Curiously, there are two $2 coins sitting on the carpet in the quiet study area of the library. One is near my foot, and the other is languishing in the middle of the empty space between four tables, like a dingy at sea. Why are they there? Actually, more intriguingly, why has no one picked them up?
Two $2 coins – that’s a proper barista coffee right there, maybe even with change! (depending on where you go)
Originally I gave one of the coins a furtive kick to make sure I wasn’t victim to one of those coin-glued-to-the-floor stunts. Nope. It was a live, ready to be re-circulated piece of legal tender.
Maybe some people haven’t noticed them. Maybe the people who have noticed them are feeling self-conscious, like others would judge them for being desperate when they go for that undignified stoop-and-grab (which can never be done subtly).
As for me, I haven’t picked them up because I don’t want to deprive someone else from picking them up. I recognise that this is a bit weird.
Oh my goodness, that person just walked directly on top of one of the coins! I think there’s some strange social psychology going on here, like when first year psych students drop all their papers on the floor and people only help when someone else does it first.
It happened. A woman in her early thirties, holding many bags, was looking all around on the floor. She saw the coin that was adrift between the tables, stooped and picked it up, and then came towards me.
I said to her, “Are you looking for another coin?” I thought, improbably, that she had dropped her coins earlier and was coming to reclaim then.
She said, “No, I’m looking for a power point. Oh but look, there’s another coin.”
And she picked up the coin at my feet, and went on her way.
Now there are no more coins on the floor.
I wonder: who is the most normal person in this scenario?