Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yeah, but I had a penny...

One day, when I was just a little kid, my brother had a dime. Back then we could buy two pieces of candy for 1 cent. So three or four of us decided to head out to the store. I'm not sure our parents would have approved having us little kids walk the mile to the store crossing the busiest street in the city, but I don't think we asked anyone for permission.

Along the way to the store I found a penny on the ground. More candy! However there was a problem. On 10 cents there is no sales tax, but if you spend 11 cents then you also have to spend one cent for tax. So as we walked to the store we devised what we thought was a clever plan. Each of us would pick out our candy and one by one pay for the candy and then pass the change on to the next person.

We thought we were so smart. I picked out a couple of Swedish fish and was the last to buy our goods. But before we left, the sales lady asked us why we hadn't just payed for everything at once. So my brother tells her that we didn't want to pay sales tax. "There is not tax on a dime." she said. And I proudly replied back, "yeah, but I had a penny!"

They teased me about that the whole way home. Actually they teased me about that for years afterwards. I still remember how great we thought it was that we out smarted the system.

At the intersection where I cross Redwood Road on my way to work, there is what I thought was a dime amongst the debris that piles up at the intersection. A few days ago I stopped and picked it up. It actually is a penny that has had all of the copper worn off of it. I've actually noticed a lot of coins amongst the road debris as I bike to and from work. As a kid I was so excited when I found that penny, now I simply ride past quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies every day. Surely other people see them too but nobody cares enough to even stop and pick them up.

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