Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Bad Penny

I don't like change in my pockets. I never have and never will. I don't even carry a wallet in my back pocket. This causes me a lot of trouble as I never have an ID handy when its needed and I misplace my credit cards a lot, but I just can't stand having something in my pockets.

Years ago I worked for a guy, a head strong arrogant piece of over inflated bovine waste who liked having coin is his pocket. He also liked jingling his coins. It drove the people in the office nuts, but he had a far more annoying habit since he was also addicted to nasal decongestant spray. Spray that he would shoot up his nose at the most indiscreet times. So maybe the coin wasn't such a bad thing?

He died a few years ago and upon reading his obituary, his bad habits were all I could recall.

Except that he liked the phrase "Vaseline or Baseball Bat" and he liked to belittle people and I was no exception.

One crisp fall afternoon in the heart of Boston, we had just left a sales meeting that he didn't think went particularly well. He said nothing until we were about to cross the street. There he spotted a penny on the pavement. As the light turned green and just as I was about to step briskly across the street he pointed out the penny and forcefully said "You better pick that up!"

I being used to jumping when the boss said jump, instinctively bent over to pick it up. As I did he added "with your inability to sell you're going to need it."

We caught a cab to the airport and a flight back to Charlotte. He of course rode in first class and I in coach. Which at the time was fine with me, as it gave me time to relax and get that damn penny out of my pocket.

Much to my surprise the penny was a rather unique "wheat cent" minted in 1956. Now nearly twenty years later I still have it, though I still hate coin in my pockets.


Bob said...

I've always been a coin collector, but only a casual one. I have a small wooden box that I throw all old US coins and foreign coins into. In Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island, the old pirate Billy Bones has such a collection in his sea chest along with an account book that ends: Bones, his pile. The little wooden box, I guess, can be called Bob: his pile.

I don't carry change in my pockets, but I do keep a 1961 half dollar in my wallet in a plastic sleeve, it's from the year I was born.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cedar fun story.