Keep the change


Of all the ill-thought out, poorly executed and downright asinine phrases Ive said in my life, I did not expect $16.12 to be one of those phrases.

For future reference, gentle readers: If you ever find yourself trying to help cognitively impaired 6th graders learn the concepts involved in change making? Do not (and I cannot stress this enough) under any circumstances, start with a price point that is 88 cents away from the next dollar.  Unless you want to endure twenty VERY LONG minutes of mentally excruciating agony and frustration.

I need to purge this. Im not even going to try to tell it in “story form”. Just some random…purging.

– My “group” consisted of the perfect storm, Spit Drool Steve and a lumpy mannish and curiously off-putting young lady who seemed insulted every time I spoke to her*.

The learning support teacher prepped me for the group by giving me a shoebox that contained the following
-A ball of twine
-several small stacks of cupcake cups. (unfortunately sans cupcakes)
-about 12 baggies full of real and fake change.

Her instructions? “Play cashier”. I am pleased to say that I did make the episode more bearable by fantasizing the game as “cashier gets held up and tied to a chair by the cupcake bandits?”

At first it was just change sorting. Until Perfect Storm suddenly spit out the reed from her clarinet that she had been chewing on for the past fifteen minutes (approximately. Time is based on last out of mouth siting of said clarinet reed). Let me tell you right now friends, you’ve definitely crossed the line into grotesque when spit drool steve is appalled by your reed chewing/spitting behavior.

Sure friends, you can judge me for offering up the saliva soaked mangled piece of wreckage as my first sale item. Walk in these shoes first people. Since there were no takers, we opted to price point a random bulldog picture. And that friends, is where 16.12 comes in.

The most frustrating aspect of the whole experience was that I watched them friends. They all made change like dutiful little fast food employees right up until the game started. When it started, nobody could grasp that you needed three pennies to get from 12 to fifteen. People added quarters and fifty cent pieces. All three of them answered every coin question with the number 25. And glared when I told them to try again. Because apparently if your grit your teeth and whine the number 25 in your most grating and irritated voice, you can get from 12 cents to 15 cents.

It pretty much de-escalated from there.

I am proud of myself today friends. Because despite the sorest temptations imaginable, i DID not say “why the hell are you acting like little retards?” or “I know you aren’t this stupid, quit fucking with me.” I didn’t even through clenched teeth threaten to shove the exact count of pennies up their asses as a way of convincing them the answer was not 25. You know why friends? Because I am a beacon of compassion.

* I think I had some shadow issues. I was trying not to flash back to ta period of toughskins and a really bad manhair cut from my grammy.


9 Responses to Keep the change

  1. lucy says:

    I am pleased to say that I did make the episode more bearable by fantasizing the game as “cashier gets held up and tied to a chair by the cupcake bandits?”

    Perfectly Crse. I love you.

  2. Jay says:

    You know what makes that whole situation even funnier? The fact that I’m not the one who has to deal with these people. 😉

  3. Barbara says:

    Please define real versus fake change? Play money? No wonder there are no real cupcakes if you only get some real money and the rest is play money.

    I wnat to hear more about the bandits

  4. Dexter Colt says:

    All my money is, unfortunately, becoming play money. Damn fiat currency.

  5. Jim Jordan says:

    Seems to me they are ready to work a fast food counter anywhere in our nation. I love waking up in a country where I know ever person no matter that they have no measurable brain waves they are still smarter than the president.

  6. gretty says:

    Just caught up on the blog and almost pissed myself laughing.
    I had to pretend to be crying when angry board members came in to see what the “fuss” was about. You do, indeed, rock!

  7. Georgie B says:


    Seems like the little ‘uns had state math all figured out.


  8. Arjewtino says:

    I just read this entire post to my girlfriend, who is a middle school teacher and understands your pain.

    It took twice as long as it should have because I kept laughing.

  9. crseum says:

    Lucy- Right back atcha baby.
    Barb- Ill try to work it up into a full-blown fantasy for ya. Stay tuned.
    Dexter- true dat brother. Double true even.
    Jim- It shouldn’t be inspiring yet somehow it is.
    Gretty-You melt me. I have far too little Gretty time in my life. I needs me way more gretty.
    Georgie B- And apparently will be ready to work for my payroll dept too!
    Arjewtino- Im so glad you came by. LOVE YOUR BLOG. Does your girlfriend blog? It’s amazingly therapeutic.

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