Two quick New York stories:
There's a Rat in My Toilet: No, it's not urban myth. Today I attended the annual meeting for my co-op and we were talking about the mice in the neighborhood who were made homeless when the Second Avenue Subway came along. Mice has been a big problem in many buildings.
The conversation moved to its always inevitable conclusion: At least it's not rats!
This man who is in building management talked about receiving a phone call from a woman who saw a rat coming out of her toilet. She slammed down the lid, and the rat was pushing against the lid so she put a stack of books on top of the lid and was screaming into the phone. He thought it was funny; I didn't. My body would be slumped on the floor, out cold.
So then this other building management type said he had a pet groomer commercial tenant who killed a rat that had come out of his toilet with some sort of weapon and hoped that no customers saw the incident and thought he was killed a little kitty or pooch. Both of them said yes, this can happen. The rats come up the sewer pipe.
#2 "I don't collect pennies"
So I come home from my meeting, and it's twilight, an absolute beautiful night, post-rain storm and the air was cool and sweet and lovely so I decided to sit outside on my steps for a while.
Along comes a guy collecting cans and bottles and I feel as if these guys work hard going through the garbage and he greeted me and then came up close to me and asked me very respectfully if I would give him 50 cents.
I really don't typically give out money, but I had a bunch of change in my wallet since I use so little change, and so I said that I'd give him some change and I scooped out probably 15 coins and he started counting it, picking out the quarters, then the dimes... and I said, "No, no, you can keep all of it" and he picked out the nickels and I would say there was about $1.75 and he had four pennies left and he extended his hand for me to take the pennies.
I hesitated, since I was thinking "You've got to be effing kidding me" and he said, "I don't collect pennies."
So I said, "Well I do" and I kept them.
Ok, I hate that I was judmental, but man, if you're picking through garbage, asking people for money, is it really wise to turn down even four cents? Maybe my feelings about pennies is out of date; maybe it's time to retire the coin totally.