Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chump Change?

I took a spill on my bike this weekend. Wasn't hurt really as it was just one of those embarrassing type of falls where you get up quickly hoping that nobody saw (or worse yet, recorded it on digital for YouTube). I had been trying to cut off one of those early morning power walkers who was aiming for the same stretch of sidewalk I was when I lost control. So it served me right too. Next time the power walker gets the right-of-way. He's probably faster walking than I am on my one-speed rustabout anyway.

What bummed me out more than the bump on my shin and my bruised ego was that I also bent my front wheel rim. So the bike is in repair now. I can't indulge my favorite hobby of late. Not bike-riding. Hunting for lost coins.

I was on my way over to my favorite coin-spotting venue, the parking lot at the high school. I've always found a few stray quarters or dimes courtesy of the loose pockets of high schoolers. It's a win-win situation for me. I get the exercise I promise my doctor as well as collect some extra coin for my retirement fund. I found two quarters one day, five dimes another. Sounds great, doesn't it?

So why do I get the feeling sometimes that others I know are not as, well, enthusiastic? A little over a week ago I came across a canister placed on my desk at work. Like one of those canisters you see at cashier's stations where they seek donations for charities and the like. Except this one was re-decorated junior high art class style with "$ Found on the Ground Fund " drawn in colored marker.

Turns out it was my son's girlfriend's gift to me. Oh, well. I've already put close to $2 in change in it after less than two weeks courtesy of my bike and my eagle eyes. Too bad I didn't have that can after the spring melt when I found a five-dollar bill stuck in the schoolyard grass, waving at me with the passing breeze. Some poor student missed lunch that day. Awww, kids eat too much these days anyway.

Then I e-mailed my sister-in-law the following, bragging a bit on my coin-spotting prowess:

"Yesterday I was doing some running around and had to go to Target. I love the popcorn there, but I only had three dollar bills and I know a small popcorn there comes to $1.05. I didn't want to break a second dollar, so I said to myself, if I find some money in the Target parking lot, I'll buy a popcorn. Otherwise not.

Found a dime. Darn I'm good. The popcorn was too."

My sister-in-law responded: "I would save that story, Dave. It's a winner. How about a book called 'Chump Change."'

Yeah, well, I ran it by my buddy who's a literature professor and he commented on the title, "Chump Change, that is so awesome on so many levels." I'm not so sure. Maybe--but don't look for it anytime soon at your local Border's.


Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave... this proves ONE thing to me... my investment in a treadmill, was a worthwhile INVESTMENT in my future! I hope the bike and you are both recovering well? ~ jb///

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I should get a percentage of the royalties, Dave, for the inspiration alone...

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the popcorn too!!!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

sorry about the spill Dave-but good for you on the change expeditions. I once found $10 in a Borders-so don't count them out. Our son found one of those "entertainment" coupon books just the other day.
Hope the bike recovers in record time

8:25 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

sorry about the spill Dave-but good for you on the change expeditions. I once found $10 in a Borders-so don't count them out. Our son found one of those "entertainment" coupon books just the other day.
Hope the bike recovers in record time

8:25 AM  
OpenID caroldee said...

You will be feeling that fall after a little while. I will be here to remind you of the tumble when the aches and pains start hitting ya and you can't rmeember how you got them. Always happenes to me! CHUMP CHANGE Is a great title.. IF I was into writing I might just snatch it and use it. Ha..
Thanks for visiting me. it gets lonely over to wordpress sometimes.. Don't know what happened to BOB but I check about twice a day now. getting concerned too since the last we heard he was ill with something. Hope we hear soon! Take care .. have fun in INDIANA.. I heard the price was the same!! Kids live in Ft. Wayne told me. BYE. : )

9:47 AM  
Blogger Betty said...

Can't wait! CHUMP CHANGE is already on my "must read" list. You'd better get writing.

Once when The Child and I were riding bikes he suddenly cut me off, and my resulting fall was nothing less than traumatic. The frames of both my bike and body were bent, and to be honest, I've been somewhat afraid of bike riding ever since. I hope your recovery is much more swift and complete than mine.


11:50 AM  
Anonymous enforcer said...

Maybe it's time to go back to that big three wheeler.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Gee Dave... You better go copywrite the name "Chump Change" quickly before someone else does! You can write the book when you have time, now that you have the title.
(But, I can't believe that you wouldn't break a buck for something you wanted. Cheap so and so!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I haven't found much money in a long time. Guess I'm not looking at the ground enough.

Last week at a local festival, I stuck a $20 bill in my pocket, planning to visit some of the booths. I hadn't left the office yet, having stopped to do a couple things, when a coworker walked in and delightedly shouted, "I found a $20 bill!" I reached in my pocket ... it was empty. She tried to give it to me, but I wouldn't take it because (1) it had been an hour since I was outside (2) it was really windy, and I couldn't believe that my bill stayed on the ground, and (3) why would no one before her pick it up?

Yeah, I know. I'm dumb. But honest.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I forgot to say that she bought me a large bag of kettle corn. It wasn't a total loss!

9:25 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Hey Enforcer, that wasn't nice! I'm telling Grandpa what you said!

Sorry you fell Dave, but if you were trying to cut off a speed walker, then you deserved it.....What were you doing up on the side walk anyway? lol......Really, I hope you start feeling better soon. I remember, about 12 years ago, I was over at the High School doing something with my kids when I accidentally slipped off the sidewalk and fell down. I tried to catch myself and hurt my wrist. I instantly jumped up, hoping none of the kids had seen me, and walked into the other building. That wrist hurt for a month before it got better. Hope you are not too bruised up.

There is nothing wrong with looking for money on the ground. When the kids were younger, we took a vacation to Colorado. We were in Silverton, and walking down the street, when my son found four one dollar bills on the ground. Suddenly the girls had their eyes glued to the ground and Jennifer found another dollar. The kids were so excited.

I think I am probably as cheap as you are, Dave. I remember the time I was flying to a convention and we had a three hour layover at the airport. My friend and I collected the Smarty-Carts and took them back for a refund. We collected enough money to pay for our lunch that day. We also killed three hours at the airport while waiting for our connecting flight....It was fun!

4:16 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

Hi Dave this is Squirrel. Good story. I have had a couple of horrible months but my one glorious moment was went I found a hundred dollar bill in the alley way behind my house a few weeks ago. We live in a little country town so I was rather unusual. I've moved blogs. and Call myself Renee. It's kind of depressing though. Lots of stepkid/bio mom drama. You know more of the same. Except this week when my teen son punched someone.
Sorry I haven't been coming around the new job has been keeping me busy.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LZ--We have a recumbent stationary bike in our living room. Whatever works.

ANONYMOUS(my sister-in-law)--Just give me a slightly less costly birthday present and we'll call it even.

ANONYMOUS (not sure)--Target used to have a deal where you could get a small soda for a nickel more if you bought a small popcorn.

CARINE--I've now found every bill up to $100 in denomination at one time or another.

CAROLDEE--Did I say Indiana? I meant Ohio. But you were right. We just came back and gas was pretty much the same price there too.

BETTY--I really didn't get hurt. And I think falling is something that happens more often as you get older. I just have to toughen up.

ENFORCER (my brother)--That's right, I had the big three wheeler. You had the little three wheeler. When we were kids, mine was always number one.

KACEY--Too late already. I checked and there IS a book titled Chump Change.

LYNILU--To my knowledge, I haven't lost any large sum of money. While hiking once, I did lose a very nice pair of binoculars that were a gift from my parents. I still feel bad about that.

LUCY--Don't worry. Grandpa read what the Enforcer said before I even had a chance to see it.

I found a gold chain once. I'm thinking of seeing how much it's worth since the price of gold has skyrocketed.

RENEE--Oh sure you've been busy. It's just like these elected officials to turn their backs after the election on those who supported them while they were running. Nice to see you back.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Hmmm....I work at a high school. Looks like I know where I'll be going to pick up my soda money.

I haven't been on a bike for a few years. Now I know why.

8:02 AM  
Blogger jan said...

I wish there was a special course in "I meant to do it that way" when we wipe out in our athletic ventures.

4:33 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Chimp Change works for me, too.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

FRED--Just don't look for change in the faculty parking lot. I've rarely if ever found any there. Seriously. Teachers have tight pockets, I guess.

JAN--Kinda like Chevy Chase, right? Works for me.

HOSS--That gives me an idea. I wonder if I could train an animal to find money for me. Hmmmmmm.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That IS a pretty catchy title, Dave.
A few months ago, I was at a writers conference, came out of the hotel and there, RIGHT in front of me was a $100 bill! I looked around to see who might have dropped it. Not a soul in sight. I couldn't believe it! Had never been one to go looking for change and all of a sudden a one hundred dollar bill appears on the pavement in front of me.
I was so awed by the experience...I still haven't spent Just carry it around with me.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:32 PM  

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