So, I'm wandering around the grocery store trying to figure out what to fix for dinner, when I spy with my little eye Andrew Jackson's mane of hair and haughty visage staring up at me from the floor.
My first thought was, Whoot! But immediately on the heels of that I wondered if I was on a hidden camera. Was this some kind of test to see what an honest Injun I am? Or was it a joke and I was about to go viral on YouTube? As I bent down to pick up the bill, I half expected to find it glued to the floor, but it came right up, and you can't imagine my relief when it did. I furtively looked around to see if I could spot the bill's real owner, but there was no one on their knees rending their clothes and wailing their misfortune to the ceiling tiles. In fact, the only person in view was a delivery guy some distance down setting up a cookie display. I was alone and apparently not the butt of some joke, so then I started feeling guilty. What if the money represented by this bit of legal tender was the only thing standing between food or starvation? Rent or homelessness? Electricity or candles? Naturalizers or Christian Louboutins?
What is it about found money that brings on such a simultaneous rush of elation, paranoia and guilt? Or is that just me?
I flirted briefly with the idea of reporting the lost money to the store office, but this is not like finding a purse or wallet, something that's unique and identifiable. Who walks in and says, "Hi. I believe I might have dropped a $20.00 bill by the Yoplait. It's serial number IF 52331367 G." Nah. Reporting it to the store's office is probably only going to make the clerk manning it $20.00 richer.
I remember when I was twelve or so, and flew to Atlanta to visit my best friend (we had moved from there to Houston the year previously). My parents gave me a crisp $20.00 bill for spending money. A week later, my mother picks me up at the Houston airport and on our way out to the car, I found a $20.00 bill lying on the pavement. Thereafter, Mom liked to joke that she sent me on a trip and I came back $10.00 richer.
But I digress. I came home, took the photo you see above, and then Googled 'what to do with found money'. One website said that if the money is found in a place of business, the correct procedure is to report the loss to the office. Offer to leave your contact information, but don't state the amount, the denomination(s), how the money was found (folded? clipped?) or any other potentially identifiable information. Then, wait to see if the store sends anyone your way. If no one steps forward with a clear claim, say, after a month (less, if you are the hasty sort), it's yours.
This seems like a reasonable thing to do and I wish I had thought of it while still in the store. But my brain's circuits were fried from dealing with the EPG Trinity that ensued when I innocently locked eyeballs with Old Hickory. I can't begin to imagine the massive cerebral meltdown that would occur if I ever run across a significant stash of cold, hard cash.
Because I didn't take the proper steps with the store, I'm going to do the next best thing and purchase a library book for the elementary school, where I volunteer my time on Monday afternoons. I wonder if they could use a book on the subject of honesty?
My brain is feeling much better, now. Honestly.
Pure as the driven snow,
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