Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Loose Change

  I know of a couple of people who compete with one another to see how much loose change they can collect in a  year by looking for coins on the ground, asphalt or pavement in public places.   They contribute these coins to charity and enjoy the hunt for carelessly lost money.   To amuse myself I have taken up this chase myself.   Whenever I am walking alone in public places, parking lots or sidewalks I keep my eyes peeled for the sparkle on the misplaced coin.    When one is walking alone, it provides distraction and amusement and the thrill of the hunt.   In the last month my total take has been one dime and two pennies.   Not much value in today's world.
   Respect for the penny has been lost in recent years.    Inflation and the cost of penny production has reduced the usefulness of the penny.     And to some merchants the penny is a nuisance.   During my visit to McDonald's today to pick up my apple pie dessert the customer ahead of me was paying in part for his purchase with a whole bunch of pennies along with a few nickels and dimes.   After he left the servers were bemoaning the pennies that they had to deal with and in fact the manager even said they should not accept that many pennies in payment.   I thought their attitude was disrespectful of the customer.   The whole episode made me angry.   Actually I was angry enough to confront the servers to remind them that if they really wanted to welcome customers they should smile and say thank your very much for your business.   Even if it meant dealing with pennies!    Maybe all this is an indication that I grew up in a different era.
    In my childhood a penny could get you a couple of pieces of candy and a perhaps a stick of gum.   Loose change had great value to a kid.   My dad had his favorite easy chair that was a gold mine for loose change.    He always carried his change in his overalls pockets and often had holes in the pockets.  In addition when he would lean back for nap the change would sometimes fall out of his pocket.   All that I had to do was to slide my hand down beside the cushion and dig out the loose change.   This change supplemented my dollar a week allowance and bought many a comic book or candy bar.    Such fond memories of the joy of loose change.   So now in my geezerhood I revert to the joy of finding loose change, even if it has little buying power.   I'm from the waste not, want not generation!
Dad Relaxing at a Picnic - Coins in the Grass?

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