Free Money!

A couple of days ago, I parked in the Channel 11 parking lot, got out of my car, and there it was: a penny on the pavement. People fall into two groups: people who pick up pennies on sidewalks and streets, and those who don’t. I fall into the first group: if I see a penny I’m all over it. I’m always delighted to find one.

And I seem to find a penny at least once a month. Maybe that’s because I jog a few times a week and have tripped enough times on cracks in the sidewalk that I’ve trained myself to look down a lot. And there they are–little copper pieces of treasure.

I know that many people don’t think it’s worth the trouble to bend over and pick them up. But I can’t understand that way of thinking. After all, it is FREE MONEY! Not much, of course, but it’s free. And because it’s only a penny, you don’t feel badly that someone else lost it.

The most I ever found was a $5 bill. It was when I was a kid. Back then you could buy a new car for about $100, so that was an historic day for me.

One day as an adult, I was walking in a North Shore suburb and there on the sidewalk was a gleaming quarter. Naturally I bent over to pick it up thinking I’d hit the jackpot. But it wouldn’t budge. It had been super-glued to the sidewalk by some prankster. I must have been the 100th person that day to fall for the gag. Ha-hmm-hmm-ha.

No one would bother to do that with a penny. Not worth the glue. Which is good news for me. Come to Papa!

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  • Anonymous

    I used to know a teacher in High School who always picked up coins he found on the floor, sidewalk, etc. Kids thought it was a big joke, so kids would throw pocket change all the time, just to watch him go running and pick it up, and then laugh at him (I never did, as I tend to pick up pennies too, and my money was too precious to me)… years later, I became a teacher, and my first teaching job was in my home school district. I happened to work with another former teacher of mine who had eventually become this teacher's wife… I mentioned to her about how I remembered kids doing that, and she told me "yes, he keeps track of how much money he finds in the course of a year just from picking up money he finds… the most he ever got in a year was $115.46!" So it just goes to show that you never know just how much money you really may end up with over time, just by doing something as simple as picking up a coin when you see one!

  • MrBrownThumb

    I wasn't expecting where the story was going with the quarter so you got a huge laugh out of me. I always pick up dimes, quarters, pennies and nickels. I regularly find money on the street and pick it up because it is FREE MONEY.

  • Wliiiam von Rentzell

    I think it comes down to ones basic view of life; glass half full or glass half empty.

  • William von Rentzell

    Mine is always at least half full except when I empty it.