Saturday, October 19, 2013

Husband And Wife Disagree About What A Found Penny Brings

Dear Tazi:

My wife and I are having a silly argument and would like your opinion. I have been picking up found pennies (and other coins but mostly pennies) since I was a kid. My Grandma taught me “Find a penny, pick it up; all day long you’ll have good luck!” Old habits die hard, and this little ritual reminds me of my late Grandma and makes me feel close to her.

My wife thinks my picking up loose change is a disgusting habit, that the money is covered in germs and makes me look cheap. I argue that money is covered in germs anyway and that she has no idea where the money in her pockets has been before she received it but she isn’t afraid to handle it just the same. She says that is completely different, that the money in her purse was in the bank or a store register and not on the ground where a dog could pee on it or bugs could crawl on it. I argue that it could have been there before it reached the bank or the register and she just gets aggravated and tells me to stop exaggerating and to stop picking dirty money up off the ground. We each think that the other is being ridiculous. What do you think?

Lucky And Wife

Dear Lucky And Wife:

The little rhyme you recite has its roots in superstition, when people believed that witches used pieces of shiny metal to cast their spells. By picking up a coin you found you prevented a witch from finding it – thus improving the chances that a spell would not be cast upon you.

Studies have shown that the money in our wallets is covered in germs and is probably one of the most unsanitary things we touch on a regular basis. I cannot see how a coin dropped on the ground could be any worse; in fact, it may be a sight cleaner if it were to remain outside during a rain shower. While it is true that a dog may have peed on your lucky find, the odds of that are unlikely; a penny is a pretty small target!

Since your penny-picking ritual has so much sentimental value to you I suggest that you compromise with your wife. You can continue to pick up found money so long as you immediately wash it or rub hand sanitizer on it when you find it in her presence, thus killing the germs that so disgust her.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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