The streets are paved with gold!

I ran into one of the classic moral dilemmas today. I was driving out of a parking lot and I saw a $20 bill about 5 parking spaces away. I work for peanuts, so I can smell a crisp Jackson from down the block. I threw my car into park, hopped out, and grabbed the twenty. Before I had a chance to start my Happy Dance, I saw another $20 about twenty-five feet away. As I walked towards it, I realized it wasn’t another $20 bill. It was nine more $20 bills! The parking lot was paved with cash I tell you. There were green bills cushioning my footsteps everywhere I walked.

Now that I’d acquired $200 in one minute, what do I do? Do I hop in my car and drive away, like most sane people? Nope. I’m an idiot. I ask a couple walking towards me if they’ve seen anybody running around screaming about lost money. The woman says, “Ha ha, you got lucky huh?” And then a second later she says, “Wait, those are his!” and points to her husband. “He does this all the time!”, she claims.

Ok, great. Nice going Keaka. You had to open your fat mouth. I’m a little skeptical, because the couple was walking towards me from the other end of the parking lot, opposite from where I found the cash. However, the guy did pull out a loose wad of cash from his pocket that contained a number of $100 bills. Anybody who throws $100 bills in their pocket without even keeping them together with a paper clip could very possibly throw $20 bills around on the ground without noticing. Anyway, they seemed genuine, so I handed over the $180 without protest. And then I felt guilty and took the last $20 out of my pocket and gave him that too.

I felt quite dejected about my roundtrip journey from rags to riches and back. That $200 really complimented the existing $3 in my wallet. They would have gotten along so well together! It wasn’t a complete loss though, because the guy insisted I take $20 as a reward (which I tried to refuse in another fit of stupidity).

What would you have done if you found $200? With all that loose cash in his wallet, I doubt the guy ever would have noticed that he even lost some of it.

13 Responses to “The streets are paved with gold!”

  1. Jackie Says:

    Keaka,

    I think that what you did is far from stupidity. It was a very thoughtful kind deed and I would have done the same in your shoes. I wouldn’t feel right keeping the money I didn’t earn or not given to me. The way I see it, you didn’t lose $180 that was not yours, you’ve earn $20 that became yours. Not to mention, you created good Karma for yourself in the process. Maybe some people don’t believe in the Law of Karma, but maybe it’s better you didn’t think about Karma, so your action would be more pure and sincere. Furthermore, if I couldn’t find the owner of the $200, I would put the money to good use…like a donation to a homeless dude or a non-profit shelter, wherever it is needed. Believe me, I’m not a saint. Maybe you are. Mad props to you! (Oh, no…watch out! Your head might grow two inches bigger. hehehe)

    Jackie

  2. Brandon Says:

    Keaka –

    Somehow I crossed your site while looking for a gym location in Crissy Fields for my son… Needless to say, what a story! I found a 20 one time and no one was around, so I kept it. If I had seen the money as you had seen it, I would have been REALLY confused and probably felt someone was playing a gag on me. In that case, I would have given it up to instead of falling prey to someone’s gag.

  3. Keaka Says:

    Hey Brandon! Yeah there’s always the worry that “hmmm, this can’t possibly be happening, I must be on candid camera or something!”

    Heh, about once a month somebody I haven’t seen in ages randomly runs into my site. Of course it hasn’t been that long since I’ve seen you, but I’ve had people that I haven’t heard from in 8 years stumble into me after an unrelated Google search.

  4. Joshua (Still your biggest fan) Says:

    Hah… Brandon’s story sounds familiar… and my friend was one of the pranksters… The did some of the nastiest things to one side of a dollar bill, then set it on the ground, for some poor unsuspecting man to pick up and put it in his pocket… Needless to say… he was quite enraged when he discovered feces on the opposite side of his dollar bill. Very disgusting. I’d hate to fall victim to something like that.

  5. surf Says:

    Lolo Keaka

  6. Keaka Says:

    Eh! Nobody calls me lolo unless they’re asking for it! Hopelessly lolo, maybe.

  7. Chris Says:

    One day as I was walking to work I found a $20 on the side of the road. I had lost a 20 a few weeks back, so in the grand scheme of things I figured it was okay to keep it (heck, it might have been mine anyway).

    The next day I found another $20 bill, almost in the same spot, but in the ditch by the road. Sometimes luck comes around. So I took that.

    Two days later there was another $20 bill. But this time it was about 10 feel closer to the house. I opted not to get into some strange tied-up-in-someone’s-basement scenario. My mother thought I was a fool. I think I am alive.

  8. Aaron Says:

    Sorry, dude, those people took you for a fool. They showed you different bills than the ones you found and you still gave them the money? Funny how the $20s left his wallet and the $100s stayed behind. That’s not racking up karma, that is losing cash to a quicker mind…

  9. Randy Says:

    I ran accross your site trying out your text messege soft ware. I had a thing like that happen to me. I was coming out of a mall in San Diego walking up a sidewalk when I saw a wallet on the ground ahead of me. As I picked it up all the people in thier cars exiting the mall were watching me. I opened the wallet and there was no identification and no paperwork inside but there was about 80-100 dollars in 20’s and 10’s. I did have that brief feeling I was on Candid camera (my guilty conscience). I walked up to a gentleman selling flowers at an outside flower stand and handed him the wallet. I told him I found it. He looked inside just like I did and said that he’d make sure he got it to the owner. As I walked away I felt as though I just lost 100 dollars. Next time I’m just going to act like I found MY long lost wallet. I’ll scream and cheer and have no regrets. Karma owes me.

  10. Clint Bradford Says:

    Great topic. As we raised our two sons, this was a dinner table topic: If a cashier accidentally gave you too much change, what would you do? What if it was our local store, where we know employees by name? Or, perhaps, a convenience store that we’ll never be in again? Or a gas station?

    Of course, the correct “answer” is to e completely honest, as you were.

    Clint Bradford

  11. Anonymous Says:

    wow do i feel bad now

    i found 3 grand and decided to keep it.

  12. Rod Says:

    Wow, I feel bad. I once killed a guy over a pepsi and a bag of chips.. lol

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