I read the Editor's Query in The Washington Post Magazine this past weekend (July 19, 2009 edition). It was "tell us about a time when counting your pennies led to an interesting result." Here is the answer:
For quite some time, I have accumulated small change during the day and each evening have put the coins into a large plastic bucket that used to contain Pepperidge Farm "goldfish."
Several years ago, my wife and I had reservations for dinner at a local restaurant. Earlier in the day, I was running errands in town, so I thought it was time to head to the bank to exchange the coins in the bucket for some paper cash.
When I handed the bucket to the bank teller, I tried to guess the total that all that change would yield and estimated about $50. The teller took the bucket to a counting machine in a back room, but when she returned, she told me that the coins added up to only $35.89. I put the bills into my wallet and the 89 cents back into the bucket to start another accumulation.
That evening, my wife and I enjoyed a very nice meal at the restaurant. But there was a surprise when the waitress handed me the bill. The total, before tip, was $35.89.
I thought is was just a cute story. I couldn't resist putting it on my blog.