Thursday, September 16, 2004

Penny Lane

I took off work for a few days and was out walking this morning as the garbage men were collecting trash. As I turned a corner along my route I noticed the trash men politely setting a trash can on the curb with the usual delicacy and finesse - dumping its remaining contents on the street. I noticed the trash man look at what he was leaving behind, shrug and wave the crew on.

This is what he left behind.

Click to enlarge

I kept walking but I couldn't get those coins out of my head. Someone had decided to simply throw them in the trash and the garbage collector had also determined they weren't worth retrieving.

I decided different. I went back after my walk...picked up the coins (there were more than I caught in that photo), cleaned them off a little - using vinegar which I'm beginning to treat something like the guy in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" treated Windex and then took them down to the Coinstar machine at the local grocery store.

$3.87 after Coinstar took its share.

That's not including about 80 pesos that were in the mix, a couple of screws, and five coins that were either too corroded or covered in stuff so gross I decided they should probably go to a hazardous waste site.

The whole process of picking up the coins, rinsing them off, drying them and cashing them in took me about 30 minutes...$3.87.

One man's another man's latte.


Make that $4.87...I only now realized one of the coins I kicked out thinking it was Mexican money is actually a Sacajawea dollar.

So that's what happened to those...I always wondered where they went.