Marc Friedlander

June 16, 2001

I recall seeing a production of Faust, in which Richard Burton played the title role.  Faust entered into a pact with Satan.  Faust would be granted immense power and knowledge for 800 years, and Satan would extract his usual fee – Faust’s soul.  Recall this after you’ve read my (true) story, to help you answer 2 questions that I’ll ask you at the end of the story.

            Yesterday, I brought my car in for its yearly inspection.  As is typical for an inspection, I was told I’d have to leave the car – it would take 2 hours before they could do the job.  I had another errand to run – I had planned to pass by the store where I had bought my computer after I’d finished with the inspection.  They owed me a program disk I needed to pick up.  Realizing the store was only about 4 miles from the service station, I decided to Rollerblade there and back, to kill some time (and hopefully not myself).  An 8 mile skate is not unusual for me.  I shed my moccasins, donned my blades, and headed off down Sunrise Highway.

I cruised along for the first mile without the occurrence of any unusual event.  In the second mile, however, all that changed.

I arrived at a cross street where cars were lined up, waiting for the light to change.  I began crossing, wending my way around the cars.  I saw something in the road that attracted my attention.  A small wad of folded paper was lying there.  Seemed like it might be cash.  Right size and shape, but the color was wrong.  I’d sort that out later.

In one quarter of a second I had decided to retrieve the packet of paper, whatever it was.  I quickly spun around and skated over to it.   Without stopping, I bent over and scooped it up in one hand, and continued skating.  I did it all in one motion, like Jeter snagging a hot ground ball.  I got to the other side of the street, and glanced at the packet, put it in my pocket and skated on.  I continued in the direction of the store, on my errand.  I patted my pocket, and yes, there it was.  I didn’t stop and take it out of my pocket to look at it.  I just kept skating.

I tried to recall exactly what the packet looked like.   I had seen it only for seconds.  I had glanced at it before I put it in my pocket, and had taken a picture of it.  Yes, I checked the photo in my memory, and I definitely saw what looked like a stack of cash, folded over and bound with a rubber band.  But, the color was wrong.  I see it – the outermost leaf was not a bill but a piece of white paper with some writing on it - a list or a form of some kind.   From the side you could see the bills, doubled up under the form.  Bills, the unmistakable shade of money green.

I skated on.  I didn’t want to look at it yet.  I wanted to think about it – explore what I perceived my options were before I knew for sure what I had found.  As I judged it (and I patted my pocket again), I had about a half of an inch thick wad there.  Unfolded, that would give me a quarter inch thick pile of cash, and I judged that would mean I had between 40 and 40 thousand dollars, depending on the denominations of the bills.  I checked the photo in my brain again.  I could not see the face of a bill because of that form on the outside of the wad, but I could see the edges of the bills sticking out past the paper.

So I reckoned I had between 40 and 40,000 dollars, probably identifiable, because of the form, (a deposit ticket?)  that might connect the cash to its owner.  Also, probably,  a lot closer to 40 than 40000.  Whatever the amount, I wondered if I would keep it.  I doubted it, but as I said, at this point I was keeping my options open.

I skated along, analyzing this situation, and also devoting sufficient concentration to skating in traffic to avoid becoming road kill.  I arrived at the computer store where I stated my business, got the disk, (patting my prize every few moments), and skated back towards the service station.  I thought I might not even look at the packet until I got home, when I could make my decision as to what I was going to do with my find, whatever it happened to be.  I love playing these mind games with myself.

I got back to the service station, put on my shoes, and finished up with the man there.  I pulled the car over to a quiet spot at the side of the station and thought.  I realized that whoever lost the cash might well live close by – I should look at the packet now and see what it was.  I might just bring it to its owner, if the form on the outside indicated who the owner was.  And I might just keep it.

I took it out of my pocket.  The form was a deposit ticket.  I took off the rubber band and saw some pretty good size denominations there, let me tell ya.  I saw a c-note.  I peeled it back and saw another c-note.  Ahh, good ole Benny Franklin. .   I fanned out the stack of bills and there was a lot of money there – I didn’t count it right then, but I could see it was substantial.

The deposit ticket.  Time to look at it more closely.  There is the amount (woo!) filled in, and there is the account holders names - a Mr. and Mrs., with the family name and address, printed on the ticket.  It has to be their cash.  I know what I have to do.

I found a pay phone, and called information.  I gave them the name and the address; they gave me the phone number.

A child answered.  “Is your mother or father there?” I asked.  “Yeah” the kid said – and he called his mother.

            A woman picked it up, and said “Hello?”

            I got her name, and then told her that I had found something on the road that probably belonged to her.

            She said, “Oh my God, you found it!  I’ve been looking everywhere!  I didn’t know what to do…” She was sobbing.

            “What is it that you have been looking for?” I asked.

            She told me the amount of money on the deposit ticket. It had to be hers.

            I said that I’d bring her money to her, and she continued sobbing, saying that she always knew there were good people in the world.

              She told me how to get to her place from where I was, and said she’d be waiting outside to meet me. I found her standing there, as she said, and I pulled over and got out of my car.  She came over and hugged me.  She said her husband had made up the deposit and told her to put it in the bank.  She hadn’t told him she’d lost it yet – she was so frightened.  I didn’t want to question her, I just wanted to give her the money and split - so I don’t know how her deposit came to be lying there in the middle of the road.

I gave it to her, and she hugged me again and said, “God bless you”.  Then she turned around and went into the house.

 

Questions:

Now, I have 2 questions for you

Question 1: What was the family name on the deposit ticket?

Question 2:  What was the amount of the deposit?

If you think you couldn’t possibly know the answers to either of these questions from what I’ve written, you’re right. 

 

To get both of the answers, scroll back to the very beginning of this story.

And if you still need the answers, scroll down to the very end.

 

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Answer 1:    Faust

Answer 2:    $800

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