Trina Machacek: Eleven cents

Paying with cash is getting to be something of the past. I like to pay for stuff with cash. Not like cars or houses. Like I could EVER do that. No just regular people stuff. Food, underwear, Venti Caramel Frappuccino with an extra shot and whipped cream. Yes whipped cream, if you’re going to do it do it all the way.

Oh and gas. I pay cash for gas. Not because some places if you pay for gas with cash you get a penny or two off, but because I like to go into the stores when I get gas. I know it’s weird, but hey weird sometimes is just what puts the zing in your day. Like this…

Gas prices vary. I watch when traveling and get to know what’s what. Always looking for that 2- to 10-cent savings. Not that I drive miles out of my way to save the pennies, but if within a few stoplights I can save, I will. Some say I squeak when I walk too. HAHA

So I know in the biggest little city where to buy gas and that’s where I was when I found 11 cents. I gassed up, got my change and decided to use the restroom before heading out to do all things city that I needed to do. As I walked down the chip isle the “chip guy” was restocking the Fun Yuns and Flaming Hot Cheetos. Not unusual. But! Yes an orange fingered “but.” But he had the floor covered with bags of chips. This I found very, well very icky. The tiny orange and yellow bags were scattered like so many chips on a card table of a group of guys who play penny anti and drink beer on Friday nights while the wives are gathered at one home watching The Bachelor and drinking wine. Oops got off the trail.

So this chip guy sees me coming and with a hand sweeps me a path through the chips scattered on the floor, the cement floor that has foot traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week leading to and from the bathroom! Could I have just walked by? Could I have just held my tongue? Could I have—oh come on it was ME!

I scooted by and as I passed him I saw a penny on the floor behind him and I of course stopped, bent over and picked it up. As I did I noticed a dime. Holy cats and kittens, a dime. You know I would have had to bend over 10 more times and picked up 10 more pennies to pick up 10 cents. Remember I am the one who goes a few more blocks to save 2 cents a gallon on gas. A dime was like getting an extra 2 cents off of five more gallons of gas. I am such a girl.

I bent down again picked up the dime and the chip guys looks at me and apparently didn’t notice that I was going in after the 11 cents and he says, “Lady the chips on the floor are not for sale they are out dated but you can buy them at the outlet store for half price.” It was then that I realized old chips never die, they get swept up off the floors leading to and from bathrooms of convenience stores and then sold to unsuspecting consumers through outlet grocery stores.

I’m not unaware of the world around me. I know things go on that I would not really want to know or see in the production of food. I mean I watch 60 Minutes occasionally.

Oh and it doesn’t get by me that the 11 cents I found, picked up and put in my pocket were also on that same floor covered with who knows what. So who am I to knock buying food that was on the floor and paying for it with that 11 cents I picked up off the same floor?

See it’s a roundy round world. I pay for stuff with cash. I bring change home and put it in a jar. That’s where that 11 cents ended up. And one day when you least expect it you will get a dime and a penny back in change that you will NEVER look at the same way again. You will always wonder as you sit eating from a small bag of Cheetos with the same hand you held your change in, is this that dime and penny Trina found on the floor on the way to the bathroom at a convenience store in the biggest little city in the world? Yummy.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at


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