A couple days ago, blog buddy River suggested that the reason I keep finding all these parking lot pennies, and getting back five-dollar-bills in change, when a ten or twenty would be more appropriate...might have something to do with Abe Lincoln.
The moment I read that, I knew it might be the right interpretation!
The very morning that I wrote about finding the penny and getting the fives, I had made my first stop at Country Mart to get some scratch-off tickets out of their machines. I send Genius two tickets a week, and they have a good selection. Since I was there anyway, I decided to get myself a couple of tickets. I got Genius's out of the machine on the left, and moved to the machine on the other side of the doors to get one for me. When I bent down to get my ticket, I saw another ticket leaning against the front of the trough.
I picked up that extra ticket. Huh. It must have belonged to the man who'd been there while I was at the other machine. I took the ticket to the service desk and gave it to the worker, explaining that it wasn't mine, and I was turning it in just in case that man came back looking for it. She looked at me like I was crazy, but I described the guy, and left.
Honesty is the best policy, you see. And if anybody knows anything about the virtue of honesty, it's old Honest Abe.
I didn't make that connection when I found my penny and got back my fives later Thursday morning. But when I read River's comment Friday evening, I thought of what had happened to me earlier on Friday.
I'd stopped by the main post office branch to mail the weekly letters to Genius and The Pony. Since I enclose those tickets in Genius's envelope, it's sometimes overweight. I take it to the counter, where the worker hefts it in his/her hand, and either says, "Nope, it's fine" or "You need 21 more cents." That's their high-tech equipment. A postal clerk's hand.
Anyhoo...there was only one man in line when I got inside the post office. Actually, it wasn't a line until I got there. But I went to stand behind him, and noticed something on the floor. Sadly, it was NOT a penny. It was a book of Mexican stamps. Okay. They were United States Postal Service stamps, it was the clerk who later called them Mexican. A whole book of them!
I didn't know what they were, only that I had found a book of stamps! That's a $9.80 value! Of course, they were not MY stamps. As I was picking them up off the floor, the man in front of me turned around. I suppose he wondered why my head was a few inches away from his buttocks.
"Are these yours? I found them on the floor. It's a book of stamps."
The man hesitated. At first I thought he was going to claim them. They were worth $9.80, you know! But he looked a minute, and then said, "No. They're not mine." Maybe he just wanted to take them and turn them in himself, like taking credit for a Big Salad when all he did was hand it to someone.
The clerk motioned that man to the side. He was waiting on a supervisor to come out about receiving mail for somebody who doesn't live at his address any more.
"Can I help you with something?"
"Yes. Uh. I just found this book of stamps on the floor. I guess somebody who was just here dropped them on the way out."
The short bald not-too-friendly clerk hollered over his shoulder to the back room, "HEY! Debbie! Did you just sell a book of Mexican stamps?" Turns out she did. To some lady. So they put them under the counter to see if she came back for them.
I gave the clerk my envelope for Genius. "I think this might weigh too much. Just checking." I already had a regular stamp on it. Mine are the Pet stamps. Genius had an iguana, I think. Or a newt.
"You need 21 more cents," said the clerk. So I handed him a quarter. Shame on him for not giving me four pennies back. He gave me a nickel. Darn do-gooder!
I wanted my Abes.