My Lucky Day


Today was going to be my lucky day. I was going for a walk in the

woods and I feel lucky each time I go out to enjoy the blessings of nature.

But things quickly got out of hand from there.

As I was walking along the path, I looked down and there on the

ground was a crisp $100 bill. I like nature as much as the next person

but finding a $100 bill increased my enjoyment of the wonders of the earth

immeasurably.

I picked it up, having done my morning stretches so I could bend over

to grab it, gave it a quick look and stuffed it into my back pocket. You

probably want to know why I didn’t put it into my wallet. The wallet, it

turns out, went missing some place in my apartment.

So, walking along, I tried to figure out the answer to my great

dilemma. Do I try to return it to its owner?

I thought about putting an ad in the lost and found section of

our local weekly newspaper: “Found: $100 bill on path in local state park.

Yours if you can describe it.”

This was not going to work, as I quickly surmised, because most

people know what a $100 bill looks like. Some people call them “Benjamin”

so that tips you off as to whose picture is on it, in case you haven’t ever seen

one. And Benjamin, by the way, does not refer to your brother-in-law who

has yet to return your socket set he borrowed six months ago.

I thought about standing at the entrance of the path yelling “Who

lost some money on the path?” but not too many people were walking that

morning so that wasn’t going to work either.

Out of options, I did what all of your probably would do. I

started thinking about how I was going to spend my windfall. A hot fudge

sundae came to mind, as did an apple pie. I would probably have a little

something left over, so I contemplated my luck that day right up until the

time I got home.

I pulled the bill out of my pocket and gave it a closer look. It had

a strange orange tint on it. I looked at it even closer and read the fine print.

“For Motion Picture Use Only,” it said. And then it said “This Note is Not

Legal Tender for All Debts, Public and Private.”

My lucky day came crashing down. I was shattered. No hot fudge

sundae. No apple pie. I did have a nice walk in the woods, but the day

wasn’t going to be the same, particularly because when I was going to

regale my friends about my find, they would probably characterize

me as a doofus for not recognizing my Benjamin was a phony.

As I sulked around the apartment, I began my search for

the missing wallet. I went to the very last place I remember seeing it

which was next to my computer. I checked the floor. I checked the

little night stand next to the computer and found a box of staples I had lost

long ago. While the staples have their use, they would do me no good at an

ATM. Alas, I could not find the wallet in my office.

I went to the bedroom and checked the night stand drawer where

Iusually put my wallet after using it. I am very careful to do this so I don’t

lose it and drive myself crazy looking for it.

No wallet. I felt myself inching closer to crazy. Alas, in desperation,

I went looking for the sweat pants I was wearing when last I had it. They

were on top of the washer drying out. I plunged

my hand into a pocket and with a great sense of relief pulled out the

wallet. It was slightly damp, but none the worse for wear, which is

why, the next time someone talks to me about laundering

money, I’ll have a story to top theirs.

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