Leaf Tycoon

Raking the yard yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that I would enjoy the chore a bit more if I could convince myself that each leaf was actually a $100 bill. Because I’ve seen only one or two $100 bills in my entire life, my natural disbelief willingly disengaged from the task at hand, and this idle fantasy became real.

Yes, money DOES grow on trees. And then it falls at your feet. The lawn was littered with Benjamins. Quite suddenly I felt that I WAS scooping up armloads of crackly, crunchy cash.

“So this is how Carlos Slim Helu feels,” I thought, as I stuffed another fistful of wealth into a bio-degradable plastic sack. “There is too much money! At least there’s too much out where people can see it!”

I felt the neighbors looking at me as they drove by.

The air was full of dollar dust as I knelt on the bag and squeezed the air out. The thin plastic skin was so tight I could see enigmatic smiles on all the air-starved Franklin faces inside.

“How much cash is on this lawn?”, I wondered. I tried to estimate but quickly realized I would need the help of a fifth grader to do that, and they were all in school learning that you have to become educated because you will not find a fortune in the crabgrass.

It didn’t matter. I had become the kind of person who doesn’t need to count stuff because I have stuff counters on retainer! So rich, I do not need to think about how rich I am, or what it takes to support my extravagant lifestyle. Just get the moolah out of sight so people won’t bother me while my it keeps me afloat. And as I piled my moneybags by the curb for pickup, I thought about all my trucks converging on Switzerland, or the Cayman Islands.

It was a craven, selfish daydream, but it got the lawn nice and clean. I am sorry about fighting with squirrels for the scraps. But it’s MY YARD!

What would you do with a bag of money?

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86 thoughts on “Leaf Tycoon”

  1. Funny you should ask, Dale. I’ve never had a bag of money before, but if I sell the cabin I will indeed have one. So I’ve been asking around to learn where I will get the best return on my money. After listening a lot, I understand just how low interest rates are. If I give my bank a bag of money roughly the size of a Saint Bernard, and if I don’t touch that fund, they will reluctantly let me have my whole bag back again ten years later and they won’t even charge me for guarding my bucks! At my age a man has to be quite an optimist to buy a bond that returns a little profit when it matures in several years. I mean, I have matured already and am getting close to past my “sell by” date, so any investment beyond two or three years is maybe an iffy proposition. Having gotten three black eyes in the stock market I now know it is a program so poor people can contribute to the welfare of rich people. I’d feel pretty punky about all of this if I hadn’t just gotten an exciting new opportunity in the form of an email from a Nigerian prince down on his luck.

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    1. Right, Steve, there doesn’t seem to be any place to put your money any more. Maybe a hole in the back yard. You would think it would safe in a bank, but you can’t even be sure of that.

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  2. Good morning to Clyde and Steve and the rest of you sleepy heads when you finally get up. I guess if you have a bag of money you should get acquainted with Romney’s friends at Bain, they seem to know how to work some tricky deals that will make you super rich.

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  3. Sounds like the sale of the cabin will be a problem Steve.i hope you don’t have to deal with tough decisions like this. Money is a wonderful problem. It’s a fever in the night . A stranger that keeps you awake and calls out like a bag of chops in the cupboard. It never relents always wanting to be dealt with and it becomes more importantly than it should. Nelson Rockefeller grew up on 15 cents a week allowance and 5 went to church for the needy, 5 to the bank and 5 to spend. He said he was a teenager before he knew he was a rich kid. I wish we all had money growing on trees so the idea of living to work instead of working to live was a little easier to achieve.
    Thanks to dale for making the last round or two of leaf collection a bit more pleasant, I have collected mounds and mounds of tree shed Benjamin’s and hidden them in the gully next ot my house. The dogs roll and play like little children and the wind blows the piles of bills all over the low branches of the underbrush. I am lucky I don’t have to bag my money for deposit I simply sweep it into my piggy bank in the two or three spots I have decreed the banks to be.
    I’m not sure I would like to have my children be able to go to the leaf pile and take what they wanted without having to earn it but I may be ready to try it myself for a change of pace. Let me direct it instead of the other way around for a couple of years. It would be worth a try.

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    1. tim, your story about what Rockefeller did with his 15 cents reminds me of a conversation between two old timers in Clarks Grove. One of them said, looking very stern and sour, that even if you had very little money, you can still put some of it into savings. The other said, with a smile on his face, he didn’t worry about saving money, his policy was to spend all of his money.

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  4. I would probably do something frightfully practical like pay down some debt. And then I’d donate some. And maybe buy some cool art – I’ve always wanted a cool sculpture for the front lawn. Oh, and definitely buy a few day’s supply of really good chocolate. I might even share the chocolate.

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      1. Oh heck, I was hoping I’d find something whimsical that would just strike me as “this – this is what I want.” Draw it?…you haven’t seen my drawing skills, have you?…

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  5. Today I would grab a pile of leaves and head of to best buy or the apple store and grab a new laptop. Yesterday I was helping my mom sort through some of here stuff and though she woul enjoy xm radio of broadway show tunes and in the process of trying to punch it up on the laptop for her to listen to the crash and burn of the laptop happened. There are timproof computers out there but the cost a whole bunch, I am reasonably certain I didn’t pop for the extra 300 for laptop insurance. I would bite the bullet when the time came. Well it’s here. I am on the iPad and the caps and funky keypad are something I will have to get used to. A bag full of Benjamin’s …ahhh I’d like it.

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  6. I’d convert it to gold and silver. Or maybe use a small portion to buy farmland in Myanmar because the next great bull market will be in farming, according to one of my favorite investing experts. ;-)

    Chris in Owatonna (who’d rather buy farmland close to home, but have been told that US farmland is already high priced compared to other locales.)

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  7. Two OT’s
    1) I want to learn about EBay. My local B & N has not a single book on EBay. It has seven different books on WordPress.
    2) We do celebrate at our house that my wife did have shots from Advanced Pain Clinics of MN but the Kato one did not get their drugs from that lab.

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    1. what do you want to know? how to seel or find?
      ebays book division is half.com
      amazon.com is unbelievable for buying books
      the book is a penny but the freight is 4 busck. if you sell it its the other way around. great for buying not too good for selling.

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        1. selling books is real straight forward but the prices are close to nothing on many items. the old text books sell for big dollars unless they are edition 7 and today it is edition 12 then it is worth less.

          check amizon .com and half.com and they will tell you what your book is worth. you can list on ebay but only get customers like yourself looking who are not real good at finding the stuff that is out there.

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        2. gotcha, selling things works good selling books does not. if you have things and ant questions answered i would be more than happy to help out. rule of thumb is if it has enough value to factor freight in and its still a good deal thats ebay if not and it needs to be local thats craigslist. there are some special ones like etsy for artsy stuff. etsy is very cool but very specialized. ike for your crvings etc if you wanted to try it there you could possibly get what they are worth and etsy charges almost nothing. craigs list is free but overpriced at that sometimes . ebay is expensive and only good if you know what you are doing. there is an expensive learning curve involved.

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  8. I’d take a month-long vacation while a hired contractor would remodel my kitchen, back porch, and bedroom. A different hired hand would rid the basement of spiders, centipedes, and who knows what other creepy crawly critters call it home. Upon my return I’d buy a nice case of red wine or two and relax.

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    1. Ooooh, kitchen remodel…yeah, that sounds good. I could hire a lovely person to come in and find somewhere to add more drawers to my kitchen (two just aren’t enough).

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    2. i have two guys who will do the kitchen porch and bedroom but youd have to be goen a while in order for them to be done when you got back. they work cheap and good.if you are serious ill send them over to talk. 20% of what youd guess going in.

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      1. tim, I’m dreaming! Hans is such a perfectionist, he wants to do it himself. I keep putting it off because he’s working full-time, and doing the remodel during the evening and weekend hours would make this a very long and messy project, and frankly, I don’t have the patience for that. I do appreciate your offer, but for the time being, no thanks. I’ll let you know if Hans changes his mind.

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        1. no, no, no, tim, you don’t get it. He’d start in a heartbeat; tearing things apart is his favorite part of the process. It’s the weekends and evenings, for months on end after we’ve got everything ripped apart, that I want to avoid. We’ve been there and done that, but I was younger and more forgiving then. Now that I know, from experience, what’s involved, I don’t want to go through that process again. Divorce is a hassle that I don’t want to deliberately cause at this stage of my life.

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  9. I would hire someone to winterize the attic porch off our bedroom, then send my sister a pile of it so she can send her teenage son to a (good) boarding school, and maybe sign up for next summer’s Mississippi Riverboat cruise that was in the Sunday Strib’s travel section. Will consider what else if there’s anything left over.

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  10. We had 70 mph winds while we were away on our trip, and the leaves blew goodness knows where. I would reside the house, put in new windows, and pay for daughter’s college with a bag of Benjamins. With any left over I would get some new flooring (the carpets in our bedrooms predate daughter’s arrival in the family, so it is about time for something new), and redo the master bathroom. Then there is the matter of my wardrobe deficiencies……I might need to find more than one bag.

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        1. I guess winds gusting up to 60 mph drove a grass fire through the town, destroying much of the town, leaving 4 houses and the Lutheran Church.

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  11. Well, I really wouldn’t get in touch with Romney’s friends at Bain to get them to help me use my bag of money to get super rich. I have lots of projects or ideas for projects that could use funding. Some of these projects would be related to gardening such as getting set up to do four season gardening in the manner of Eliot Coleman and purchasing more land for gardening. Also I would like to make my home very energy efficient. Then there would be a lot of humanitarian and political work I would like to get set up to do or to sponsor.

    Right now my first priority would be to replace my ornery toilet that doesn’t work right no matter how much effort I put into fixing the flushing mechanism. I keep thinking I can fix it and save some money, but that never happens. I have repaired this toilet many times thinking that I finally had it right and latter found out that it still doesn’t work.

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  12. I’d pretend that the bag of money I just turned over to the crew that painted this old cottage was leaves! Fifty one hundred dollar bills in exchange for a 10% discount for not writing a check. Boy, did that hurt!! I’d also hire a choreographer, film editor, and a producer to recreate yesterday’s YouTube video taping of the “Dancing Grandma for Obama” about to go viral. I even talked a campaign volunteer into donning a full-head Obama mask and dancing with me. At least (to my knowledge) my name won’t be attached to this silliness!

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  13. To walk in money through the night crowd, protected by money, lulled by money, dulled by money, the crowd itself a money, the breath money, no least single object anywhere that is not money. Money, money everywhere and still not enough! And then no money, or a little money, or less money, or more money but money always money. and if you have money, or you don’t have money, it is the money that counts, and money makes money, but what makes money make money?

    – Henry Miller

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  14. Oh, my! Real estate sales are so interesting. I was too simple to understand there would be realtor fees, documentation fees, transfer fees, closing costs, property taxes and capitol gains taxes. I woke up thinking I was about to get a bag of money as big as a Saint Bernard. Right now it feels like I’m looking at a fat beagle.

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  15. Why am I suddenly put in mind of Scrooge McDuck?

    An artist friend of mine once told me that he was having a hard time drawing $100 bills for a cover illustration. He said that it was one of those things that you can recognize instantly but when you sit down and actually analyze the design, it’s really tricky. It took him a little practice but he finally got it.

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  16. Well, hi. Glad you missed me. Yes, I went to MI for MEA and Mom is doing well in assisted living. I also got to see my daughter in Chicago on the way there and also on the way back. Yes, I teach elementary music in Northfield and today I had an eye appt. after school so finally here I am and here is today’s musical interlude which I had to choose after thinking I would do Cabaret or My Fair Lady… great minds think alike:

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  17. OT: We’re driving out to (mostly) Georgia in the morning for the better of two weeks, so will be on the trail only sketchily. Happy Halloween, Babooners.

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