Even though no one was going to return to claim it, and even though it was well within my reach, I only grabbed a couple quarters before straightening up.
That's because this society teaches us to feel guilty about everything - even doing something perfectly legal like picking up someone else's abandoned money.
I tossed the bill back at the associate. I was hoping she'd miss again, so I could grab some more quarters. She didn't.
Gritting my teeth, I drove away.
If I'd had any guts, I would have stepped out of my car, methodically picked up every bit of change, re-entered my car, and then thrown the five back at the clerk.
BEAT ME. BEAT ME. I HATE MYSELF. I WAS ALL BUT BROKE. I COULD HAVE USED THAT MONEY!!!!
I have come to the conclusion that guilt is a deterrent to rapid advancement through life.
Even though fast food restaurant drive-throughs are a great source of easy money, I don't suggest you try your hand at it. The lines are long enough as it is. If you hold up the people behind you just to pick up a buck-fifty in change, somebody might get mad at you and shoot you dead.
You never know. This is hunting country, and road rage is the "in" thing now.
Speaking of looking at the pavement, I was standing outside the office the other day when I heard a horrible scraping noise coming from under a car that came lurching around the corner. It was a smooth lurch, as lurches go. But a lurch nonetheless. I leaned over as the car approached and looked under it.
To my surprise, I saw a small, blue and white Igloo cooler wedged between the car's undercarriage and the pavement. I pointed frantically under the car, hoping to get the driver's attention. I know I shouldn't have laughed, but I couldn't help it.
She looked at me, shook her head wildly, mouthed the words "I KNOW!! %#@" and raised both hands in the air in frustration as she lurched by, and then into a nearby parking lot.
I watched as it took three men five minutes to wrest the cooler from the bottom of her car.
I don't think it was her lunch. I hope not, anyway.
Which all goes to show you that it pays to look at the ground, and under things that move on the ground.
If that lady had sloped her posture and checked under her car before she started driving, she wouldn't have lurched noisily down the street like she did, with that with a cooler wedged in her car the way it was.
She wouldn't have been so embarrassed.
Who knows, she might even have found a quarter.