My Patient Husband hails from the midwest. The real midwest, with the Great Plains and Unbelievable Flatness. Angeltown, where we’ve settled, is neither on the Great Plains nor Unbelievably Flat.
As kind of a “signature,” he keeps a plastic buffalo on his desk at work (along with his action figures because, well, he and I are geeks). When the state quarters came out, two states had buffalo on them. He culled out two from the herd and kept them beside his monitor, near the plastic buffalo. When the buffalo nickels arrived, he selected a choice bull and added it to Rancho Philangelus on his work desk.
Until the day someone stole them.
Not the plastic buffalo. Just the two quarters and a nickel.
Seriously, how low can you go? We’re talking about fifty-five cents.
I want to point out that my Patient Husband is not employed in a traditionally underpaid industry, nor is he working with drug dealers or the shadowy corners of the underworld. When you mention his company to others in the industry, there’s much laughter about the free coffee and the mountains of free food they offer, not “Gee, you can survive in that wretched hive of scum and villainy?” In fact, I don’t think the company even has vending machines, so starvation wasn’t the issue. (“I could eat lunch, if only I had fifty-five cents. Hey! Bonus!”)
Fifty-five cents isn’t going to pay anyone’s mortgage. And you know what? If anyone had asked for fifty-five cents, my Patient Husband would have whipped out a whole dollar and told the person to keep it.
We figure someone just saw and swiped, didn’t care that they’d robbed Mr. Philangelus of a little beauty in life, and never thought of it again.
He quickly located two replacement quarters, but the nickel was harder to come by. He offered Kiddo#1 a bounty if he could find a buffalo nickel, the same way my dad still offers me a bounty on any bicentennial quarters I can find. (Dad, that reminds me — I have two more for you!)
The next day, as I washed dishes, I caught a buffalo face in the change jar. It was pressed flat against the glass (it’s in a flower vase) staring right at me. It was even right-side up. I’m crediting angel-work there, since the household guardians have an open offer that if the angels ever need money, they can pull it from the change jar with no questions asked.
We fished it out, and it was the only one in the entire jar. So the bufffalo-rustlers had better not return for a while.
In the meantime, I wish the thief much joy of his fifty-five cents, and may he hear rumbling hooves during dreams of a flat earth and a bowl-shaped sky while the purple heads of grain wave in the wind.