$100 Bill, Y’all

A funny thing happened on the way to Radio Shack.

On Tuesday, we got our Visa gift card from Verizon for subscribing to FiOS. The denomination isn’t important but let’s just say that it was sufficient for me to buy a new phone since I felt it was time to upgrade from my old Optimus V. (I bought the newer Optimus Elite which I will review in a few days once I spend more time with it.)

At any rate, we pulled into the lot and parked the car. Upon getting out of the car I happened to glance to the ground at something that looked like, I dunno, paper money.

It was. Oh, sweet baby Jesus, it was indeed paper money. Here’s a picture:

Hello, Mr. Franklin!

At first I thought that it may have been one of those fake kiddie bills since at first glance they can fool you and being there’s also a Dollar Tree in the shopping center, the chances of that being the case were very likely.

I looked at it again, held it up to the light, saw watermarks and determined that yep, this thing was legit. In my pocket it went.

The thing is that despite the find, I wasn’t all that excited. I’ve found a few bucks here and there in the past, whether hidden in a washed pair of pants or on the ground of the hallway at work or in the aisle of a retail store and was pretty jazzed about it.

But a Franklin? I should be dancing in the streets, right? But I wasn’t. Perhaps the shock of it all sort of put me off.

Here’s the rub: there’s also a financial institution in the same lot and Ann, ever the worrier, thought that there may have been cameras on us detecting our every move. They’re watching you, watching you, watching you, watching yoooouuuu

With that in mind, she urged me to go into the bank and ask them about the situation that fate had just given me.

But first, I walked into Radio Shack and bought my phone – and was persuaded to buy everything from extended warranties to freaking AAA batteries at check-out. God, I hate when they do that.

We waltzed back to the car and threw the phone in the trunk. Ann stayed behind while Anthony and I entered the bank.

There was Customer Service associate standing near the waiting area and he asked if we needed any help. I asked to speak with the Branch Manager to which he hesitated and then informed me that they were not in. Then I proceeded to explain.

I pretty much told him that I found this $100 bill (showing it to him) and that since it’s in such close proximity to the bank, thought I’d come in and ask for advice on what to do with it: leave it in the hopes someone claimed it, etc.

The kid really had no answer but his eyes were as big as saucers upon telling him the story. It was probably a day’s pay (or more) for him. As he continued to stammer, another employee approached us and asked if she could help.

I gave her the story and what it came down to was that the bank couldn’t hold onto it. There’d be no way to trace it unless it was tied to an account number, she said. She also suggested that I go to some of the other businesses in the center and leave my information in the hopes that the person who lost it would come back and ask about it.

And that’s kind of where I drew the line. I mean, come on. Leaving my information with an entire shopping center of stores with a note that said, “This idiot found $100. If someone asks about it, his phone number is 867-5309”? Who’s to say that the person who lost it would even think to go back there? Additionally, if you lost $100, what are the chances of you ever seeing it again? You know damn well that thing would be spent by the time you realized it was gone.

Another point. I never have that kind of scratch on my person and if I ever do, you can bet your sweet little ass that I know of its whereabouts and maybe even its serial number because I just don’t make the money I used to and watch where my money goes. Chances are I won’t even carry it with me until I’m ready to spend it. The former owner of this bill must deal with large denominations all the time if they were careless enough to not keep track of it the way I do.

So taking everything into consideration, I decided to keep the money. Wouldn’t you? Finders keepers, blah blah blah? This isn’t at all like finding a BlackBerry.

As of now, $20 has gone into the gas tank, $40 went to groceries, $20 towards tonight’s dinner and I still have $20 on me as I type.

And just like that, it’s almost all spent. $100 just doesn’t go a long way anymore.