Sunday, December 28, 2008

Randomonium

Have you noticed dimes laying around on the ground the way you used to see pennies?

Yesterday I saw a dime on the ground outside a 7-Eleven. My instinct was to pick it up, but I didn’t. Somebody was sitting in a parked car nearby, but that’s not what inhibited me. Heck, there is no shame in picking up money.

But I happen to know that a mentally ill older fellow hangs around that strip mall occasionally. He begs for money. Give him a shot at the dime, I figured.

Because he got all he’s gonna get from me.

Not that I’m especially lacking in compassion. But I gave him a dollar once, and he proceeded to chat me up for what seemed like 10 minutes. In the course of that, he mentioned his son. And I was thinking, “Dude, you got family? Why you out here begging?”

Anyway, today I saw a dime on the ground at the gas station. I was all over that bad boy. It’ll probably be the high point of my day.

Here’s my thing: I like Coinstar. I enjoy carrying a small sack of change to the supermarket, dumping it into the big green machine, and seeing how closely I can guess the amount.

And then I shop as if it were all found money.

That Coinstar machine is the greatest human invention since the George Foreman grill.

Speaking of which, I haven’t used my George Foreman grill in six months or so. I lifted the lid today, hoping that I’d cleaned it after my last steak.

I had not. It’s kinda gross.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Saw a dime on the ramp near my portable on campus shortly after the start of the school year. Left it there. I finally picked it up before Halloween. Not one single broke ass teenager had the balls to claim it.

Sam said...

It's hard to do a turkey on the Foreman...but damn that thing makes the best burgers and grilled cheese money can buy. I just wish I'd bought the one with detachable plates.

On the subject of randomness, David do you know when or if season five of NYPD Blue will come out on DVD? I'm jonesing bad.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I have no clue, Sam. I've been waiting for Season 3 of "Hill Street Blues" myself.

cnulan said...

I used to superglue coins to tile floors and other compatible surfaces and then covertly video the hijinks of the acquisitive dubs struggling in vain to take the bait....,

cnulan said...

given that it rose to the level of a post, I'm betting you would've served up some priceless antics..,

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I prefer to consider it a healthy respect for the value of money. But yeah... I woulda been on it.

NunaOni said...

I don't get Coinstar. I spend my all my change except the laudry quarters. Yes, I am the woman digging for pennies while everyone else huffs and puffs behind me in line...whatever lol.

Anonymous said...

I always pick up money--if it's relatively safe to do so at the moment--and over the years I've collected quite a bit of of change. Coinstar is fine if you don't mind giving up nearly 9% of your money in exchange for the convenience. At that rate, I'm only throwing pennies in there.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I don't mind the vigorish. With the two dimes I found this weekend, I'm still up 18 cents. That's damn near a pint of gasoline!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ The hell am I saying? I let that first dime get away!

Anonymous said...

Ummm. Ever hear of TD Bank, which is formerly Commerce Bank? Well, they have a little coin counting machine that's called the Penny Arcade. It allows you to cash in the coins and you get a slip with the final amount. You can then submit the slip to the teller for the full amount. They don't take anything out for a "service charge" or whatever. Also, you get a chance to guess at how much you're depositing for a prize (usually a bank pen or something of equal value).

I, myself, purchased an automatic coin counting jar at Bed, Bath & Beyond this summer. It's really cool, I love to see the window tick, tick, tick up the numbers as I add my mixed change at the end of the week. I'm up to $80 now!
And it's not even halfway full. I figured by the time I fill the jar, it should be $250-$300 tops.
I think of it as a grownup piggy bank of sorts. And these days, that's nothing to sniff at, so stop that smirking, you behind the computer.

You know, they say it's bad luck to pick up a penny with the tails up. I heard that wives tale on some show. I think it was "The View." Anyhow, I've been passing by tails down pennies ever since. But I sure do pick up the heads up ones, thinking that old refrain: "See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck." However, I alter it somewhat to say "and all the year you'll have good luck." With a nickel, five years, and a dime,
10. So on and so on. Sure can't hurt. ;-)

Geneva Girl said...

NunaOni I'm with you! Shoot, money's money. I'm not giving up any commission to any one. I'll count my coins and spend them, but now I have to compete with my six year old for coins. She loves coins. I put small change in her advent calendar and you'd have thought I'd have given her 10s and 20s the way she acted. Now Little Miss Eagle Eyes picks up the money she finds on the street.

As for those laundry quarters, when I started dating my husband he used to go through my purse looking for coins. I had to introduce him to the concept of going to the bank and buying a roll of coins.

Undercover Black Man said...

Yes, I am the woman digging for pennies while everyone else huffs and puffs behind me in line...

That actually happened to me today at the supermarket, NunaOni. Didn't bother me, though. I just caught up on the covers of the tabloids... and realized that I don't know half the people who are supposed to be "celebrities" today.

Mad Hatter said...

any coin that is on the ground, I pick up, keep in ash tray for lose change, sometimes you see a person on the corner asking for change, you can give them this, or at the drive through window, that change helps. plus with teen they alway rob the ash tray, call me a penny picker.

bklyn6 said...

I save pennies (and occasionally pick them up) but I've never used one of those coin machines.

Once when I didn't have any cash to give my family I told my sister she could have all my pennies. She took them to the supermarket to cash in and came back with about $75. Of course I didn't ask for any of it back.

I hardly ever find other peoples' money. I once found a $20 bill. Then I reached in my back pocket and find it empty. It was my $20. :-/

Schottzie03 said...

Not having a service fee and converting your coins to gift certificates was a great move for Coinstar, I love that machine...

It also seems that people forget to check the coin return on it, they might not even know it is there.

Adrean said...

Speaking of spare change, I used to love to carry my mom's purse when I was a kid. It always weighed so much and I was fascinated at its mysterious contents. Well, when I was 14 or so she bought my brother Purple Rain on beta (we still have it too..) for around $30. You guessed it, paid for the thing completely in spare change from the bottom of her purse. Being a teenager in a video store with a young salesman I was mortified by by mother's chosen method of payment. She didn't even blink! I bet she never would have used a coinstar back then if they were available, she didn't, and still doesn't, mind counting out every last penny.

Undercover Black Man said...

I once found a $20 bill. Then I reached in my back pocket and find it empty. It was my $20. :-/

Womp womp.

Eye D. VS Mel O. said...

coinstars are the jumpoff but that charge is a bit much to me. and i still jump to the ground when i hear some change please believe it.

my grill and i just got back together. i forgot how delicious grilled chicken and turkey burger used to be on there. just get a brillo pad and mad soap and your grill will be presentable again lol

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thanks for that, Eye D.

dez said...

Once when I was a teen, I found a $100 bill on the ground at Magic Mountain. We asked the people around us if anyone dropped some money, but no one claimed it. $100 went pretty far back then and we had a grand old time with our teen selves that day (it also helped that I found $20 later on, too--if only California'd had the lottery then, siiiigh).

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Dang, you had mad hot money karma.