The crumpled bill was next to bags of green, yellow, and red peppers. Was the real owner nearby? Would anybody see me if I grabbed the money? Should I loudly proclaim my luck and be the envy of the stall?
“Look!” said a person next to me. A long finger pointed at the bill.
I was too late. Someone else had spotted the bill. I backed out of the booth and continued my grocery shopping. On my way back to the car about 15 minutes later I returned to the booth…just to check.
GASP. The bill was still there. Nobody had come by and noticed a free floating five dollar bill?! Even the stall owner was oblivious. I guess everyone was busy looking for celebrities.
The bill was mine!
How lucky did I feel? I felt guilty, actually. But there was no way to find the right owner so it might as well be mine, I reasoned. I could have given it to the farmer, though…
To pay my luck forward and get the stolen money off my hands, I purchased a bag of overpriced, I mean, locally grown organic almonds. Compared to Trader Joe’s I got half as many for almost twice as much! But oh man, do they taste good. And my financial conscience is clear.
UPDATE: Reader Christina left a comment worth sharing!
I once found $120 on the sidewalk one night. My friends and I waited about 45 minutes to see if anyone would come and no one did. No one came, so it covered a lot of Christmas shopping that year.