Money for nothing

July 10, 2006 at 12:37 am (Uncategorized)

money.jpg

The guy hit us from behind on a long, swamp road just outside Venice, Florida. It was a middle of the day, low speed collision, but it brought both cars to a stop. You know the scene. There’s a loud thump more dramatic than the impact itself, both cars lurch to the side of the road and the drivers step out.

The guy looked like he has stepped from a bit role in “Rush” or “Blow,” some movie about drug dealing with the kingpins and the low level peddlers. This guy would have been the latter. His hair was pulled back in a pony tail and he had the hard, suspicious look of a man who spent all his waking hours looking over a shoulder. And he wasn’t happy about this collision.

“Aw, there’s no reason to get the cops involved, am I right? Nobody hurt, not much damage. We can settled this between you and me, am I right?”

“Aw, I dunno. Seems like calling the police would be the responsible thing to do…”

A simple game. I was in no hurry to see some tight ass cop, either. But I had a suspicion this guy probably had a greasy wad of cash in the pocket of his jeans and he’d be more than willing to fork some of it over. Good goddamn deal. This vacation was winding down and I was running low on dough.

“You oughta be able to get that dent pounded out and repainted for a hundred bucks, wouldn’t you say?”

Beautiful. Just beautiful. With a hundred bucks, I could afford another night in the clubs and maybe a decent meal or two. To hell with the dent. Dents add character to cars that otherwise have none. I was opening my mouth to accept the gracious offer from Scarface when the girl I was with stepped from the passengers seat. I thought maybe she’d start moaning about whiplash and coax another hundred from the dude, but no. She was going the other way.

“Oh, we don’t need a hundred,” she said. “Why, there’s barely any damage at all. If you have to give us anything, twenty will do. Really, that will be fine.”

hooters.jpgBonehead shrew. I endeavored right there in the swamp to take the girl to Hooters, drink myself stupid and make her pick up the tab. I swear the drug dealer smirked at me as he handed over a twenty. He knew a perfectly good transaction had been tilted in his favor by the conscience of my girlfriend. I wished upon him some really nasty skunk weed and a visit from the feds.

It’s not that I’m a shyster, mind you. If a store clerk or bank teller gives me too much change, I promptly give it back. Because I know the working stiff will get screwed out of the money when he or she comes up short at the end of the shift. If I see a person drop cash in the street, I will immediately bring it to their attention. Same with a pocketbook left in a shopping cart. Who wants money that might come from the pockets of an elderly man or woman who needs the loot for medication and food?

In a situation where a large corporation, an insurance company or a drug dealer stands to lose a few bucks though, I’ll adjust my scruples accordingly.

And such a matter of found money brought the issue to the forefront just the other day. Flamette and I were in Shaw’s where we had just forked over part of our meager SJ pay for some barbecue supplies. We cashed out at that self-serve aisle and were headed for hamburger heaven when Corey spotted a small stack of bills in the change slot. Something like $17, not a heap of wealth, but just enough to cover our meat and buns. Sweet, I thought and was just about to say so. But before I could open my wallet to accept the bonus funds, Corey was dashing off to the service desk to return the cash.

Were in not for the women in my life, I might be living large. Flamette’s argument: some hard working person with a harried life might have forgotten their change and could be on their way back to claim it. A fine, fine argument, but I doubted its veracity. More likely, the sorry ass who left the dough behind probably would not notice right away and the money would fall back into the hands of Shaw’s. My rule about big corporations applied and so I say we should have kept the money and considered the barbecue a freebie.

A moral quandary. And where should I go for guidance and ethical instruction? To church, probably. But until we get a confessional in here, it’s on you to show me the path to righteousness or riches.

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69 Comments

  1. Martha said,

    I agree with Flamette, and I speak from experience.
    This reminded me of once many years ago when my children were little I had gone shopping in the old Shaw’s down at the other end of the plaza. As I was leaving the store I accidently dropped the only money I had to buy christmas gifts for my kids. I was VERY grateful when I called the store to find someone had turned it in.

  2. Main.etarr said,

    I would have kept the $17. Had it of been in a wallet, well, I would have turned it in. I am the queen of finding money. When we were at Bugaboo a few weeks ago, I found a wad of cash while walking Milo outside in the parking lot. $39 to be exact. Just sitting in a wad on the ground. Did I turn it in? No. DId I look for a wallet? Yes, and had I found one, I would have turned all of it in. But loose cash is a finders keepers sort of thing. Many many years ago in an empty cart in the KMart parking lot, I found a woman’s purse. I picked it up and looked in the wallet for identification. Inside, I found $1500 cash!!! I also found an ID for a 48 year old woman who lived on Bates Street in Lewiston. I drove the purse and it’s contents to the womans house. She answered the door, looked like she had been crying and asked me what I wanted. I handed over the purse, saying “I found this at KMart.” Instead of thanking me, she snatched the purse out of my hands and said, “My money had better be in there!!!” No thank you, no nothing. At that point, I vowed to never return another purse or wallet, but the same thing happened a few years ago at the old Walmart. I turned it in, with $450 cash in it and waited around for the owner. She was an elderly lady and that was her Christmas Club money. She promptly thanked me and offered me a $5 reward. I turned it down, but decided to just turn stuff like that into the service desk. But loose money, I keep it everytime. Another thing that happens a lot. I used to buy my dog food at Walmart in the big bags. I always put the bag in my cart, bar code up and tell the clerk I have dog food. In the past 4 1/2 years I have had Bailey, they have rang in my dog food twice. That’s a lot of free dog food. Do I tell them again? Nope. If they are too stupid to ring it in the first time, I will take it for free. Thanks Walmart.

  3. jarheaddoc said,

    I would return a wallet, but not found money. I am generally honest, but I do count my change, and a lot of it depends on the attitude of the cashier. Getting something free from Wal-Mart? I agree with MT.

  4. Martha said,

    WOW.. I’m glad it wasn’t any of you who found the money I lost way back when.. but I guess none of you would be old enough to have been a concern them either… 🙂

  5. hedonisticpleasureseeker said,

    HM. Don’t you hate that Universal Quiet that descends upon the scene inbetween the time you realize you’re in for it and the time the car goes CRUNCH? Or did you not realize what happened until afterwards?

    I don’t know what I’d have done in your situation. Probably feel weird either way.

  6. K2 said,

    There is a bit of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ in keeping something that ain’t yours.

    However, set your beer down next to me, and it’s gone.

  7. Oopsy said,

    YEars ago, while cross country skiing somewhere in VT, a mad fool (not so foolish, really) broke a window in my son’s car and stole my purse. When I discovered the theft I immediately called in my credit cards and sighed, thankful that I was with sons who had funds. Half hour later the cops found my purse in a snow bank, and the ONLY thing missing was the cash – only about $100.

    I’m with you guys – if it is in a wallet, return it – if if is just cash, keep it.

  8. Richie said,

    This is a story of one crash I was in. I’ve been in a number, a few my fault but most of them not my fault.

    A number of years ago we had to go to Seattle when my son got married. Rented a small-ish SUV; a Suzuki Rodeo I think it was. Anyways, there we are tooling along one of the busy 4 lane main streets, doing the limit of 35, and a moron decides he has to make a left turn across all lanes of traffic. He traverses his side and cuts off the lane to my left; who manages to stop. Who ever said it goes in slow motion is exactly right. I saw him come right across in front of me. In retrospect, I wish I had had the courage and presence of mind to step on the gas and well & truly do the assmuncher, but no; I had my wife on board with me, so being a good citizen I tramped on the brakes.

    Just like something from a movie ! Screeee ! Slide ! a loud bang ! crumpled hood, breaking glass, and tortured metal & plastic. He was driving some sort of crappy little sedan which was now bent about 15 degrees out of normal alignment. Surprisingly, my rental had a lot of cosmetic damage but little else. It was still driveable. The moron come out of his car acting all agrieved; but I was lucky that day; three people stopped and said they saw it all; and it was his fault. Two had to leave but they IDd themselves to me, the third waited to give a statement to the Police. Moron boy kept going on like he was innocent, even after the cop arrived. I flashed my squeeler, & it was old home-week for me & the Seattle P.D. What clinched it was when I pointed out the “No Left Turn” and “Do not Enter” signs Mr. Shit for Brains had plainly ignored.

    I thought the rental outfit would shit a brick when they saw their car; but I had a Driver Report of Incident all written up for them. We boarded our plane & flew home; & lived happily ever after. No extra charges on my credit card or anything. Whew. I was lucky.

    Usually my luck doesn’t run all that well. I don’t find too much money laying around when I’m out and about. Like I reported previously, though, God Gives Me Parking Places. We went out to the Longhorn last week where it’s usually very crowded. We get there, and bang-o. right in front is my parking place. I’ll take the parking place over found money almost anytime !

    BTW, Police aren’t tight assed at all. They merely appear that way since so many people lie to them in the course of accident investigations. No cop has ever met ANYONE who will admit to have had more than 2 beers, for example !

  9. jarheaddoc said,

    Richie, I have found that the two beers tend to be no less than gallon in size, regardless of where you work. Hey, man, it was only one beer, so what if it was the size of a keg? Nice to see inflation hasn’t raised the size of a beer, huh?

  10. Oopsy said,

    I found $20 once on the floor of a bar – while having that “one beer.” I briefly considered asking around to see if anyone had lost any money – but I didnt know most of the people there, and I reverted to the “keep found money” precept.

  11. Linda said,

    I had the slow motion thing once, when a driver pulled out onto Rte 2 in front of me. I had no place to go except straight into the back wheel of her Jeep. Crunch!

    A very nice policeman gave me a ride home and he said, look on the bright side, now her insurance company will buy you a nice new car! Which they did, or at least they bought about five eighths of it and I’m still buying the rest.

  12. LaFlamme said,

    I’m going to be drive to hallucination through guilt over the recovery of seventeen bucks? Not friggin likely. I don’t even experience that kind of psychic trauma when I kill and dismember people. But I’ve said too much.

  13. AO said,

    I wish somebody would have to buy me a new car. I don’t want anyone hurt in the process…I just want a new car!

  14. Gil,er, I mean, someone else said,

    I find that you don’t really need to look for money when people are so willing to just give it to me when I wave that gun around.
    “Son, you got a panty on your head.”
    -Raising Arizona

  15. K2 said,

    Hey, man, I said a ‘bit.’

    Now buy a twelver of Becks with that seventeen bucks and come on over. I’ll wait. . . .

  16. Dave said,

    But what about Karma? What would Earl do?

  17. Mainetarr said,

    Well, Martha, if the money you lost was loose, you never would have seen it again. If it was in a wallet or purse, guaranteed it would have gone right back to you. But Richie, I would take luck of the parking God’s over found money anyday. I am 50-50 on parking spaces. I never know if I will find a good one or not.

  18. AO said,

    I’ve never been lucky enough to find “lost” money. But, if I did, I’d probably have some serious qualms about keeping it. Sure, if I just found it on the street, I might keep it. But, if it was around the holidays, like Martha stated, I’d have to find it’s rightful owner. I know how hard it can be to provide your kids with a good Christmas. I once forgot my purse in a shopping cart at Wally-World. Well, it was more of a bag. But, I didn’t realize that I had forgotten it until the next day when I went to drive my son to school. I called Wally-World right away and, some very good person had turned it in. I’ll NEVER forget my feeling of gratitude to that person. So, I’d probably return the good deed. I never did find out who turned it in. But, if I did, I would have called them and thanked them.

  19. Wilbur said,

    First….Sunday…..

    “Lewiston resident Brenda Akers said she would attend a rally with her 7-year-old son if one is held. She is not Muslim but says what happened at the mosque should worry all residents.

    “It doesn’t make me feel any safer to live in a community where people think it’s OK to do something deliberately to hurt my religion,” said Akers, who designs ethnic-inspired clothing. ”

    Second….Today…..

    “Brenda Aikers” of Lewiston commenting on the alleged rape of a juvenile on Channel 13. Wow, who voted her to be the pulse of Lewiston’s downtown community?

    Brenda, is it Akers or Aikers? Which one? Brenda we must know the truth.

    Also Brenda, next time you go on TV, you might want to remove the pecan from between your front teeth. At least I hope it was a pecan.

  20. Mr. Ed said,

    Wilbur, you’re a horses ass!

  21. Linda said,

    I’ve got the parking gods in my corner too. When I’m in a hurry I can count on a spot right by the door.

    Money — not so much. I don’t find it, but neither do I lose it which is probably more important.

  22. Linda said,

    I did walk away from my passport at a currency exchange counter once, in some airport or other. That was exciting. A security guard with a gun stopped me and brought me back.

  23. Gil said,

    I don’t care who you are, there is something funny as hell about rolling a frozen pig’s head into any building with people in it. People need to lighten up just a bit.

  24. LaFlamme said,

    Precisely. If he’d done it at a bingo hall, we’d still be belly laughing.

  25. Mainetarr said,

    Maybe that’s what we could do this weekend, Calvin, when we are driving around talking on our walkie talkies. Let’s roll the head of an old woman into a bingo hall. We’ll even freeze it too, as to cut down on the mess. Check the obits on Friday, see if there is a rolly-polly (no pun intended) woman in there that will lend us a hand, uh, I mean head.

  26. Mainetarr said,

    Then we could go to Louden and roll Dale Earnhart, Sr.s head onto the track. We could put a “3” doo rag on it so that it would be identifiable.

  27. Mainetarr said,

    And when we get back, we can try to find the fat bastard and roll a donut into his apartment.

  28. Mainetarr said,

    We could go to Bulldog’s house and roll a new dildo into her living room. I hear hers is all chewed up.

  29. LaFlamme said,

    We should mix it up a little and find other body parts to hurl about.

  30. Mainetarr said,

    Ok, let’s roll an arm holding a packed bong into K2’s house. Or holding a beer–his choice.

  31. LaFlamme said,

    Nice. You’ve got a flair for this stuff. A bit frightening. But I’m in!

  32. LaFlamme said,

    We could sail a blowup doll into Treehugger’s house by poking it with a pin.

  33. Mainetarr said,

    I’ll roll a hand grasping a Bugaboo Creek gift certificate into your living room, Calvin.

  34. Mainetarr said,

    I wish someone would roll a knee into my house, I desperatey need a new one. Then I won’t have to get one next week.

  35. Herb said,

    Roll a kid my way, would yah?

  36. Mainetarr said,

    You’re sick!

  37. LaFlamme said,

    Whoa!

  38. LaFlamme said,

    Roll me a rotator cuff.

  39. Mrs Ed said,

    Roll me some oats. Nayyyyy!

  40. K2's blinker fluid said,

    Roll me a fat one!

  41. LaFlamme said,

    We could hurl my liver somewhere, but we’d never be able to lift it.

  42. Mainetarr said,

    Does your liver quiver, Linoge?

  43. LaFlamme said,

    Who is this Linoge you speak of?

  44. Mainetarr said,

    Why haven’t the press (not you, your editors I am talking about) compared the Somalian “hate crimes” with those of other’s in the state? What about gays, Jews and others who have been targeted? They way the press is covering it, you would never know there are other hate crimes happening, too. Not that it makes it right or anything, that’s not what I mean at all. I just would find it interesting to see statistics comparing the different groups and number of cases each has. Also, how many Somalie against Somalie crimes are committed? I thought the man who owns Cleopatra said he believed it was a disgruntled employee that did the damage to the windows, but at the end of the article, he changed his mind.

  45. Mainetarr said,

    Oh, me thinks you know….When are we going to see Pirates? It was sold out the two times I tried to go this past weekend. Superman was excellent, I must say.

  46. LaFlamme said,

    Pirates schmirates.

  47. LaFlamme said,

    Gah! Anyone know exactly what kielbasa is made of?

  48. AO said,

    Pig intestines.

  49. LaFlamme said,

    Really? That’s it? Well, that’s not so bad.

  50. AO said,

    Well, that all depends on who’s eating it. Eww.

  51. Mainetarr said,

    I know a bunch of men downtown who know what head cheese is made of now, thanks to some asshat who thought he was funny.

  52. LaFlamme said,

    What about Vienna sausage? What’s that shit made of?

  53. Mainetarr said,

    monkey meat, just like spam.

  54. Mainetarr said,

    Vienna sausage is a variety of canned sausage. The term means essentially the same thing as Wiener, as the latter means Viennese, and is short for Viennese sausage.

    Canned Vienna sausages are generally made using a simplified adaptation of the process used to mass-produce other sausages. Meats, such as chicken, beef, and pork, are finely ground and mixed with salt and spices, especially mustard, and formed into a batter, which is poured into a long casing and smoked. The sausages are cooked, chopped into equal size segments, and placed into tins or jars, usually without the casings, and, with broth or brine added, processed the same as other canned goods. They also figure into the diet of many in the US. In the American South, they are sometimes referred to as “Viennie Weenies.” One of the most popular brands of Vienna sausage in the United States is produced by Hormel Foods

  55. Mainetarr said,

    gotta love google, eh?

  56. LaFlamme said,

    No kidding. Back in the day, we had to blindly eat our sausages and just assume we were eating dog anus.

  57. AO said,

    So…what’s SPAM made of?

  58. AO said,

    Or, dare I ask (?), Creton?

  59. LaFlamme said,

    Hog testicals. That’s why you sometimes get a hair.

  60. Linda said,

    Anybody looking outside? It’s too early in the year for a harvest moon, but that’s SOME FULL MOON!! Orange!

  61. AO said,

    I’m going to look right NOW!!

    How you doing, Linda? Hanging in there?

  62. Linda said,

    Just barely. A grueling visit from friends tonight, news not good — sick friend, family in tatters, you now how it goes.

    But, the moon is gorgeous.

    You?

  63. Gil said,

    Where I grew up in the deep, deep, redneckiest part of the South, a frozen pig head was several meals just waiting for the cooking. Pork brains in eggs for breakfast, mm mm good.

  64. Gil said,

    On an unrelated note
    blog update
    http://churchofpainfultruth.blogspot.com/

  65. Linda said,

    Hi Gil, sounds delicious.

    What I hate the most is eating anything that still has eyes. Like whitebait fritters: translucent worm things with black eyes, in an omelet. Can’t do it.

  66. AO said,

    Linda, My son and I just went out to try to “catch the moon”. It’s still hiding behind the trees but, we could see just how orange it is! Unbelievable! Thanks for the heads up! He’s putting his telescope together now. Should be interesting.

    Hang in there. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here. I’ve been there.

  67. jarheaddoc said,

    You two are getting maudlin again. Didn’t we just go through this? Man, it seems like institutional memory is damn short around here. Can’t you two just e-mail each other with your heartaches?

  68. K2 said,

    Hey, my bong is glass. There’ll be no rolling it anywhere.

    Shell fish doesn’t roll well, I hear.

    Roooooooooooooooooooooool another one
    Just like the other one
    You been hanging onto it
    And I sure would like a hit
    Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend
    Pass it over to me. . . .

  69. Nadine said,

    I am never the finder of money, but have had my share of losing it.

    Sometimes you people really amaze me…*sigh*

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