One Hundred Eighty-Six Dollars…

Specifically — 1 One Hundred Dollar bill, 1 Fifty Dollar bill, 1 Twenty Dollar bill, 1 Ten Dollar bill, 1 Five Dollar bill, and 1 One Dollar bill.

What’s the significance, you ask? Well, ‘long about when I was around 14 years old, I happened to notice two things (other than the budding breasticles on my female classmates, that is); to wit: 1). In the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia metropolitan areas where I grew up, not a week went by when you didn’t read about, hear about, or see on television a story about someone mugged/shot/robbed/killed for some measley sum of money — “Man killed for five dollars”; “Man severely beaten and robbed of $11.00 & change”, etc.

I’ll get to #2 in a minute, but after 6 months or so of “noticing” this particular trend, it occurred to me to ALWAYS carry a decent sum of money on me at all times; here was my logic — these people weren’t mugged/assaulted/killed FOR some paltry sum of money, they were mugged/assaulted/killed BECAUSE they only had a paltry sum of money on them, as in: “Gimme all your money, chump.” “O.K., but I only gots six dollars on me.” “SIX DOLLARS?! I squatted in this briar patch for two hours to rob someone, and you only got six dollars?! I KEEL YOU!”

So, as soon as I was able, I began putting money in my wallet (I’ve always been one of those guys that carries his money in his pocket — my “wallet” has always been for carrying credit cards, license, I.D., etc.). I obviously started “from the bottom up” — a single & a fiver right off, then a tener, then a twenty.

A few months later, I made the quantum leap when I got me a fiddy dollar bill; finally, at X-Mas time, when one of the Zamboni brothers tipped me a hunnert for my paper route duty for the year, I had the “complete set”. I promised myself not to even THINK about that money in my wallet — it was truly “emergency $ — in case of robbery, break glass.”

But a few months later, (of course!) I started “dipping” into those funds on an “as need” basis — lose a bet, pay up; just GOTS to have some “thing”, dip n’ pay. But I ALWAYS “paid myself back ASAP”, remembering what those funds were REALLY for: to keep me from getting KILLED by some drug-crazed robber. Granted, it was a bit melodramatic, but it worked!

And this led me to revelation #2 — One Hundred Eighty-Six Dollars will pretty much get you out of a WHOLE LOT of “trouble” on any given day. Hell, you could buy a bus ticket cross country for $69 bucks on the Grey Dog, should you need to get outta town; it was good “pay the man” $ if you got pulled over by one of the Boys In Blue; it was decent “bail money” as long as you didn’t KILL anyone — yep, One Hundred Eighty Six Dollars j’es makes good sense all ’round, Boys & Girls; “go and do likewise”, is Dick Jones advice du jour…

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