What Will You Stoop To?

You can tell a lot about people by what denominations of currency they will stoop to pick up off the sidewalk.

The poorest of the poor, for instance, will stoop to pick up a penny — or even a bottle if they can redeem the deposit at a supermarket.

Next up are the lower middle class people who will stoop to pick up a nickel. People with bad eyesight may also stoop to pick up a nickel, mistaking it for a quarter.

On the next rung up the social ladder are the solid middle class folks who will stoop to pick up a dime, though this may apply only to an older demographic. In my youth, a dime got you three minutes on a pay phone. Yes, I am that old.

Move one more step up and you’re a member of the upper middle class. You’ll stoop to pick up a quarter. Four of those make a dollar. Eleven quarters would get you a ride on a New York City bus. (As this was being written the fare was still $2.75.)

To turn up your nose at all coins, you’ve got to be rich. But you might stoop to pick up a one-dollar bill. Hey, a buck is a buck.

If you’re very rich, you still might invest the physical labor of bending over to pick up a twenty-dollar bill. That’ll get you a sandwich. A very nice sandwich.

But what if you’re hyper-rich? I’m talking about the Koch brothers kind of rich, the Robert and Rebekah Mercer kind of rich, the Sheldon Adelson kind of rich, the Russian oligarch kind of rich.

If you’re that rich, you’ll stoop to anything.