January 13th, 2007

sell soul

Spare change is always a good thing

Meet my friend Teddy Van Gogh.

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Teddy is a piggy bank. Over the past ten years or more (I'm thinking at least thirteen, for I used to use Teddy as a doorstop to keep Jeffrey out of my room--it didn't work), Mum and I let Teddy save our pennies. Teddy stopped accepting our pennies about two years ago because he just couldn't take any more of them: we had filled him up. Since then we wondered how much money was in Teddy.

Today we found out.

Last night Mum took Teddy out of my room and cut his ear off. (I suggested a decapitation, but we wanted to reuse him, so the ear it was.) From there we began to separate the pennies into jars since we would never be able to carry Teddy full of pennies into the bank today. Finally we divided the pennies into two three-pound jars of butter and two huge coffee cans, one of which was painted like a Santa because I made it in elementary school and still had it for some reason.

Mum, Dad, and I guessed how much money was in Teddy. Mum guessed $115.69, Dad guessed $97.49, and I guessed $42.59 (come on, it was all in pennies, and could it really be 4200 pennies...). Mum also had a small coffee can of pennies that she had saved since we filled Teddy, and I had a small globe bank of mixed change, but we didn't include that in our totals. So off we went this morning to the bank.

If you've never used one of those money counters before, they're pretty cool. You just pour the money out on the conveyor belt, a little bit at a time, press start, and it counts it for you. Mum and I put the non-Teddy change on there first so it wouldn't interfere with our guesses. It turns out that I've accumulated nearly $30 in change. Wow.

And then we started with the pennies. We brought the first three cans in first. Sure enough, after awhile, someone else was waiting in line behind us. This turned out to be a Very Bad Thing since we'd be taking awhile. As soon as Dad brought the fourth can in, the other guy gave up on waiting on us and left. It was hilarious. Instead, I watched the counter go up as it counted for us while putting more pennies on the conveyor belt.

Two other people were waiting in line behind us by the time we finished an hour later. The grand total? $96.88. Dad wasn't even a dollar off.

We went to exchange that for cash, and the woman behind the counter looked at me and said, "So you're finally done." I nodded, thankful that yes, I was finally done. But what would become of Teddy?

On the way out of the bank an hour later Mum told me, "You'll be saving your own change now." And she's right. I asked her if I could take Teddy with me when I moved out, and she said I could.

Don't get too excited, though. That money's probably going toward my books this semester since I'm poor special. Or something.

See? Change adds up.