With great power comes great responsibility

I have a super power.  It’s finding money on the ground.  I think my poor person brain developed a weird chemical reaction to the sight of money and a little buzzer goes off when I see it just laying there.  It’s not even for just American money, either.  I lived in England for a year and it happened several times there with one pound coins and five pound notes.  I can also tell you every intersection I’ve ever found money at over the course of the last 13 years because it felt so good when I found it, like finding precious treasure.

About a month ago I saw a ten dollar bill on a major street, but I had a passenger in my car.  I dropped them off and circled back around to find it again several car lengths away from where I originally spotted it.  Joke was on me, though, because it was only half of a ten dollar bill.  Someone mentioned that it might still be good, since it was slightly more than 50% of the bill but when I took it in to the bank the teller explained that I needed both serial numbers on it in order to get the money.  “Could I at least have five dollars?”  Nope.

A couple weeks ago I saw a backpack in the road, and again it was while I had a passenger in the car.  I dropped them off, circled back around, and parked to retrieve it.  It was a Tuesday night shift, 2:30am on a Wednesday morning and the streets were nearly deserted.  When I started walking into the road to retrieve the backpack, I saw a $20.  I picked it up and saw another one.  And another one.  They were everywhere.


$147 I found in the middle of the road at 2:30am on a Wednesday

As I picked up the last bill, a woman calls from my taxi, “Is this yours?”  I nod.  “Could you please give someone a ride home?  He’s kind of a mess…”  She was the bartender of the bar I parked in front of.
“Sure!” I say, still looking around on the road and stuffing the money into a pocket.
“He’s just gotta find his backpack.”
“That one?”  I ask, pointing at the one in the road.
“Yea…  I think so!  And also his cell phone.”
“There’s one in the gutter over here,” I say, finding a slightly scratched iPhone.
“Thanks… he’s kind of throwing a fit.  Please can you take him home?”
“Sure, I’ll pull the car around to the back of the bar,”  I say.  The front of the bar was closed, but the back doors were opened for closing.

At this point I was pretty certain that all this cash belonged the dude that was throwing a fit.  I was also certain that I could REALLY use $147 for bills and groceries, which was why I had picked up a Tuesday night shift.  A shift that would likely result in me earning less than minimum wage on average, but I needed the money.

I pulled the car around and waited over five minutes.  Eventually the bartender came back out and said, “He can’t find his keys now…  I’m really sorry to make you wait, but he’s not ready to go yet.  We’ll give you a call when he is.”

I struggled just a little, but didn’t tell her about all the cash I found.  I can’t say if I’d have told the guy if he had gotten into the cab, either.  I justified it this way:  I definitely needed this money more than someone who would throw it into the middle of the road in a temper tantrum, and that was the impression I got from the bartender.

At the end of the week there was a nice man in my cab going from a gas station to a nice house across town.  He had picked up a bag full of snacks in the middle of the night after a party or something.  He was polite, unassuming, and well behaved.  When I got him to his lakefront home he paid me and tipped me approximately 20%.

As he started closing the door after he got out I turned around like I always do to make sure nothing was left behind and saw about $100 in scattered twenty dollar bills between the two seats of the minivan.  “WAIT!”  I say, almost without thinking.  He stops and looks at me, and I point at the money.

“Wow, thank you!  You’re a great lady!”

Now, I know that $100 probably meant way more to me than this dude, but he was a perfect passenger and he didn’t put it on my floor on purpose.

There have been other passengers where I deliberately didn’t tell them about the money they dropped on their way out and I didn’t feel bad at all.  This is the “asshole tax.”  I’d like to add that there have been way more passengers that I’ve told about their cash, cell phones, wallets, and other things they’ve left behind.  If I’m going to be damned, it’s going to be righteously… not stealing from people who are nice.

About yellowandblackmail

I pick people up and take them where they want to go.
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