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Piggy Went To Market: A Journal To Learn From


 
Like most people, I save money for a rainy day with the aid of a piggy bank that looks like a prostitute. I've been stuffing coins in the skank bank for nearly two years and the porker is finally full. Now comes the fun part: spending the currency as is without converting them to bills. Below is the official coin count:

 
Coin
Quantity
Value
Dime
114
$11.40
Nickel
67
$3.35
Penny
261
$2.61

TOTAL $17.36
 

The total value would have been worth more had I put quarters in the harlot, but I specifically put quarters in another receptacle for reasons not worth going into here.*

And speaking of receptacles, I don't own any coin wrappers (those cost money which I don't... oh right). Practical is my middle name, so I separated the coins into sandwich baggies. The coin bags are too large to fit in my pockets, so I'll be forced to carry them by hand. Jay Practical Carlson is going to look really cool carrying multiple sandwich bags of coins.

* Okay, fine. Peep shows.

 
 

 

PURCHASE ONE: INVISIBLE TAPE
 
What's that old saying? Penny wise, pound foolish. Wrong. Pennies are worthless. I hate them. Lincoln pennies should be shot (wait, no) melted into the world's most pointless statue and then hoisted into space like the rest of our garbage. I consider $2.61 in pennies to be worth the equivalent of a handshake from a mannequin, but some stores still consider red cents swappable for a roll of invisible tape.

I approached the cashier with four baggies (three bags containing fifty cents in pennies and one bag containing all of my dimes). Before she rang me up I asked the cashier if it was okay that I pay with coins. She looked at my baggies and said, "But I'd have to count them all." I took that as a yes. The line behind me was long. Awfully long. And paying with pennies is a step below holding up the line to write a check. I handed 150 pennies to the cashier and she looked at them in the baggies. Then she looked at the line. Then she looked at me. "I'm a very trustworthy guy," I said as I gave her an additional handful of dimes. "I promise it's all there." She placed the baggies to the side of the register, handed me a receipt and my tape. I can't believe that worked.


Remaining Balance
Coin
Quantity
Value
Dime
101
$10.10
Nickel
67
$3.35
Penny
111
$1.11

TOTAL:
$14.56
 
 
 

 

 

PURCHASE TWO: GINGER BEER
 
I went to a local market to buy overpriced peanut butter. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the incredibly expensive peanut butter was out of stock. I was ready to walk out of the market when a bottle of exorbitantly priced ginger beer caught my eye. Piggy banks are all about saving for a rainy day and/or frivolous use, so when Cat told me that she enjoys mixing ginger beer with rum that was all the motivation I needed.

I paid the cashier many, many, many unnecessary coins, yet he smiled. In fact, when I sheepishly remarked that I was being obstinate by not converting my coins to bills, the cashier said that he had done the same thing and seeing someone else pay with coins made his day.


Remaining Balance
Coin
Quantity
Value
Dime
87
$8.70
Nickel
27
$1.35
Penny
89
$0.89

TOTAL: $10.94
 
 
 

 

PURCHASE THREE: POSTAGE
 
I go to the post office a few times each week. I wouldn't call the lady at the counter a friend, but she does know me well enough to confirm, "Media mail, right?" before I say a word. The lady at the counter was correct, but this particular exchange wasn't my normal postage routine.

I dropped a few baggies of coins on the counter and she asked, "You brought your piggy bank, huh?" The lady at the counter clearly missed her calling as a clairvoyant. Knowing that I'll have to look her in the eye in a day or two I elected to pay with mostly dimes. She didn't seem to mind, because she'd seen it all before. From the people who cut in line "just to buy stamps" to the waiting customers who curse out loud. Yep, the customers at my post office are assholes, and I should know. I just hope I rank somewhere low on the totem pole.


Remaining Balance
Coin
Quantity
Value
Dime
67
$6.70
Nickel
23
$1.15
Penny
86
$0.86

TOTAL: $8.71
 
 
 

 

PURCHASE FOUR: SHRIMP TACOS
 

I bought lunch at an "authentic" Mexican taquería. I ordered two shrimp tacos (one hard shell, one soft shell) for $7.04. Apparently the secret to authenticity is stuffing meat, lettuce, tomato, and cheese into a tortilla shell. It's a well-guarded trade secret. You're welcome.

The man at the cash register said that he didn't care that I paid in coins. He's probably "authentically" lying. The good news is that this meal officially exhausted all of my dimes. The bad news is that I still had two baggies of nickels and pennies and I had yet to put money in the tip jar for the man who hand-counted a hundred coins.

I grabbed a handful of nickels and pennies and dropped them in the tip jar. Was that bad? It's better than nothing, right? At that point I just wanted to dig a hole, bury the coins, give the treasure map to somebody, and let that person be cursed with grungy carnie hands that smell of copper and nickel.

I probably should have washed my hands before I ate.


Remaining Balance
Coin
Quantity
Value
Dime
0
$0.00
Nickel
4
$0.20
Penny
24
$0.24

TOTAL:
$0.44
 
 
 

 

PURCHASE FIVE: WISHES
 
I'm not a superstitious person, but I am a sucker for the power of wishful thinking. It's what heals any blemish on my face and keeps airplanes that I ride safely in the sky. I had a baggie full of forty-four potential wishes. It was time to fill up the tank with good fortune.

People often say that you're not supposed to tell others what you wish for because then it won't come true. I don't believe that, but just in case my first wish was for the ability to speak of the remaining forty-three wishes without consequences. Done. I also wished for career happiness in mine and Patti's life. I made that wish a lot, actually. I repeatedly wished for good health to those that I know and love. Peace. Laughter. A sandwich*. And then the coins were gone, drowning in a fountain.

I know what you're thinking, and no, I didn't wish for more wishes. That's a rookie mistake. As long as I own a piggy bank, there will always be more wishes. Except on the occasional railroad track, pennies will never die.

* It totally came true!


Remaining Balance
Coin
Quantity
Value
Dime
0
$0.00
Nickel
0
$0.00
Penny
0
$0.00

TOTAL: $0.00
 
 
 

 

Issue #38: This Year, Let's Resolve To Solve The First Time
Issue #38