Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spare Change

When we were in France last summer, bums on the street (“flanneurs,” I guess, or “chomeurs,”) would routinely hit us up for spare change.

“Petites pieces, petites pieces” they would implore, meaning, literally, “little coins,” which I assume is the idiom for “spare change” in French. Mimi thought they were saying “GPS, GPS,” which seemed to fit, since most of them looked pretty lost; it made sense they were asking for direction, and in the mind of a 21st century kid, requesting a global positioning satellite was a perfectly reasonable request.

Back here in Seattle, we regularly get sparechanged; usually it’s some guy who wants a dollar—which, unless it’s a Susan B. Anthony or a Sacajawea, doesn’t really qualify as change, does it?—for a sandwich; I go through phases where I alternate between it being my policy to always give something to someone who asks and then never doing so, especially if the sparechanger is smoking a cigarette, which I realize is pretty arbitrary on my part, but so be it.

I mention this because today, with no conscious intent that I"m aware of, I’ve apparently been sparechanging the universe. As I’ve ridden along on my bike, I’ve kept finding coins in the road, not a long, mind you, but just enough to make me wonder what’s going on.

This morning, on the way back from yoga, I rolled over a quarter; at first, I didn’t stop, but then thought, “If I can pick it up in less than 15 seconds, that’s $60.00 an hour,” so I did.

Later, on my way from the store, I found a dime. Since I scooped it in no more than 10 seconds, I think that pays off.

Then, just now, returning from the library, I spied a penny. That, I left sitting in the road; I’d have to scoop at the rate of 1 a second, I think, to have it pay.

Some petites pieces are just too


Post a Comment

<< Home