Loose change

I love the Coinmaster machine.

Have you seen these things?  They have them at supermarkets.  You dump a bunch of loose change into the tray, and it pulls the change into the machine, where some gizmo counts it (accurately, one only hopes) and totals it up for you.  You then take a receipt to the register, where you can redeem it for cash or store credit.

Yesterday I decided it was high time to take the box o’ change off of my husband’s dresser and put it too good use.  Into the car with me it went (was it just me, or did the car sink perceptibly under its weight?).  At the store, I loaded it all into the machine, and listened to it chug chug chug away, while the little digital numbers showing the total just kept climbing.  I had to fish out a few things that are not American legal tender:  paper clips of various sizes, a Silver Legacy casino token, a coin-sized medal to my Guardian Angel, as well as some French centimes and a small silver coin featuring the profile of Queen Elizabeth.  I also had to extract some dimes that were covered in tinfoil* (quite a few of them, actually).

The result of my efforts?  A whopping $88.53.  It would have been more without the $8 fee that Coinmaster skims off the top (if I had more time, I’d have skipped the machine and rolled it all myself).   But still, I’m pretty happy.  It feels like finding money in the street.   We can use it for a birthday dinner at a nice restaurant.**

So yes, I think there’s a life lesson here: something like “little things matter,” or “don’t sneer at small change.”   And the other lesson I learned: take the tinfoil off of the dimes BEFORE you leave home.

* dimes covered in tinfoil – a tradition, apparently from Rochester, NY, which my husband learned from his friend Dave.  On New Year’s Eve, you cover a dime with tinfoil and put it on the windowsill before the stroke of midnight.  If you do so, you will have all the money you need in the New Year.

** nice restaurant (n) — 1.  A restaurant that does not provide crayons and balloons to its patrons. 2.  A place that we Moyers almost never go to anymore.

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