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May 8, 2014

Hey, buddy! Can you spare a dime?

Growing up, I used to think a dime was a big coin, despite its diminutive size. For a dime, I could get into a movie and see two feature films. I could buy a pocketful of candy and still get change back.

For 10 cents, I could ride the trolley, purchase my favorite comic book, enjoy an ice cream cone with two scoops and make a telephone call.

I always carried a dime around in my pocket for such emergencies and pleasantries. Back then, a thin dime went a long way.

It still goes far enough today, provided you look closely enough. The other day, I was inside a thrift shop and got the bargain of a lifetime. There before me was a rack of cassette tapes with a sign: “Ten for $1. Help yourself.”

Only one interested me — a composite of favorite songs sung by Charlotte Church. I took it to the counter. The cashier said, “That’ll be 10 cents.” When was the last time you heard that?

I gave her my dime and she wished me a good day. Last of the big-time spenders, that’s me.

Life’s a bargain if you can find it. Right next to the tapes were hundreds of CDs marked down to virtually nothing. They were selling for a buck each. Buy one and get two free. Now, we have three for a dollar. For $5, you can build up a treasury of music.

The other day, a knob became detached from the desk where I was seated. It was fastened to an inside screw and must have loosened in time.

With no screwdriver at hand, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a nickel. Too big! I tried a penny. Still too big.

The dime worked perfectly. I sent the coin into the groove and rescrewed the knob, more than retaining its value. Never mind a 5-cent cigar. What this country needs more is a good 5-cent dime.

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