On Hitting The Jackpot

“What’d you do?” he asked. “Hit the jackpot?”

I was standing at the fare machine in the subway terminal. Coins rattled in the machine, falling in the change cup. I looked to my right. A kid, maybe twenty-two, had asked the question. It was an obvious question — the fare machine sounded like a slot machine dispensing its winnings.

“Only had a twenty,” I said. “Getting my change back in dollar coins.”

“Better than me,” he said. “I’m getting nickels.”

I wondered idly if they were my nickels. Probably not, I decided.

Dollar coins!

It seems like there’s only two places where dollar coins are given back in change. Post office machines. Fare machines.

I looked at my coins. A few Sacagaweas. A George Washington dollar. A Suzy B. Some James Monroes. A couple of St. Thomas of Jefferson.

It occurs to me that St. Thomas wouldn’t appreciate being called that. He wasn’t a saint. He wasn’t even a Christian.

It occurs to me that St. Thomas wouldn’t appreciate having the words “In God We Trust” on a coin commemorating him, either.

I’ve never liked how the Sacagaweas and the Presidential dollar coins tarnish. When they’re new and uncirculated, they have such a magnificent golden shine. But after a few days they’ll turn a murky brown. Moreso on the Sacagawea than the Presidents.

I hadn’t really hit the jackpot. I just had a pocket full of change.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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