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thank you for smoking

May 17th, 2009 at 07:50 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $.69 apple + $11.50 conveyor belt sushi

Today I found .12 on the ground. I generally find a coin here and there (pennies mostly) every couple of days. Often, like Disneysteve, if I find one, I find another - so that is a good little rule.

As a public service, and to the determent of my own coin hunting, I thought of coming up with a checklist of reasonable places where I find stray coins. I've been hard at work thinking about it, but the places that I've found coins are so varied - sidewalks, parking lots, bus stops, on the floor of the bus, in front of my driveway, on the road along the curb, pedestrian intersections, behind the paper honesty boxes, in front of ATMs ... in other words I can give you an inelegant, exhaustive list that isn't very easy to remember.

Later, it hit me the thread that most of these places share: they are high foot traffic places where people wait for a few minutes, stick their hands in and out of their pockets and then leave. Fine, but as you are walking along a sidewalk, hard to tell those high traffic hotspots from ordinary sidewalk.

Or is it? I suspect not. One of the things that some people do as they wait and jam their collective hands in their collective pockets is smoke. And when the bus comes, friend comes, cigarette is finished, what happens? Some of the butts go into the can (thank you), some land on the sidewalk or whereever.

I submit to you a very simple rule: the more cigarette butts on the ground, the more likely you will find change on the ground.

Let's be clear here. I'm not saying smokers are more likely to drop change. I'm saying that cigarette butts are a reasonable marker to identify those good coin hunting places where a lot of people wait with hands in pockets, yet have to leave in a hurry.

I'm probably also saying that street sweepers and those business folk who keep their front sidewalks clean are my competitors - if you sweep a butt, you probably are sweeping coins too.

The rule isn't perfect - I've found coins in our front driveway (neither of us smoke), close to gas station pumps (not supposed to smoke there), on bare sidewalks. Still, today, there were a lot of butts (even a joint where I found that dime) where I found my change today.

If you are a coin hunter, let me know if this rule helps you find more change!

3 Responses to “thank you for smoking”

  1. Petunia Says:

    Interesting observation!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Interesting. My son found a nickel on the playground (in a tunnel). I thought it was odd, but then again I gave BM 50 cents the other day and he promptly lost it. He has found more than 50 cents on the ground to make up for it though. Wink There's probably lots of coins on the school playgrounds - hehe.

  3. baselle Says:

    not many smokers on school playgrounds...at least on elementary school playgrounds. Big Grin

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