn right it was a long shot. Sure, over a billion people have Facebook accounts but what are the odds that Woods' post would find its way onto Boyd's wall? Or that she would actually read it? How many Facebook users vowed to shun social media during Lent? Or how many were tired of Facebook after reading one too many posts angrily debating the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THIS IS DISCRIMINATION IN SPITE OF WHAT THE INDIANA GOVERNOR SAYS!!!
But Wood apparently lives under a lucky star or is just very adept at finding a needle in a haystack, a contact lens in shag carpeting or a complete stranger in Alabama (population 4.8 million). Her query went viral, Boyd read it and within 24 hours the two had connected. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to locate a sock that I dropped somewhere between my closet and the washing machine.
So I propose that Ms. Wood parlay her talents and her luck into solving some of our nation's most vexing issues via Facebook. I can write the first few lines of her posts but she'll have to take it from there.
"I know it's a long shot, but I'm looking for Hillary Clinton's personal emails while she served as secretary of state."
"I know it's a long shot but I'm looking for NBC News anchor Brian Williams' credibility"
"This is definitely a long shot, but I'm looking for Johnny Depp's movie career. It seems to have disappeared."
Once Wood and her social media-sleuthing skills put these matters to rest, she could focus on mysteries that continue to baffle historians:
"I know it's a long shot, but I'm looking for Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa and the Lindbergh baby."
"I know it's a long shot but I'm looking for any alien creatures who may reside in or around Roswell, New Mexico."
"I know it's a long shot, but I'm looking for a serpent-like creature that lives in a Scottish lake. "
Wood could name the price for her services. In no time she'd make enough money to open her own movie theater, with private screenings for her kids. If they felt like it, they could run up and down the aisles throwing popcorn at the screen while Cinderella danced with the prince.
I plan to post this column on Facebook. Ms. Wood, if you read it, will you please message me?
I know it's a long shot, but I'm trying to find my car keys.
2015 GREG SCHWEM. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.