13 cents

16 07 2006

Me: Hello young man, its $11.87.

Some little kid: (Counts his crumpled up dollar bills, hands me 10 of them, then begins to count a handful of change)

Me: (I can count the handful of change by looking at it faster then he can in his little hands) That looks like enough, you don’t have to count it.

Some little kid: (Hands me the assortment of quarters, dimes, and pennies, exactly $2.00)

Me: (At this point I have $12, and am not expecting any more) Have fun young man, goodnight.

Some little kid: (As I’m getting back into my car. Yes, I had time to walk down the driveway) Don’t I get change?

Me: I KNOW YOU JUST DIDN’T ASK ME FOR 13 CENTS BACK YOU LITTLE JEW! (In my head, at least) Oh, yes, how silly of me to overlook your 13 cents. Here you go. (I hand him a dime and 3 pennies) Now don’t spend that all in one place…not that its possible.

Now I’ve accepted that kids don’t generally understand to tip, so thats not the issue here. Its the fact that the kid wanted his 13 cents back. In a year and a half at this job, that is the first time I’ve actually been asked to give back any amount of coinage. Normally I ask if they want it back, but more as a joke then as a serious request. Some would say that to a kid, 13 cents is a lot of money. Well, it just isn’t anymore. Maybe when our grandparents were children, 13 cents was a lot of money, but not to todays children. Kids might not “know the value of a dollar,” but they sure as hell know that 13 cents isn’t enough money to buy anything.

And why is it that kids ALWAYS keep their money all crumpled up in balls in their pockets? Why can’t they just fold it in half or put it in a wallet or something? Maybe its just because I was very careful with money with I was a kid, even ironing the stuff if it got to wrinkled. But then again, I watched a lot of DuckTales, and Scrooge was always kind to his money. He loved his money not as a greedy old koot, but with an almost child-like delight. Just like myself, actually. If I had a money bin, I would most certainly be swimming in it, doing the backstroke and whatnot.