Giving Money to Strangers

So maybe they aren’t strangers, and maybe I did get a twenty-five cent refund, but the fact remains that I gave money away.  Another fact remains, or it would if it had existed before and still existed now instead of my bringing it into existence now, that because of this I’m broke.  Three dollars were all that was in my wallet, and now there aren’t any dollars in my wallet.

There are, however, three happy little children who wouldn’t be this happy if it weren’t for me.  It happened like this…
There are these kids, see, and they went out to eat with us.  Now there’s this game room at this place, and the kids all want quarters to play.  Now, for the sake of privacy, I’ll call the boys Thing 1 and Thing 2 and the girl Princess.  There was a twenty-five cent ring dispenser in a row of similar dispensers along the game room wall, and Princess wanted a ring.  Eventually, she came out and asked me if I would give her some money.  I’m a sucker for things like this, as I believe has been already stated, so unless it’s absolutely neccessary I never deprive a child of harmless happiness.  I gave her a dollar, and she was happier than anything.  She immediately took me with her to change the dollar into four quarters, and I counted quickly to make sure no one was getting ripped off.  Sure enough, there were four quarters in her hand now in place of the dollar.  Well, I stood behind her while she got her first ring, and she was so overwhelmed that we had to go back to the table and sit down to look at it.  She asked me to hold it while she went and got three more.
While she was gone, Thing 1 happened over.  Apparently Princess had let on that I was the person to ask for money, so here he came.  Climbing up into the empty chair beside me, he clasped his hands, got out his most pitiful face and asked sweetly, “Can I have some money to play in the game room?”  I smiled and pulled out my wallet again.  The stinker immediately says, “Like five dollars?” and I laughed a little and told him that I only had two left in there.  He shrugged and said that that was okay.  He ran off and my dollar wasn’t heard from again, although he seemed very happy.

Now Princess came back with what I thought was her third ring, since she’d brought one while I was giving Thing 1 his dollar.  To my surprise, she put two rings down in front of me and asked me to hold on to them while she started to run off.  Of course, now I asked her, “Where are you going, Princess?”  She just grinned back and told me that she was going to get another ring, showing me another quarter in her hand.  I was somewhat confused, but I figured that the dispenser must have hiccoughed and given her two for the price of one.

Thing 1 comes back now.  He isn’t hesitant this time, but comes running and bouncing over to me.  “Ariel, can I have one more quarter to get a gumball?  I’ll bring seventy-five cents back to you!”  I laughed and gave in.  When he was starting to walk away, he turned around and said, “Do you want me to get a ring for you?”  I smiled, thanked him, and agreed.  He set off to get his gumball and my ring and then safely return my money.

Princess now returns with her fifth ring for four quarters, but there are three rings in her hands when she opens them in front of me.  I was now astonished.  “Princess, how do you get seven twenty-five cent rings for one dollar?”  Being five and adorable (and, I’m starting to think, manipulative to the smallest degree), she shrugged up sweetly and smiled innocently.  Then it came to me.  “Princess, did you shake the machine?”  A shameless nod and the extra admission, “And I put my hand up in it too!”  Laughing at her success, she pocketed her plunder and took off to show her other little friends before the reality of it sunk in.  The little princess had just cheated a machine out of three items.

I saw him coming out of the corner of my eye as he sidled up behind me and two my right.  His hands were jammed into his pockets farmer-style, and he was looking up and around and every where except at me.  As he passed my chair, he says, “Wow!  There are a lot of people here!” as if he were really just saying it in passing.  The next thing I know, he pops up on my other side and leans in to me confidentially, asking “Can I have three quarters?” as matter-of-factly as you please.  I started laughing pretty hard, I’ll admit.  I put my arm around him and gave him a half hug while I laughed, because despite expecting the request, I wasn’t expecting it after that first remark.  When I could talk again, I said “Thing 2, I’m sorry, but I gave my last dollar to Thing 1 just a minute ago.  He’ll be bringing me back two quarters, though.  I’ll give you those if you want.”  No, he insisted persuasively, he needed three quarters to shoot the guns.  Oh, listen to me, wanting to arm six-year-olds!  I quickly thought up a solution.  “Thing 2, why don’t you go ask one of the other people you know for one quarter, and I’ll give you two when Thing 1 gets back?  Will that work?”  Yes, that would work, so he set off.

Thing 1 came back as his brother left with gum in his mouth, a ring in his hand, and two quarters clenched in his fist.  “Can’t I go and get something else with these two quarters, Ariel?”  I had to tell him that I’d promised those two quarters to Thing 2, but he didn’t seem too disappointed.  Maybe it was the fact that I’d already given him a dollar and twenty-five cents that appeased him.  Whatever it was, I was glad that it worked.  He didn’t walk away disappointed.

Thing 2 came back joyously with one quarter, and I gave him two and sent him off to kill people or aliens, depending on the game he chose.

The moral of the story is, be more money-wise than I am, because one day that might get me into trouble.  I am fairly money conscious, but I never budgeted that trip to the restaurant, so I just gave it away.  When I went to camp, I budgeted almost every cent and took an extra ten bucks just in case, which helped out tremendously, as did the fact that I stuck to budget extremely well for a first-timer.  That means that I came home with three dollars and a lot of extra change instead of in debt like last year.  Well, this occurence will not happen again, because I will remember it next time.  If not, you will hear about it.  I hope you don’t have to.

This blog post stayed together surprisingly well!  I keep imressing myself.  Maybe next time I’ll be more random, like usual.  Go do something awesome and smack yourself in the head when you realize that you missed “Talk like a Pirate Day” yesterday.

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3 Comments

  1. Hey! you made my day deary…
    If you really did this, I think you already got the reward…. 😀
    I think you too love children (like me) …..
    Good one! And yup! your mother is really sweet (I read your comment in some other blog, so dont assume me to be mad!) 🙂

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