Monday, February 28, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Found Money.

Springtime is a strange and subtle time in the Sweet clan. It's the time of year my father would go on walks. This might not sound so strange, but my father's not much of a walker. He's a jogger. My father would go for walks in the springtime, because springtime was when the snowbanks melted and the pennies appeared after months of being entombed in ice. Beer bottles also appeared in ditches.

Even here in Toronto, where we're enjoying a little bit of a thaw, I've picked up 11 cents in the last couple of days.

The downside to all this is the actual most common material to be revealed by melting snowbanks: dog shit. Tonnes of it! Lazy asshole dog owners! Don't you know that's where my pennies belong?

I love the thrill of finding money. I recently used the contents of a piggy bank to buy a Hawaiian ukulele, so I know a thing or two about spare change adding up!

I hope to never be burdened with making the choice involved with finding a lot of money - like over fifty bucks - something that might have been bound for someone's rent or something.

I've twice hit the mother lode, and neither were in Canadian currency! Neither time was in the winter, either. Two years ago, the union of sanitation workers in Toronto went on strike and my neighbourhood (like everyone's neighbourhood in Toronto the Good) was piled high with litter, tumbling up and down the main streets and collecting near drains. I was walking through my corner of the city and saw a crumpled American $20 bill! (I know, the exchange these days makes this less impressive than it used to...) Its colours blended in with all the other mute-coloured rubbish! And I was just about to go to Chicago for a friend's wedding! Yee-haw, garbage strike! Totally worth it!*

About 10 years ago, when I was working in a cinema in Kent, England, I was going through the many-times daily task of cleaning out a theatre after a screening and under a seat I found a £20 note! Say whaaaaat!!! At the time, that was almost worth a bag of fifty bright shiny loonies! I asked one of my co-workers what I should do with it, and he answered, "put it in your sock." I did.

So, while I don't expect to find foldin' money every time I cast my gaze to the ground, hope springs eternal. And I'm po'.

As for returnable bottles, I don't quite take after my father as virulently. My mother did ask me this fall why there was a huge empty bottle of cheap whiskey in the back of her minivan, and I told her I found it in the UPEI parking lot by the dorms and just couldn't leave it. 50 cents, whole, in my pocket, or a nuisance, shattered, by the KCI - easy choice. This was one of the times my mother shook her head and said, "You are so much like your father." See?

*No it wasn't. It was gross.