Bitch on the Blog

August 16, 2013

Penny pinchers

Filed under: Happiness — bitchontheblog @ 08:08
Tags: , ,

I fear for mankind.

According to a survey on Britons (the meanest of the mean in my experience, tight wads if ever there were any – unless they can use their expenses account) only 20 % would bother to pick up a penny lying on the pavement. I am in knots. I love finding a penny. How much trouble can it be to bend over and pick it up? It makes my day. It signifies luck lurking in the bushes waiting to pounce on me. It’s god’s gift of hope.

My heart goes out to anyone or anything ‘lost’. Whilst I do not wish to open a sanctuary for the forlorn and abandoned (well, I do but, frankly, I don’t have the room) a penny so easily accommodated in my pocket. Safe. A new home. I have woven whole stories around pennies lost, Christmas trees left behind (24 Dec) never to find their destiny bedecked in someone’s living room. Enough to move my (then little) son to tears and tell me: “Stop it, Mama.” Yeah, well. I know. Realities of life are not a bouncy castle.

Morale of the story: Don’t be precious. And if – for physical reasons – you really can’t bend over there is always a passer-by you can ask nicely to pick it up for you. And let them keep it – for good luck. If nothing else it’s a conversation opener.




  1. I do have to say, m’dear, that I did actually see a penny (one of those damnable new-fangled 1p things, not a real one) on the pavement not a week ago, and I left it where it was. Mind you, it was covered rather in, um, well, “muck” and such. Now, had it been a 20p coin I might have considered the health risks worth it.

    Comment by The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company — August 16, 2013 @ 11:21 | Reply

    • I once rode an elephant. My beloved car was (RIP) a Diesel. Electric I view with healthy suspicion. Company is good.

      See my reply to Nick. You and he clearly move in a different mindset to mine. “Muck”? What? Don’t tell me you have gone all American: Having an antiseptic wipe on you in case your fellow human might contaminate you. Do you go for the curt nod of the head acknowledging someone’s existence rather than a handshake?

      The only thing you have over Nick is that at least you come cheaper. 20 p. You’ve won my heart.

      Before I forget, next time either of you has the good grace to drop something into a beggar’s hat make it either twenty p or two pounds, not a penny.

      Hugs and kisses,

      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 16, 2013 @ 13:50 | Reply

      • Ye gods my dear, I find your enquiry to be beyond the pale. Gone all American? Why don’t you just go the whole hog and suggest that I have forsaken all notion of civilisation and taken up a French passport? As for a handshake I can only say that the double bar system on my cage currently prevents such familiarity.

        Comment by The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company — August 16, 2013 @ 14:03 | Reply

        • I thought Hannibal Lector was dead. Please do be aware that some of my readers are Americans. So “beyond the pale” will not do. Niceties to be observed lest the wind will blow chill. And that’s before Hannibal’s elephants tried to climb the Alps, Napoleon got stuck and even Hitler’s underlings had to admit that there are limits when it comes to snow. Tundra, Taiga, Steppe.

          Yes, sigh. It’s one thing Germany and France fighting over Alsace like toddlers over a piece of Lego. Whilst I can see the point of that missing piece of Lego, choucroute garnie unites us all. Or should do.

          I still have to understand the animosity between France and England. Many theories come to mind. Though, personally, I blame the English. For so laid back a nation they are like dogs with a bone. They will leave nothing alone: Don’t mention the war. Or 1966. Still haunting those who weren’t even born then. Naturally, and I do admire the French for their resolve: Either you speak French in France or you go hungry. Unless you go to Disneyland, Paris, or McDonald’s, Paris, or you are the Angel (my son) who has the French melting at his feet.

          Bon appetit,

          Comment by bitchontheblog — August 16, 2013 @ 15:28 | Reply

          • Scant need for a chill wind madam, I’m sure that our American buddies recognise a wry poke with a stereotype when they read one. Johnny Frenchie on the other hand, well… who knows? In the matter of our national animosity I am most pleased to see that you blame the English; I do so hate to see anything that we’re not blamed for being bandied about on the interwebbings. Je parle un bit of French too, I mean really one has to, in much the same way that ich has to sprechen some automotive Deutsche or the ruddy car won’t start of a morning. Chin-chin (no reference to your chin intended). 😉

            Comment by The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company — August 16, 2013 @ 15:44 | Reply

            • Don’t worry about my chin. As yet I don’t sport a double. Neither do I intend to. Though can take it on it.

              I wouldn’t call Americans ‘buddies’. They are not. They are Americans. And some of them are friends. And others … Well, that’s for them to work out. And for us to gawp at, gob smacked.

              As you say: Stereotype. So lazy, yet so convenient. What to make of a nation of Jane Fonda’s “Feel the pain” workout (80s) and the Burger King, McDonald’s wobble? The drive through? Gives me the creeps. Drive through? How sensual an eating experience is that? Mind you, will admit that I am partial to their apple what’s it. Arnold Schwarzenegger running for something when not pumping muscle. The delicious Clinton. The duplicitous Kissinger. The ever more delicious and, possibly though hope not, duplicitous Hilary. Amendments. Maple syrup. Sunny side up. Bees in bonnets. Drones by another name. A young man facing to be holed up for life. Yup. Feel good factor. Meanwhile, Ian, who is in a cage? Monkeys?


              Comment by bitchontheblog — August 16, 2013 @ 16:07 | Reply

              • Odd that you should mention cages, when all of my personal attempts to wrap my mind around Uncle Sam’s land end in the conclusion that they seem to be a nation tightly chained to and claustrophobically constrained by the need to constantly define and redefine freedom, and to then enforce it upon themselves at all costs. I am not, however, American and so my opinion carries all the weight of an underfed non-political butterfly. Some very large cages seem to be made of politics and religion, whereas mine is small, and is an outline drawn on the floorboards in chalk by Nanny to keep me from wandering once put to bed.

                If I could persuade my eyes to stare at one another I’m sure that I could come up with one or two dashed stereotypes of Les Rosbifs too. Maybe just the one.

                I thought I’d patronised a “drive-thru” (thruh?) once, but it was just the brakes on my car failing and the curry house in the High Street. They said that they had been about to open anyway, so that was alright.

                Comment by The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company — August 16, 2013 @ 16:34 | Reply

  2. Comment by rummuser — August 16, 2013 @ 11:57 | Reply

    • So sorry, Ramana. My comp is currently, and has been for a while, mute.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 16, 2013 @ 16:12 | Reply

      • For this particular clip, you do not need sound.

        Comment by Rummuser — August 19, 2013 @ 06:51 | Reply

        • See what you mean. Oh my god, Ramana, that is so awful! I had many scenarios in mind how not all that ends, ends well. But this truly takes the biscuit. Let that be a lesson to all Englishmen – you don’t need a cup of tea in an emergency. You just stay put.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — August 19, 2013 @ 07:45 | Reply

  3. I would pick up a pound or two-pound coin or a note. And I certainly wouldn’t bother to hand in the note to a police station. The chances of anyone claiming it must be minute. Anything less than a pound – why on earth bother? Do you really pick up pennies? Are you sure this isn’t a little fib?

    Comment by nick — August 16, 2013 @ 13:16 | Reply

    • Don’t annoy me, Nick. No, it’s not a fib. As I explained, at length, in my post, I love finding a penny. In monetary value it’s nothing, in happiness it’s everything. Plus, do I really have to repeat everything: It gives me pleasure to give something ‘lost’, ‘dropped’, a new home.

      So you’d stoop to pick up a one pound or two pound coin? Well, I can tell you have got your cost/benefit sorted. Don’t make me laugh: Of course, no one hands in money to a lost and found unless it’s safely inside an identifiable purse or handbag. Can you imagine it: Distraught shows up and says: “Ohhh, Officer, dropped a ten pound note whilst fumbling for my keys. Anyone handed it in?” Officer: “What does it look like?” Distraught: “Don’t know. Jane Austen?”


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 16, 2013 @ 13:38 | Reply

  4. Ramana: That is brilliant!

    Comment by nick — August 16, 2013 @ 13:20 | Reply

  5. I still pick up any coin I see on the ground and usually hand it to “Herself”. I did find a £50 note years ago and yes, I did hand it to the police…who handed it back…. When these infernal £i coins were first introduced I found a line if six of them on the pavement in Macklin Street off Drury Lane. I was visiting Craft o Hans to purchase enamelling supplies at the time (Craft o Hans has long since disappeared). Recently I also tried to pick up a £1 coin that appeared to have been glued to the pavement outside the local sweet shop…
    Keep picking them up Ursula…. one day you might fnd a bundle of notes…

    Comment by magpie11 — August 16, 2013 @ 15:29 | Reply

    • Thanks for your comment, Magpie. Though do fear that at least you and Nick misunderstand what I was trying to convey. It’s not about riches.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 16, 2013 @ 16:11 | Reply

      • Oh, I never said it was about riches. I do appreciate there are more personal reasons. I just don’t have the personal reasons myself.

        Comment by nick — August 17, 2013 @ 12:59 | Reply

  6. I always pick up coins when I see them on the pavement. Heads or tails, it matters not. They are lost and need a home. My pocket is as good a home as any.

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 19, 2013 @ 15:52 | Reply

    • That’s my girl. Your pocket maybe a home better than many.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2013 @ 08:33 | Reply

      • There’s some mighty fine lint in my pockets to keep those coins company, too!

        Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 20, 2013 @ 14:57 | Reply

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