Today was going to be my lucky day. I was going for a walk in the
woods and I feel lucky each time I go out to enjoy the blessings of nature.
But things quickly got out of hand from there.
As I was walking along the path, I looked down and there on the
ground was a crisp $100 bill. I like nature as much as the next person
but finding a $100 bill increased my enjoyment of the wonders of the earth
I picked it up, having done my morning stretches so I could bend over
to grab it, gave it a quick look and stuffed it into my back pocket. You
probably want to know why I didn’t put it into my wallet. The wallet, it
turns out, went missing some place in my apartment.
So, walking along, I tried to figure out the answer to my great
dilemma. Do I try to return it to its owner?
I thought about putting an ad in the lost and found section of
our local weekly newspaper: “Found: $100 bill on path in local state park.
Yours if you can describe it.”
This was not going to work, as I quickly surmised, because most
people know what a $100 bill looks like. Some people call them “Benjamin”
so that tips you off as to whose picture is on it, in case you haven’t ever seen
one. And Benjamin, by the way, does not refer to your brother-in-law who
has yet to return your socket set he borrowed six months ago.
I thought about standing at the entrance of the path yelling “Who
lost some money on the path?” but not too many people were walking that
morning so that wasn’t going to work either.
Out of options, I did what all of your probably would do. I
started thinking about how I was going to spend my windfall. A hot fudge
sundae came to mind, as did an apple pie. I would probably have a little
something left over, so I contemplated my luck that day right up until the
time I got home.
I pulled the bill out of my pocket and gave it a closer look. It had
a strange orange tint on it. I looked at it even closer and read the fine print.
“For Motion Picture Use Only,” it said. And then it said “This Note is Not
Legal Tender for All Debts, Public and Private.”
My lucky day came crashing down. I was shattered. No hot fudge
sundae. No apple pie. I did have a nice walk in the woods, but the day
wasn’t going to be the same, particularly because when I was going to
regale my friends about my find, they would probably characterize
me as a doofus for not recognizing my Benjamin was a phony.
As I sulked around the apartment, I began my search for
the missing wallet. I went to the very last place I remember seeing it
which was next to my computer. I checked the floor. I checked the
little night stand next to the computer and found a box of staples I had lost
long ago. While the staples have their use, they would do me no good at an
ATM. Alas, I could not find the wallet in my office.
I went to the bedroom and checked the night stand drawer where
Iusually put my wallet after using it. I am very careful to do this so I don’t
lose it and drive myself crazy looking for it.
No wallet. I felt myself inching closer to crazy. Alas, in desperation,
I went looking for the sweat pants I was wearing when last I had it. They
were on top of the washer drying out. I plunged
my hand into a pocket and with a great sense of relief pulled out the
wallet. It was slightly damp, but none the worse for wear, which is
why, the next time someone talks to me about laundering
money, I’ll have a story to top theirs.