Seize the moment, we’re often told.
But I guess that only applies when the moment is legal. A man in New York seized the moment a couple of months ago, lifting a bucket out of an open, temporarily unminded armored truck that held $1.6 million in gold flakes.
The crime apparently was a spur-of- the-moment thing as the bucket weighed almost 90 pounds and it took him an hour to drag it to his vehicle.
Police have a video of the incident which happened in late September, but they still haven’t caught the thief, even with a clear shot of him on tape. They think he may be hiding in Florida and they hope the publicity will bring out someone who knows who he is and where to find him.
That’s not my kind of moment. I don’t walk by armored trucks. They make me nervous. I’m afraid I might be walking by a guard carrying a bag of money and stumble and he will shoot me for attacking him.
Besides, the authorities always seem to be able to trace the stolen cash, and if I got gold flakes I would be at a loss to know what to do with them. Can you use them for mortgage payments? What about fast food? How do they fit in your billfold? Wouldn’t you have to carry around a scale to measure how may you were giving someone?
But even if I rarely seize the moment, I’m usually thinking about the moment later.
The other day I had such a moment. I went into a bank to cash a check. I got two $20 bills and two $5 bills. A few minutes later, as I was walking down the street, I got a call from a teller saying I had dropped the two fives on the floor.
“Great,” I thought. “No wonder I never have any money.”
It was the same bank where I dropped a credit card just a few weeks ago, so they were familiar with my phone number. They probably have it taped up in the teller stations, with a note to call this number when anything is found on the floor.
I agreed to make my way back in a short while and reclaim the money. But the more I thought about it as I walked, the more convinced I became that I hadn’t dropped the money.
Of course, I didn’t realize I had dropped the credit card either when that happened, but this time when I looked in my wallet, all my money was there.
So, I called back and told them it wasn’t my money. It wasn’t until later that it occurred to me that I could simply have gone back, pocketed the fives and walked on. I certainly didn’t seize that moment.
But what if I had and then someone else came to claim it who actually had dropped the money? I don’t like to lie and I’m not good at it anyway. I figure I may have a price at which my honesty can be bought, but at least it’s more than $10.
If only someone would make me a decent offer so I could find out.