Ah, Sims … our supermarket of choice.
Right outside this West Footscray institution can be an interesting place, too.
There’s racks for bikes; often enough, these are also used for tethering interesting dogs while their owners are inside shopping.
There’s always interesting people, too, coming and going.
We’re well used to running into friends and readers right here.
But in all our years shopping at Sims, I have never experienced an event as surreal as that of this week.
Pulling in for a typical mid-week, post-work top up of cat food and a few others bits and pieces, I amble towards the ATM to make a withdrawal.
Shockingly, as I get there I find a fistful of $50 notes hanging out of it.
Now, I confess to being guilty of having, in the past, absendmindedly left money – $50 one time, $100 on another – at ATMs.
But this is a first – finding “free” money at a money machine.
And in considerable quantity.
I deftly grab the cash and stuff it in my pocket, before going about the business of my own transaction.
And all the while I’m wondering about just how to handle this …
After all, I suspect that for whoever left this money here, this will constitute a cataclysmic event.
I know it would be for me!
I glance over my shoulder, seeing an old bloke shuffling with his shopping across the road to his car.
Maybe it’s him?
As I continue to ponder this dilemma, all the while going through the process of my own (much more modest) withdrawal, a young bloke comes out of the supermarket, approaches me and the ATM and asks:
“Did you find $400 here?”
Reply I: “Stand back a bit, mate, while I finish my business.”
Once done, I stroll a few paces away, followed by my new friend.
He tries a variation on his theme:
“Was there $400 there?”
I reach into my pocket, pull out the money – and count it.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven – sure enough, I have eight $50 dollar notes.
I hand it over to the young man, saying:
“Mate, this sure as hell is your lucky day”
He mumbles some not particularly gracious thanks and heads straight back into Sims.
I follow him, so see him head straight into the bottle shop.
Hell, that’s precisely what I’d do, too!
So my ethical conundrum has been short-circuited by the arrival of the money’s rightful owner.
I’m not quite sure how I would’ve handled it had the bloke not arrived.
The Sims staff subsequently tell me they’re well used to customers leaving all sorts of stuff in the aisles – including sums of money a lot bigger than $400.
In any case, IF there is any such thing as karma, I fully expect that when I go to check on my modest Powerball quick pick, the machine will cheerfully emit that tinkly winner’s tune.
Just kidding – I don’t believe in karma, and particularly not any tit-for-tat variety that sways lottery tickets!