Friday, May 29, 2015
Of Dirty Coins and Picking Up Pennies
After reading a post by 1dellgirl that asked whether people pick up pennies when they see them on them on the ground, I thought (particularly since I've had real trouble thinking up anything I feel like writing about on here) I'd expand on my comment in a separate post.
I'm a neatnik, so if I see anything on the floor or ground that shouldn't be there I see it as either trash or something that isn't trash. If the penny were clean I might pick it up. Other non-trash items might include something like a child's toy that may have been dropped; but in a case of non-money "non-trash that doesn't belong on the ground/floor" stuff I might set it aside in case someone comes looking for it.
If it's a single piece of out-and-out trash I may pick it up and throw it in a trash can.
On the other hand, I'm not above "rejecting" dirty looking pennies that end up in my change by leaving them somewhere where someone who is less picky than I am may want to pick them up. I know that all money is dirty, and if a less-than-sparkling penny looks like it's old and may have a special date on it that's one thing.
If I get some coin, though, that has something like black gook on it (and a surprising number of coins have black gook on them); or else if I get one of the "lovely" ones that has a combination of black, clay-like, gook and green that leads one to think the coin has been under the car mats of some ancient car... sorry, those aren't going into my wallet.
Actually, I do a weird kind of "Easter-bunny thing" with those coins (and sometimes ones that I don't like for some other reason not as extreme as the "gook factor"), and I'll leave them places like the window ledges at the shopping center or on top of trash cans. I always feel kind of bad when I do that because it would be nicer to leave nice, shiny, quarters around
On the one hand, (as they say) one man's trash is another man's treasure. On the other hand, it feels kind of rotten to leave a disgusting coin that will result in someone's discovering it and thinking, "Hey, I found a penny - but it's so DISGUSTING!" Of course, some people aren't as picky as I am about stuff like caked on gook, so they may just take the disgusting coin and use it as soon as they can (in order to get rid of it).
Here's the thing: I'm pretty much doing nothing to contribute to the "cause" of ridding the world of disgusting coins (unless, of course, the finder isn't above cleaning such coins). So, I may actually be contributing to the high number of gook-caked coins by leaving them around to be put back into circulation.
In fact, for all I know, there may really only be, say, twenty or thirty of such coins in the world. It's just that I keep leaving them out and around for the desperate and non-picky to make their way back into people's change! For all I know, it's my fault that I keep getting such horrible coins over and over again!
In any case, here's my plea:
If you ever find such a coin let thoughtful on top on of a trash can or window ledge, please - for God's sake - take it home and clean it before using it (or at least put it in, say, your shoe and use it in some town or city far away from where you found it.
In the meantime I remain completely befuddled with regard to how, say, a four-year-old coin can get so caked with gook in such a brief lifetime.
Posted by ME Whelan at 10:47 PM