June 24, 2005
If you just save your loose pennies, they add up after a while. I am surprised, however, that the bank accepted 1.4 million of them .
If I were the bank manager, I'd have done it just for the good publicity the bank could receive. Hell, banks have all kinds of coin-counting and auto-rolling machines, so why not let reporters take pictures while you process 1.4 million pennies out of 55-gallon drums for a customer? Sounds like a good idea to me, despite the time and inconvienience involved.
But it doesn't usually work that way.
I was at the bank this morning and some old farmer-looking guy came in with a 5-gallon bucket full of pennies. He deposited a couple of checks and then tried to deposit his pennies. He told the cashier that he had $152 dollar's worth, but she wouldn't take them. They weren't rolled.
The farmer left in a huff after the cashier gave him a handful of penny rolls and told him to come back when his pennies were properly packaged. I've seen this same thing happen before.
Pennies may be a nuisance today (Can you still buy ANYTHING for penny?), but the last time I looked, pennies were still legal tender in this country. I've never seen a convienience store refuse to accept pennies when someone wanted to count out 250 of them for a pack of cigarettes (yeah--- I've seen THAT happen, too). Why can't a bank do the same thing?
Maybe some of the old River Street heads remember Ronnie Reed and the infamous "Hot Dog Cart" episode in the late 1970s. Ronnie owned the Long Branch Saloon and he had the nerve to put an old-fashioned hot dog cart on the sidewalk outside his bar, where he sold delicious hot dogs with all the trimmings for $1.00 each. You could smell that thing from a block away and it did booming business.
EVERYBODY liked the hot-dog cart. Everybody, that is, except some assholes down at City Hall. They busted Ronnie for not having a "street vendor's license" and shut down the cart (I think they arrested the cart, too), even though it was technically on Long Branch property.
After a brief court battle, Ronnie was fined $1,000. He was livid. He went back to his bar and placed small aluminium buckets all over the place, each one bearing the sign: "FIGHT CITY HALL!!! Give your pennies for the hot dog cart!!!" All he asked for was pennies.
In less than a month, Ronnie collected well over $1,000, all in loose pennies, and he hauled them in a wheelbarrow down to the courthouse, where he dumped them on the floor and said, "There's my fine. Count it yourself if you don't trust me."
The people in charge would not accept the payment the way it was. They, too, wanted the pennies rolled. Ronnie wouldn't do it. I'm not sure if he went to jail overnight on a contempt of court charge or not, but I know that he surely did stir a lot of shit downtown. The city finally relented and took the pennies, but Ronnie never was allowed to operate the hot dog cart again.
I always liked Ronnie's take on things. "I may have lost the cart, but the city didn't get any money from me. My customers paid my fine." (His customers did more than that. Ronnie had about $750 in extra pennies, which he donated to the March of Dimes--- a charity that did not insist that he roll the coins first. In the end, the city came off looking like a bunch of needle-dicked bug-fuckers and Ronnie became a local hero.)
"Besides," he told me one night, "Somebody has to stand up to those assholes, even when you DO lose. Gotta make 'em think twice about doing such shit again. Otherwise, they'll walk all over you like a rug."
I wish more people felt that way.
Back when Blockbuster charged late fees, Stacey turned a couple of movies in 15 minutes late and they charged her a $10 late fee. She came back with a bucket full of pennies and paid it. The manager was pissed, but they HAD to take it.Posted by: Sam on June 24, 2005 01:24 PM
Ronnie is absolutely right. It's like standing up to a bully. Even if you do get your ass kicked he won't mess with you again because it's just not worth the trouble.Posted by: StinKerr on June 24, 2005 02:06 PM
"the city came off looking like a bunch of needle-dicked bug-fuckers "
Goddamit Acidman you're killing me. I'm laughing so hard I almost pissed. I can hardly breathe. Haven't heard needle-dicked bug-fuckers since I was in high school. Brings back some fond memories. :-)Posted by: assrot on June 24, 2005 02:29 PM
My bank here in the DC area (Chevy Chase - its still a local bank) has in bank coin machines that you can use for free. Just dump the coins in, it will count them for you, and it gives you a receipt that you take up to the counter and have deposited in your account.
Works pretty well. Saves them and their customers lots of hassle and they get good publicity out of it.
Plus its free - they don't charge 10% like the bastards in the supermarket do.Posted by: countertop on June 24, 2005 02:47 PM
A roll of pennies in a clinched fist is a lethal weapon. I prefer about 300 of them in a sock and use it as a slapjack. Get my two cents worth across pretty good that way.Posted by: GUYK on June 24, 2005 03:50 PM
Ronny told me that they wouldn't accept the pennies and that since he had tried to pay them his lawyers said that he did not have to make another attemp. Ronny said that if he had to he would given them a check as the sign on the window where you pay your fines states that they take cash or checks. He was going to send the money to his brother is Califonia so he could open an acount there and he was going to write the check on an old solid oak door he had. That way they would have to pay for shipping the door to California.Posted by: Willy on June 24, 2005 05:12 PM
If you could stop thinking like W for a moment
And realize that Dems and Elephants are flip sides of the same coin--I dare you to prove me wrong on that!!!
Then you would stop--altogether--defending government, and join those who understand what "anarchy" means, and allow the market to function.
You are Don Quixote, tilting at windmills.
I am an American--when my government is totally fucked up in war and peace, I say so and do not equivocate defending asshole # 1 in government.
You defend government in the end--you vote and have the mindless expectation something will change.
Yep. Sure. George W. Bush makes Billy Blow Job look like a piker. Do the damned math and quit telling me how much bandwith I waste. If you had half a Georgia Cracker clue, you would already have an "Impeach Bush" post on your site.
But you service Republicans--for those who get it.
Toast me all you want--Smif, you are clueless!
You let what you hate . . . happen.
jbPosted by: jb on June 25, 2005 02:16 AM
Great line JB, that decribes my feelings exactly.
Posted by: PJ on June 25, 2005 05:02 AM
I wish more people felt that way.
Posted by: PJ on June 25, 2005 05:08 AM
Yes, it seems ridiculous. So were JB's comments.
The banks I use won't accept rolled coins - they're concerned about getting slugs, Canadian money, and other such things hidden in the rolls.
Makes it easier for me. I keep two old peanut butter jars on my dresser - one for pennies and one for everything else. Once or twice a year I bring 'em in and turn 'em in.Posted by: wheels on June 27, 2005 01:07 AM
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