Monday, August 20, 2012

Spare Change

I love it. Spare change, that is. I find great pleasure in snatching up pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters that go overlooked by others. I never spend my change, but instead I put it in a giant glass jar that I purchased for $20 from Crowded Closet. The irony of spending 2000 pennies on something to put pennies in is not lost on me. I enjoy watching the coins pile up, and there's a very rewarding "plink plink" sound as I toss them in at the end of the day.

This is what my jar looks like, empty. If you can't tell, it's the same size as one of those office-water-cooler jugs. I won't show you how much change I have in it because you would probably travel great distances to steal it.

The loose coins jangling around in the jar quickly add up. Once, through gross negligence and oversight, I overdrafted my checking account by $30 or so. In a panic, I quickly compiled all my resources to bring my checking balance back to the positive. I hurriedly dumped out my glass jar into an ice cream bucket and took my coins to the bank. Even though the coins were just over an inch deep in the glass jar, the sum of them was well past $100.

Since that overdrafting episode, I haven't taken a single coin out of my jar, and I don't plan to until it is full. Assuming that 1 inch of coins = $100, the jar can hold $1,600. Most of the things I'm saving up for are either silly, selfish, or sappy. Just a few of the theoretical items that the money would go toward are:

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8.

FN FS2000 bullpup rifle

6,400 rounds for this sweet old Mosin Nagant I have already purchased. More likely it would be 2,500 rounds and a dozen visits to the chiropractor. Not visible is the metal butt-plate of this ancient gun, which likes to rearrange your shoulder bones after only a handful of shots.

A future honeymoon. Not that this would necessarily be the place, but it was one of the first photos that popped up when I googled "honeymoon locations". (Okay I sorta lied. I've done some research on prime honeymoon locations, and this one seemed nice, albeit touristy. But it IS one of the first ones that pops up in google, so...half truth?)

A PlayStation 3/dvd player/Blu-Ray player/music and video media server to replace the one stolen from my home.

An AlienWare Laptop. These things are just scary fast. Plus, you can customize the LED color on the little alien's face/keyboard underglow! As in, if today you want it purple, then purple it is. Rather have red? Or green? Just adjust it. I'd like to see an Apple product do that.

For serious.

So those are just a few items on a fantasy list of mine. The theoretical $1,600 (more if primarily quarters, less if primarily Canadian pennies) would only be a piddly beginning to a few of the things on this list. I have said that when the inclining amount of funds in my savings matches the declining cost of the 2012 Charger, I shall buy one. That most likely means it'll be 10 years old with 200,000 miles on it.

MEANWHILST, it did not take very long for my friends to catch on that I find great pleasure in obtaining coins. Eyeball these scenarios:

A few manfriends and I have just eaten some delicious wings at BWW's. Due to limited street parking, we made use of a parking ramp. Upon exiting, I realized I didn't have any cash on me and asked if someone would toss me a few bucks. Brooks gladly shared a few dollars, and I paid for the parking. Upon receiving the change (time dims my memory and I'm not sure of the exact amount. It was 80 cents or so), I asked if Brooks would like the change. He said, "Naw, keep it." Not unlike a toddler who found a lollipop stuck under a park bench, I gleefully put the coins in my pocket. "Wait," said Brooks "I need a quarter." So I handed him a quarter. After all, it was his money. He then proceeded to drop the coin in the crack between the seat and the center console. Laughing, he said, "There ya go! Have fun."

I had the last laugh, because while under the seat digging for the quarter, I found two pennies and a nickel.

Here's another scenario. Just this weekend, we were having a wondrous campfire. Shane Schwartz, my manfriend/roommate, had been serving at an Amish wedding so he arrived late. While sitting around the campfire, the subject got on to spare change and how crazy Shawn was for it. So Shane pondered aloud, "I wonder what Shawn would do if I threw a quarter into the fire." He then pulled a quarter out and held it in his hand. I tensed, ready to pounce from across the fire. With a nonchalant flip, he sent the quarter into a pile of burning coals. I grabbed an iron fire poker and pushed the quarter over into a corner of the fire pit where there wasn't as many coals, but eventually lost it while getting my arm hairs singed off by the flames. Shane tossed a nickel and a penny as well, laughing uproariously as I attempted to save them. The nickel was lost into the fiery deep, but I was able to save the penny because he overthrew it and it landed on the other side of the fire pit. I shook my head and chided Shane for such wastefulness, but he claimed it was "worth every penny to see Shawn's reaction". Truman, another manfriend, said "Whoops!" and tossed a large handful of change into the fire. That's when I got up and left.  EDIT: I found out later that Truman tossed in a handful of rocks, tricking me into thinking it was a handful of change. It worked.

I have realized two things.

1) I'm glad I didn't say that I love puppies, because I'm sure some of my manfriends would drop-kick a few into a minefield just to see my reaction.



2) Some people just like to watch the world burn.

But seriously, how boring would life be without best friends? Money can't buy lasting friendships. The burning of money shan't destroy lasting friendships. If my friends occasionally waste ~$1.50 to see me react, that's their choice. I'll try to be a good sport about it. 

What do you do with your coins?

On a side note, if you are in the same "coins are useless" boat as my friends, you are more than welcome to send your change to me.