Last Sunday, Daws and I tackled an honest to god hike in Jack London Park. I packed a healthy meal to eat at the Wolf House, with organic peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit and raw almonds. And of course, water. Lots and lots of water was needed. Especially since it was mostly downhill on the way there but you know what that means, right?
Yeah, it was uphill allll the way back.
While resting at the Wolf House and munching on our food, I climbed up into a tree (if you check the Picasa pic, this was SO NOT a big climb, ahahah!) and Daws took my picture. As I was getting back down, I saw something shiny and silver on the ground. Leaning over to pick it up, I could see it was a coin. Rubbing at the surface, I could just make out a buffalo on it.
"Daws, I just found a buffalo nickel!"
"Are you kidding?"
"No, I found it on the ground, I can't see how old it is..."
"Let me see it." Dawson also rubbed at the surface and held it up but he couldn't tell either.
"Maybe it's worth a lot of money," he mused.
"Maybe...how cool would that be?"
Now, we know nothing about coins, zero. All we know is that some people are nutty about them and collect them. I know about collectors from having been a sales rep selling collectibles like worthless beanie-type toys so I knew that sometimes people pay outrageous amounts of money for the most mundane things; like antiques or stamps or...yes, even old coins.
Excitedly, I stuck the little coin in my pack and off we started for the climb back to the parking lot. As we toiled our way up the trail, gasping a lot and stopping to rest often, my mind whirled.
It's probably really old...going back to Jack London's day...maybe Jack London even HELD IT! Maybe it's worth a hundred dollars!, I thought to myself. Or two hundred...what if it's two hundred dollars!
As we neared the end of the trail, it became even steeper. Sweat poured down my face and the amount of money we'd get from that coin increased along with my efforts. I could see Daws huffing and puffing in front of me, almost sprinting up the trail in an effort to reach the end.
Maybe...just maybe it will be $1,000! I mean, it's possible! I had to stop and pant, a bit dizzy and my dizziness caused the coin's value to expand into $10,000, $50,000 and finally an astronomical amount that I'm too embarrassed to even post here.
Finally we reached the top and, gulping reflexively for breath like goldfish outside their tank, sprawled on the benches thoughtfully placed there for out of shape sluggos like us. As we recovered, I thought about all the things we could do with the money this coin would bring us. Thumb our noses at the IRS. Buy an outrageously expensive Mother of the Bride dress. Take a real vacation to somewhere warm with a beach.
Buy a new car!
My GOD, maybe A NEW HOUSE!
The possibilites seemed endless.
The way to our car was thankfully downhill and in no time we were on our way home.
The moment I got in the door, I ran to my computer and took the coin out. Using a magnifying glass, I peered at both sides looking for a date and rubbing at the dirt. There! I spotted it:
Wha?? Two thousand...WAH!?
Who the !@#@%$#!@ made buffalo head nickels in 2005????
Tossing the now valueless coin onto my desk in disgust, I sighed deeply as all my grandiose schemes vanished in a mist of avarice and too much imagination.
Don't you hate it when fantasy money just bleeds away like that?