March 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Spare Change?

There are words and phrases that I hate. No particular reason, other than finding them distasteful or irritating. “Shits and giggles” comes to mind. I would never have used that phrase within the confines of this blog had I not found a good reason to do so.

Same thing with the word “spange”. It’s a favorite of the Garbage Pail Kids, the downtown street rats who are too lazy to use two syllables when one might do. I hear it and want to slap. However, something so cool has happened that I’m going to dust off my iron will, bend it just a hair and use the word this one time, to get it out of my system.

Without further ado, my Spange story…

The two Clean & Safe officers are regulars; one a bike cop, the other a walking constable. They are friends, but bust each others chops like rival siblings. One likes to collect the new gold-colored dollars, and since the other found this out it has become a race to see who gets to buy the coin stash in my till. It’s all dollar-for-dollar, so I don’t make anything off it.

Most of the time.

The other night I was at Meg’s, daydreaming and watching TV, when she asked about my backpack. “What all do you have in that thing?”

My backpack is a man purse in the first degree. Besides the netbook and power cords, I have reading material, meds, spare clothing, knives, sunglasses, a rubber chicken. I decided to show off.

“Here, let’s pick a small pocket and I’ll show you.”

Meg and I are close enough now that I didn’t figure I’d pull out anything too embarrassing, so I dug in without much aforethought. I pulled out the rubber chicken, a baggie full of Band-Aids, a baggie full of plastic hook/floss toothpicks, a harmonica, a mini-deck of playing cards. I tossed the cigar tin full of condoms aside, muttering something about naughty stuff. Instruction book to my cell phone, bottle of ibuprofen. Disposable vibrating cock ring.

“Wait. What?” That got Meg’s attention.

“Disposable vibrating cock ring.” Now I was blushing. I’d explained the concept of cock rings to Meg a few weeks ago, after a friend was discussing them. I’d forgotten about this visual aid.

“It’s a demo from the store. It came in a packet with a condom. The package got opened and the condom disappeared. I’d forgotten all about it.” My face was now as red as my hair. I looked for a distraction. “Ooh, look at this!” I snagged the disposable vibrating cock ring and replaced it with a shiny silver dollar. “I’m always finding cool money in the cash register.”

I showed her three silver dollars, and a 1963 silver Ben Franklin half-dollar. “Are they worth anything?” Meg asked.

“About $3.50.” (That’s an exchange rate of 1.4 Loch Ness Monsters for you, Dr T;)

She oohed and aahed, then I put them back and forgot about them.

Until the officers started bickering over Sacajawea dollars.

“Okay, guys, check this out.” The Clean & Safe officers inspected the disposable vibrating cock ring while I dug around. I pulled out my silver coin stash and dropped them on the counter in a way that made the telltale silver PING! Their eyes lit up, and interest was captured.

I told the story of how I’d been stashing them over time, buying them from the register when some hard-up soul needed malt liquor or bus fare. I’d taken no special care with them, other than to put them in a soft zippered pocket where they wouldn’t get dinged around too much.

Clean & Safe Officer #1: “How much you want? I’ll give you face value?”

Me: “Nah. I’m just saving them ’cause they look cool.”

Clean & Safe Officer #2: “I’ll give you $30 for this one and that one.” He chose the half-dollar and a 1999 commemorative Liberty dollar.

Clean & Safe Officer #1: “I’ll give you $20 for the other one.” He’d already slid it into his pocket. Shifty…

Clean & Safe Officer #2 had already pulled out a $50 bill. Clean & Safe Officer #1 had a $20 in his hand.

Me: “Okay, *I’ll* take that $50, you give him the $20 and we’re all good. You guys fight about which ones you want. I’m keeping this one!” I slid the 1921 dollar with the neat scrolling back toward the soft zippered pocket.

Clean & Safe Officer #2: “I’ll give you $25 for it right now.” He threw Clean & Safe Officer #1’s $20 and an extra $5 atop it. I scooped my pile of cash and handed him the coin.

I smiled at the elderly African American lady who was watching three old white guys get all excited over money. “Pardon me, ma’am,” I said, looked heavenward and yelled “FUCK YEAH!” punctuated with a fist-pump.

She grinned and handed me a winning scratch-off ticket. “I second that. I won $50. We all doing good tonight!”

I paid her from the store fund after hiding my “winnings”. It took years, but hauling those coins around has paid off.

I called Meg and bragged. I loaned her ten bucks to buy beer for the night. Shortly after, Rain called. “Can I borrow $20 until payday? I’m hungry…” The pile was diminishing quickly, but I managed to fluff the savings account a bit. I’m sure there’ll be something to spend it on sooner or later.

And… I’m not done. Clean & Safe Officer #2 is fascinated by silver coins right now, and I have a fair stash of dimes and such accumulated over the years, so I’m gonna pick through and see what else I can sell at slightly more than face value.

Last-century spange, anyone?

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