Recently one of my credit cards was stolen. I was unaware of it, and so the criminal used the card for about 30 days - before the charges came in.

"Did you have a nice time in Puerto Rico?" my accountant asked."Not really," I told him. "I haven't been there in 10 years."

"Well, your credit card bill racked up $3,000 there, and it looks as if you had a wonderful shopping spree. Just tell your wife to buy quarts instead of gallons of Joy perfume."

"That wasn't my wife," I protested, "She hates Joy. It's obvious that someone else is using my card."

My accountant said, "No need to be hasty. In one case a woman's credit card was stolen and her husband decided not to report it because the thief was only spending about half of what his wife usually charged."

I told him, "You're not taking this seriously. This person must be brought to justice."

"You don't have to pay the charges once you report the loss," he assured me.

"I'm not worried about that. He's going to hurt my reputation as a big spender. Suppose he buys his socks at People's Drug Store?"

"You're overly concerned. These guys spend big and fast before there is any chance of getting caught. I have your bill here in front of me. Your friend bought a beautiful cashmere jacket for $1,400."

My accountant continued, "He had dinner for two at the Ugly Seaport for $129."

"That's a tourist trap," I yelled. "The man has no taste."

"Maybe his girlfriend insisted on going there."

"How do you know he had a girlfriend?" I asked.

"He ran up a tab for $250 at Victoria's Secret."

"I wonder if he took her with him to Puerto Rico?"

My accountant said, "Don't be too hard on him. The man rented a Chevy from Hertz, when he could have driven a Jaguar. He was probably trying to save you money."

"I don't want him to save me money when he's taking out a girl," I protested. "It makes me look cheap with MasterCard."

"The worst mistake someone can make is to feel sorry for the person who stole his credit card," my accountant warned.

"How long do you think this joker can keep this up?" I asked.

"Not much longer, now that we have reported him."

"Will they be rough when they arrest him?" I wanted to know.

"Beats me. Why do you care?"

"I don't want anything to happen to my cashmere jacket."