Saturday, February 07, 2015

#197. or, Found Money

  When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother giving me this passport sized folder, booklet thing with a squirrel on it, that you were supposed to put your dimes into. It had little pockets for individual dimes, and the point of it was that if you were diligent to save enough dimes to fill all of the pockets, you'd have a couple bucks or something.

  The thing is, I don't ever remember getting enough dimes to fill it. I didn't have an allowance. In fact, the one time I did casually broach that subject, it was greeted with such a frosty reception, I knew never to go back there. I was poor, not stupid.

   Back then, dimes were big money. Anything silver was big money. And paper, whoa Nelly! I'm certain that I was driving a tractor before I was allowed to touch paper money. No, my currency back in those days was the penny, which they don't even make anymore because it costs more to produce than it's worth in actual value. But, unlike my children, if I happen to come across one on the street, I'll still stop to put it in my pocket.

  I pick up any money I find on the ground. It makes me feel lucky. I mean, why wouldn't it? In an instant, fate has bestowed upon you, funds which have required no effort to earn. Other, of course, than the bending down part, which unfortunately requires more effort these days than I like to admit. But, that's getting off track here.

  It's my belief that I have a knack for finding money. Now, I'm not talking about a bag of non-sequential 50's or anything. I'm still a small change guy. Self trained in the art, through years of high school spent looking at the ground to avoid any chance of accidentally making eye contact with someone. A thing I try not to do anymore, but still retain the subconscious reflex to spot a quarter in a snowdrift like a Jackfish drawn to a Len Thompson red and white.

  What can I say, we don't get to choose the things we excel at.

  Anyways, a couple weeks ago I was looking for my backpack. I use it as a carry-on when we go on vacations, but I wanted to put my shoes in it to go to the track to try to do something about that bendy at the waist issue I mentioned earlier. Stuffed down in the bottom of one of the pockets, I found a 10 dollar Cuban convertible peso bill. I immediately remembered putting it there a year ago as part of some money we had left, in case we wanted to pick up a snack or something at the airport when we left Cuba. Then, just this morning when I was waking up The Boy to come out and help with the chores, because he had a day off school, my eye caught the corner of a 5 dollar Cuban convertible peso bill stuffed under something on the shelf in his room.

  Now, none of this money has any value here and can't even be exchanged for Canadian funds. And even if I could, those 15 bucks in Cuban convertible pesos are actually only worth about 12 bucks or so in Canadian dollars. But just because those found Cuban pesos have no monetary worth here, it doesn't mean that I can't find any value in them.

  As the majority of my friends have already been, or are returning from their winter vacations to various tropical paradises, I've been stuck here in my wintery nation, longing to be sipping rum & Coke someplace warm, while I watch bobsled on the TV. Actually, I've got the rum either way, but those 2 bills helped me to remember all of the great times we had on our vacation, and it was only a year ago.

  That being said, it is illegal to remove any Cuban currency from the country. So if any Cuban authorities are reading this right now, I'm ready to surrender myself to them and work it off by mixing drinks on a resort, or raking weeds on a beach. I know their wages are really low, but I'm willing to remain there as long as it takes to make this right.

  ..........after all, I'm pretty used to working for nothing.


  1. Ha ha, great post! I have various currency from different countries (I dare not say where on account of the fact that I don't want to be arrested!) and I love looking at the, as well, because it brings it all back and it's almost, almost like you are there.

    But I wouldn't mind finding some genuine American dollars. That would totally be okay :)

    1. Hey KD!

      Thanks! I'm thinking of starting a mason jar with coins in it that come from places we've been. (which isn't a lot!) But it would be an ongoing project, and that would be sort of cool.

      I really have no idea why the one place that we were not allowed to bring money home from, is the place that it would seem we have an abundance of currency from? Must be my rebel nature? :)

  2. The most money I've ever found just lying on the ground was $40 -- two twenties on the floor in a Save-on-Foods produce section. At Christmas. I looked around for anyone who might have dropped it but there was no one else to be seen (it was nearly closing time). For some reason, it really worried me that some poor sod might be short on food money over Christmas because of losing it. And yet for all I know, it could have been dropped by some bloody doctor or lawyer who would never miss it. So because I felt so bad about it, I donated it to the Food Bank. How's that for liberal guilt, eh? (Oh and by the way, the Salvation Army was collecting in the same store that night but I refused to give it to them because I won't give those homophobic bastards one red cent. More liberality! And in ALBERTA!)

    1. Hi Debra!

      Ah yes, the old guilt over someone going without because you found enough money on the ground to actually purchase something with. I believe your Canadian is showing. :)

  3. I read a book by a weirdo named Robert Anton Wilson years ago in which he said that if you could convince yourself that a secret society was purposely leaving you quarters everywhere, you'd soon be finding quarters everywhere.

    I tried it.

    It seemed to work for a while. I really needed the quarters back then, too.

    Having kids around was the worst thing that ever happened to my ability to find money just lying around.

    1. Hey Katy!

      The only secret society that I'm aware of, with that many quarters, is the tooth fairy. However, it's been a while since that entity has visited our house, and may have very well moved on from quarters long ago?

      I found that with the kids as well. Then, they became teenagers, and there seems to be a bunch of change laying everyplace the choose to slouch into. What goes around comes around?

  4. I'm dialing up the Cuban authorities as I type this. I'm hoping there is a hefty reward for turning you in. May you rot on some tropical beach surrounded by free flowing cuba libres and fair trade winds, you scoundrel! :D

    1. Hey Terrye,

      It's always your friends that turn you in for the reward. And as cool as it makes me sound, I'm hardly a scoundrel?

      Now that you guys can visit the island as well, I'll make sure to have a cuba libre ready for when you arrive! :)

  5. Hey there friend,

    I am right there with ya - well, no. I guess not literally with you, all up in snow and cows and Canada and such. With you just the same though, in your wistful longing to be 'back' somewhere - anywhere warm and lovely, where your nose might be tinged red (from sun or too much rum) but not accompanied by the cold wind snots. I am with you there. I shouldn't complain though - it has been cold off and on, but nothing like you experience. I am sure all of our collective southern whiny 'iiiiiiittttt's coooooooold' whines evoke violent eyerolls from you northern brethren.

    Just the same - thinking warm thoughts and hoping more shiny dimes come your way!


  6. Hey Ken, so yeah, Canada can have their weather back, it's colder than a witch's...well you know.

    I'm with you, I have no clue what a winter vacation is...or a vacation for that matter....