Friday, February 27, 2009

Picking Up Change

Last week as I was walking through the grocery store parking lot, I noticed a nickle. I picked it up. A few paces later there were a few pennies, and a dime. I imagined what had happened: Someone was pulling out their keys on the way to their car and out came the change, unnoticed.

I always pick up change.

Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes did a piece on this very issue. Along the sidewalks of New York City, his crew scattered a few coins. While the quarters always got picked up, the pennies almost never did. But I don't live in New York. I live in Knoxville, Tennessee, where pennies still count. I got a "free" box of Reynolds Wrap at Walgreens a few days ago combining their store coupon with one I had clipped some weeks before. (This was my only purchase besides a prescription.) Of course, I still had to pay the eight cents of tax on the Reynolds Wrap. Most likely the coins I used to pay this tax were the very ones I picked up just a few days earlier, so my acquisition was truly free to me.

I am always wary of stooping down, though. It's sort of suspect behavior. I occasionally get a funny look. When that happens, I think about the short story by Guy de Maupassant that I first read in high school: A Piece of String. If you haven't read it, I just found the entire story on line through

My husband found this and found it appropriate to this entry:

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