Wednesday, 8 February 2006

See a penny, pick it up...

...and all that day you'll have good luck. And, of course, boost your purchasing power to the tune of a hundreth of a pound. And certainly when I was a boy, I wouldn't dream of not picking up a penny. A penny, after all, could be traded for a blackjack or a spongy pink sweet in the shape of a prawn at Candy Chocs, the sweetshop in Broadstone Broadway with what I now realise was a very odd name. Come to that, when I was a little boy, and they were still around, I would happily stoop for a ha'penny. One fortieth of your weekly income is surely worth a stoop.

I don't remember when I made the policy decision that I had, if anything, too many coppers, and I would no longer stoop for pennies, or even tuppences. But it's been a while, and as I still seem to end up with jangly pockets of coppers, but have largely gone off spongy pink prawn-shaped sweets, I have never regretted it. However. Today, for the first time, I saw a 5p piece... and I let it lie. No stoopage occurred. I didn't even break my stride.

I'm not sure how I feel about this momentous rite of passage. I suppose it depends where the tipping point comes on an imaginary 3D graph representing 1) Inflation 2) My modestly increasing income and c) My slowly decreasing fitness. Or to put it another way, I hope the reason I didn't pick it up was that I'm so hugely successful and rich these days, and not because I'm so hugely lazy and fat. I also hope I'm not in for five days of bad luck.

To help me decide how to feel, let's have a survey. What's the least amount of money for which you're prepared to stoop? Honestly, now.

11 comments:

JustRun said...

I pick up pennies. All the time.

The only luck so far is that I have more money.

James Lark said...

It depends if people are looking. I could drop a two pound coin in front of people whose respect I was trying to earn (that's pretty much anyone) rather than risk demeaning myself in front of them. I'll laugh it off with a "plenty more where that came from!" or "it's only money!" and blink back the tears pricking my eyelids. I know this because my wallet has a design flaw and tends to shed coins everywhere whenever I take it out of my pocket.

On the other hand, when my wallet sheds coppers all over a deserted pavement, I'll get on my knees and scrabble around until I've picked up every single one.

Am I a contemptible person?

James Casey said...

Pennies for me, still.

Some days it's the only way I can buy food.

Karyn said...

Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves, as my old Gran says...

Anonymous said...

one *million* dollars

Anonymous said...

I choose / never to stoop.

Anonymous said...

I choose / Never to stoop

John F said...

Yeah, well, if you can afford a bronze seahorse, I would imagine you're pretty much ok for pennies.

Joe said...

I always pick up 5 pence pieces. I collect them in jars. When the jars are full, my whole family goes out for a slap-up meal.
I don't pick up pennies - or two pences in fact - but I do store them.

James Aylett said...

There was a pseudostory in Metro today about a boy who picked up tuppence and handed it in to the police.

My heart was almost warmed, until I remembered it was in Metro.

Calidore Tesio said...

I justify picking up pennies on the basis that if I were a professional penny picker-upper, I estimate I could pick up around 26 pennies a minute which would equates to about £15/hour assuming my knees could stand it. Since this is still significantly better than my current pay I deign a moment’s work a valid payoff for £0.01. When someone recognises that an hour of my time is worth more than £15 I shall pass pennies willy-nilly. By this reckoning, in failing to pick up a five pence piece you are brushing off a six figure salary.