Tuesday 17 December 2019

Brother can you spare me a dime?

Beau Miles is my latest favorite youtuber: he mostly runs but here he be cashing in from the seats of the local public library: \$5!! albeit Canadian \$\$.
This story gave me a frisson of empathy because, as a student in the 70s while The Beloved and Me paced back and round the streets of Dublin a-courting, I used to check the coin-return tray on all the public telephones we passes, frequently netting cash. Actually I probably didn't do anything like that while I was trying to impress herself but I was certainly doing that later on. When The Boy was small (but tall enough to reach!) I encouraged him to do the same when we lived in Boston. It often came up with payola for the kidder and incremented his meagre and irregular pocket-money. Around the same time, I implemented a more regular cash up and decided that we'd give him a dime = 10c per week for every year of his age. It started at 60c/wk in 1981 when a Hershey Bar [glarrk] was 25c.

For a few years, I used to call the young shaver into m'study on or about his birthday to discuss his increments and emoluments, as well as presenting him with an extra dime, I took him through <whooooosh way over head alert> the calculations for a cost of living increase. It was an inflationary economic universe back then and I'd announce that inflation had devalued his chinking-money by 3.4% over the previous year and so he would be getting 60 x 0.034 + 70 = 72c! The following year is was maybe cost-of-living increment = 72 x 0.029 + seniority increment (72 * 8/7). I hope you, as a numerate adult can follow this. And you're probably with now-Me in thinking this was an absurd quasi-VictorianDad conceit to sic on the chap. When we moved to England in 1983 he turned 8, and I just changed US\$c into GB\$p: I couldn't be bothered with introducing an exchange-rate increment to the formula. I was damnable for the youngster because he could hardly withdraw his labour and go on strike or seek a more lucrative gig with the folks who libed across the road at #36 . . . although he did date their daughter for a few weeks later.
Which brings me up to date. We go back and forth between our mountainy home and the Waterford coast on a regular basis and one route-option is to by-pass Waterford City on the River Suir Toll Bridge. It costs an inconvenient €1.90 and I'm suir that many people throw €2 into the auto-toll bucket rather than waiting for 10c change from the tolleen. I am reluctant to lose 10c to a rapacious commercial operator so ask for change or, more usually engage forward-planning-drive and have exact change in my fist. But even if I lob a €2 into the robot toll basket, I can frequently get a discount by scooping out the returned-coin slot from when folk have failed to recover rejected coins. My correspondent M, another occasional user of the toll-bridge, are in a friendly competition to see who can make the most from a single pass. I think my €3.60 is currently top of the leader charts. It is defo not worth cruising back and forth through the toll-plaza for fun and profit but there is a 'found money' sense of jubilation quite out of proportion to the actual value.

The average American automobile is shredded with about \$1.65 in change in it. My tiny Yaris, which barely has room for a sack of potatoes nevertheless ate a maritime coast book I was intending to pass on to my pal Russ. It slipped down and under the back seat and lurked there for several months earlier this year.