Friday, September 14, 2012

Manna From Heaven

Over at Jimmy's Opinion, Jimmy (that probably went without saying) told a story about some bank robbers. You could go there and read the entire piece (I suggest it) but the synopsis is as follows: In an effort to make their getaway more successful (that is, to actually get away) the robbers began throwing money out the window of their vehicle.

In the comments section over there, I pretty much said what I'm going to say here, with one exception. I gave my age at the time of this tale as 14. Upon further reflection, I believe I was older; perhaps 17. Otherwise, if you did as I suggested and went over to Jimmy's place to read his piece, and then you decided to read the comments and you saw mine, you can cut to the chase and scroll to the bottom of this piece. Leave a nice generic comment along the lines of, "Wow! Swell tale! You sure have a way with words!", and we'll both be happy campers.

Anyway, here goes...

Circa 1974, when I was 17 or so, My Dad and I were driving on I-93.

(To be more precise, he was driving and I wasn't.)

[Not the clearest photo, but it's the best I could find approximating our appearance at the time.]

We were headed to Rockingham Park, a place in New Hampshire where horses ate money.

(A racetrack, in other words.)

The conversation was as it usually would be between a father and his teenage son. We were discussing Lasix.

(In case you've never been that sort of father, or my sort of teenage boy, I'll tell you that Lasix is a drug given to racehorses in order to make them piss like... well, like racehorses. It also prevents nosebleeds in horses, which is a more common problem than you might have imagined. Anyway, I find it ironic that My Dad spent the last six or seven years of his life taking the stuff himself. I think it was the only thing about his heart condition he found amusing.)

While he was driving along and explaining to me how Lasix was not allowed in all states, and how it might affect a horse's performance for better or worse, we saw green stuff flying through the air.

My Dad wondered aloud, "What the hell is that?"

"Looks like money", I replied.

A twenty dollar bill landed smack on our windshield, prompting My Dad to say, "It IS money!"

He immediately veered toward the breakdown lane and slammed on the brakes.

After the car had come to a halt - barely - he hopped out and grabbed the twenty off of the windshield before it flew off of its own accord. I got out of the car, too, and looked around for more of the green stuff. To make a long story short, neither one of us ran into highway traffic after other bills, although they were there for the taking if you were idiot enough to want to risk your life for twenty bucks, but we did grab two more twenties, and a ten, that were within reasonable reach on the shoulder.

To this day, I have no idea where that money came from. We scoured the newspapers the next day for news of a bank robbery or something else that might be considered a likely source. We found nothing that could explain it.

Since we were headed for the track, it was akin to manna from Heaven. I know we didn't win big at the track that day. I would clearly remember that. We may have lost a few bucks. That part of the day is fuzzy, at best, so we probably "broke even" (as the congenial lie goes when discussing such things with your fellow degenerates.) However, the day as a whole was profitable, I know that much.

(Some of you may be wondering about a couple of things...

1 - The propriety of taking a teenage boy to the track.

2 - The implication that both of us were gambling even though one of us was underage.


1 - Mind your own business. I did not grow up to be anything other than perfect.

2 - See above, and double it.)

I've got to admit the incident has clouded my better judgment on occasion. I'll find myself driving with one eye on the road and another scanning the horizon for randomly occurring freak moneystorms. Thus far, precipitation has been lighter than I would have preferred.

Soon, with more better stuff.


Cricket said...

Wow! Swell tale! You sure have a way with words!

Heh, heh.

One of mine: I was visiting my sister once at her then place o' bidness, a dry-cleaning franchise, where she worked alone and was often bored. She didn't sctually do the cleaning. She just took it in and tagged it. It was picked up by truck and returned the next day.

Anyway, I ordered us some lunch from the Chinese place across the street. As I was going to pick it up, a $20 fluttered down to my feet. I picked it up and looked around.

Not a soul in sight.

Took another step and there was a $5. Hm.

The check was $24-something. Who sez there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Craig said...

Everyone finds cash on the ground sometimes. I might even have found a twenty once or twice. But free twenties laying in the freeway just seems like one of those 'Candid Camera' things. . .

One time, tho, 3M and I were picking up some donuts at a local convenience store. As we were leaving, I spied an envelope on the ground. I picked it up and looked inside, and there was a wad of bills. I don't remember the exact amount anymore, but it was well north of $100. I pocketed the envelope and went in to leave my phone number with the clerk, telling him that I'd found some cash, and if anyone called looking for lost cash, have them call me.

I went home, and about ten minutes later the phone rang, and a young man's voice told me that he'd lost some cash at such-and-such a store. I asked him how much he'd lost, and he gave me a number that wasn't the right amount (I don't remember if it was high or low). Then I recognized the voice as being the clerk at the store that I'd given my number to. A**hole.

Maybe a half-hour later, a woman called, and she gave me the right amount, saying it was her rent money, so I arranged a meeting place and returned her money to her.

Yeah, I'm just that great a guy. Anyhow, that's far and away the most 'found cash' I've ever come across.

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

I found a $100 bill once at work. I turned it in to my boss. Nobody claimed it so my boss used it to cover some bad checks to make our losses look better to the main office.
So much for honesty... no really, I felt better, if not rewarded.

You know? It seems like we have those car chases on TV almost as often as political advertising. You'd think it'd get old. I think the media is encouraging it, them, both car chases and elections.

lime said...

man i must be moving in the wrong neighborhoods! i've never found more than $5.

Suldog said...

Cricket - God does sometimes deliver favors in odd ways. Satan, too, I suppose (although they only appear to be favors at the time, I guess.) Since it involved Chinese food, yours was from God, no doubt.

Craig - Good man. And, yeah, the clerk was a jerk (although, apparently he did give your number to the right person eventually, so there's that.) I've never found myself in the position of having to decide whether or not to do the right thing with a large amount of found money. I like to think I'd do as you did, but you never know until you find yourself in such a situation, I suppose.

IT - Expecting good stuff from the media is like expecting money to come floating from the sky. It happens once in a blue moon, but it should never be counted upon.

Lime - Or perhaps God knows you well enough to know that you're smarter than most and don't need the help as much. There's always that possibility :-)

Michelle H. said...

I've lost a few dollars from my pocket at the drugstore. Hopefully a senior citizen who has trouble purchasing her prescriptions or must choose between buying food or buying medicine found it.

I have found money in the parking lot at the grocery store, numerous times. It might amount to about $50 so far. I've always looked around to see if someone was searching for the cash.

Suldog said...

Michelle - That's a new perspective on this, your hope that money you lost will end up being put to good use. I suspect not too many folks ever think of much beyond the losing of it. It speaks well of you, MDGF.

Jimmy said...

Hey Jim, Thanks for the shout out.

I can see why you would be distracted while driving now, those freak moneystorms can really get your attention.

Seriously it makes you wonder where that particular batch came from and I am proud to see you were smart enough to not run out into traffic like those idiots in LA did.

stephen Hayes said...

I'm glad this has never happened to me because I wouldn't want anyone to know the pitiful amount of money I'd run into traffic for.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

Would Freak Moneystorms be a good name for a band?

From what I can determine, the robbers traveled some 50 miles before they started jettisoning the money. Maybe all of those crowds, except for the folks who turned in the $1500, were in on the robbery?

Oh... and speaking of Manna, she works over in the Parks & Rec. Office and is a nice lady. But I'm pretty sure there's only one "N" in her name.

Anonymous said...

Does this count?

I picked up a scratch ticket in a parking lot, discovered it had not been scratched. It turned out to be worth $50.

Karen said...

I never find money. Never.

joeh said...

Holey Cow, your dad was Gerald Ford!!

messymimi said...

Yes, i've found the occasional buck or two, nothing like this.

Sweetie and i have, a couple of times, found wallets and been able to return them to their owners.

Cleary Squared said...

Two stories:

In 1993, the night before my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary, my uncles and aunts and I went to the Raynham-Taunton Greyhound park. I had bought a Daily Double Ticket, watched the first race, and then when the dog didn't win, I tore up the ticket. Little did I realize that the daily double runs for two races, and the dogs I had were worth $4,300. The uncle that visited from Nebraska nearly killed me - how the heck was I supposed to know?

In 1997, I was heading to downtown Boston and was waiting for the Route 32 bus. I found a scratch ticket on the ground and obviously the person who played the ticket thought they lost (it was unsigned in the back). It was an instant game where a 7 was an instant winner, and under it was a $2,000 prize. I took the ticket to the Lottery office because I thought it was fake, but it was very real. I left with a $2,000 check.

Jackie said...

Wow! Swell words! You sure have a way with tale!"
(Did I copy and paste that correctly?)
My "money" story ("Reader's Digest" version) ...When I was in college, I put money in a vending machine knowing that I would receive my soft drink and a quarter back in change. TWO quarters were returned. I reached in the coin return and got my quarter...I left the other one. The other one wasn't mine and I would have felt like I was taking someone else's money. Now, if that happened today, I am ashamed to say that I might take both quarters, and that makes me feel ashamed of myself.
If dollars fell from above while I was driving or riding, Katie bar the door and get outta my way! I would be catchin' as many as I could!! :))
Great blog, my friend.

Marilyn said...

True story. The lovely lamps in my living were discovered in big boxes found lying in the middle of 93N one Sunday morning in 1979 heading to Lowell with my future husband to visit my future in-laws. We veered off to the right shoulder to avoid hitting the boxes and scampered out onto the deserted highway to get them out of the middle of the road. The boxes had a "Jordan Marsh" mailing sticker on them and had apparently fallen off a delivery truck. We tried to return them but the rep at JM said "keepem" so we did. We were young and poor and were amazed to see them advertised in the Sunday Globe magazine weeks later for $90 bucks a piece. We couldn't believe our good fortune. Sometimes, luck happens!

Buck said...

Like at least one other person here... I NEVER find money. I sure as Hell can SPEND it, tho.

Jeni said...

I suppose from time to time, I have found a buck or two in the street or someplace like that but nothing of any large amount, that's for sure. My best place to "get rich quick" generally involved unloading the washer, sometimes the dryer too would yield some bucks -usually maybe a $5 or $10, most often just of the Geo. Washington variety. I never told the people whose laundry I was doing of those cash finds as I considered them a bonus for keeping them in clean clothes. Besides, if it was from a load of my ex-husband's jeans, he would have just wasted it on wine and wild women anyway so I was saving him from a life of debachery, wasn't I? (I'd just blow the dough on a six-pack of Coors for myself if it was a $5 spot.) Love your stories, Jim - very exciting life you've led with underage gambling and such. Bring 'em up right is my opinion and learning that stuff when you did -well, look how it has helped you over the years!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot this one. Bought a bureau at auction and found a box with $50 in one of the drawers. Called the auction house and they had not lost anything and told us to keep it.

Chris said...

Was he driving a Honda? You did say, "Fly off of its own accord . . . "

Saz said...

hiya, just checking in...
saz xx

Lowandslow said...

Either it was "raining money", or it came off that tree you know, the one that money doesn't grow on. ;)


The Broad said...

I never win anything...never have... but my little sister (the rich one) she always wins! Great story, Sully.

Suldog said...

Joe - Hah! I'm so glad someone picked up on that! He used to say that himself, that he looked like Gerald Ford!

Suldog said...

Cleary Squared - Your Raynham story just gave me the topic for my next piece. I'll give you a shout-out when I write it.

Suldog said...

Jackie - Your honesty with the quarter in the vending machine was amazing. We Dorchester kids used to check every coin return slot we passed to see if there was change in it.

Suldog said...

Marilyn - Cool to hear you were given the blessing of Jordan Marsh. Double bonus (you got the lamps and the knowledge you tried to do the right thing.)

Suldog said...

Anonymous - See, with your sort of luck, I'd be looking for money all the time and never get any real work done. We're all given what we can handle :-)

Suldog said...

Just a quick note to let anyone I haven't answered personally know that I did read your comment and very much appreciated it.

Jeni - Your opinion of me is higher than I deserve, but appreciated nevertheless!

Daryl said...

those were some smart robbers .. what a perfect way to thwart the coppers

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I've found a few bucks on the street in my day but my favorite all time money find was $10 in a Gideons Bible in a hotel room when I was age 17 and on a high school club field trip. I'm 39 now. That's a lot of years of looking in hotel room Bibles every time since that time & hoping for a repeat. I sympathize with your roving road eye. I guess some things just can't be explained no matter how much we want to, right?

Suldog said...

Jenn - Now see, I would have scoured that page of The Bible for a clue as to what to do with the money. It would not have been with altruistic intent, I have to admit. I'd have been looking for something that God wanted me to do to make a bazillion dollars with that as seed money. :-)

Hilary said...

Fun story.. I'd have loved to have visited a track to see a race as a kid. It's a fun atmosphere.

I did find $80 in twenties once. I left a note on the nearby telephone pole with my contact info for the person who lost it. I indicated that if they can tell me what was lost, I'd return it to them. I never got a single phone call.

Anonymous said...

What a great memory! I'd love to pass through one of those moneystorms myself, but so far, no such luck. Here's wishing both of us some (green) stormy weather!