Tuesday 5 May 2015

Thanks, You Dirty Scumbag!

As I was walking the dog this morning I was thinking about how long it has been since I found any money on the ground. In the past I would find pennies all of the time, but since Canada stopped using them, there are obviously fewer of them around. Before the government stopped producing pennies, people would toss them out or their cars or pockets. Sometimes if you were lucky, there would be a couple of nickels and a dime on the pavement with those pennies. It would take time to pick them up, but as they say, “Time is money”.

I don’t know why there is less money blowing on the wind these days, but I suspect that it has something to do with the lower oil prices in Alberta. From what I’ve heard, about 70,000 people from the oil industry and affiliated businesses have lost their jobs. Now, they are out there walking dogs and looking for those pennies that they tossed out the window when they were making six figure incomes. They are probably being a little more careful about putting the coins in deep pockets and the bills folded securely in a bill fold. Too bad for me.

A couple of years ago, I found a twenty dollar bill frozen into the ice. It took a little effort, but that’s a lot of coffees. I still will pick up the odd bottle or can during my travels, but even those are getting a little more difficult to find. I hope the people who are finding the cash and bottles don’t need it too badly but are doing it for the fun of discovery.

While I was contemplating the dwindling amount of cold, hard cash in the gutters, I thought about found money. I have no trouble pocketing any amount of coins and I would be good with any bill up to and including a $50 bill. More than that and I begin to wonder if I should try to find who lost the cash. I start to think it might just be someone living just on the poverty line that will no longer be able to either eat or pay the rent. I then think that there is no fool proof way to find who lost the money. If I advertised in the paper, I would be inundated with replies from any and all the ne’er do wells in the city. In the end, I would have to either keep the money or donate it to some charitable organization.

Of course the problem is simplified if you find the money in a wallet. Over the years I found numerous wallets while I was delivering mail. I would do a quick check to see if there was a local address I could deliver the wallet to. Sometimes, there was ID but no address and in those cases I would take the wallet back to the depot and hand it over to the supervisor who would in turn pass it on. Whoever ended up with it would do a little detective work to discover the person who lost the wallet. I’ve found a wallet or two that had addresses and I called the people and they would come and pick it up. Hopefully they hadn’t cancelled their credit cards or ordered new ID.

I have wondered what I would do if I found a wallet with five, ten or twenty thousand dollars in it. That is a lot of money and would make a dent in my debt or life style. I’d have to think about it. Why would a normal person be carrying that much cash? They wouldn’t! Only someone that is engaged in illegal activities would have that kind of cash in their wallets. If I didn’t return it, I might be keeping kids from taking drugs and isn’t that something we all want. It would be my civic duty to keep the cash.

The best part of me keeping the money and saving those kids spiralling down into lives of quiet desperation would be that the city wouldn’t have to reward me. That dirty, scumbag drug dealer rewarded me. Thanks, you dirty scumbag!

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