The nerdy guy in glasses picked up his pace in an effort to reduce a line of customers queued in the fast food restaurant.
Unknowingly, he gained a few seconds with one question.
"Do you want the penny?" he asked.
With an extremely small bill of $2.14, I opted to use up some loose change. Then this cashier potentially altered the course of Western civilization, repositioned American life, improved liberty, plus, delivered a happy-meal ending to a trivial pursuit of happiness.
With two dollars in his hand and a glance at a dime and nickel in another, we shared a moment of monetary male bonding.
He kept the penny while Golden Arches stakeholders earned a little more stake money.
Yeah, money's tight, and sure, we all should be thinking about nickels and dimes. But pennies?
Businesses should be allowed to round up or down. I hate when a purchase lands on a number like $7.13 cents. That happened last week. I'm standing there dumbfounded with a $5 bill, two singles, and a $20 bill.
Add any expletive here, especially when you know that my car ash tray contained enough change to weight down Jimmy Hoffa in the Hudson River for a lifetime.
Canada killed its penny in February 2013. United States money makers should rid our economy of pennies ASAP, especially when one considers that the U.S. Mint spends 2 cents to produce and ship each of the 5.8 billion pennies made, according to a CNN Money report.
United States minters should consider the removal of pennies from our currency, making disappear all those copper coins collected in bottles, cans, and car compartments.
Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck. Gone. Kaput. Give me a rhyme with holler for finding a half-dollar.
Sorry, Mr. Lincoln but honestly, the world's richest nation should not be reduced to penny-pinching lifestyles.
Lincoln supporters should find satisfaction with his image on a $5 note, Lincoln Tunnel, Lincoln Memorial, Lincoln Logs, heck, even Lincoln, Neb.
Perhaps we should limit it to one coin or paper money honor per person. So, let George Washington have the dollar bill, then take him off the quarter and replace him with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Phase out the father of our country for a civil rights godfather who exchanged his life for a dream. Back to this penny-ultimate act of penny removal. No more pennies affects music, investment banking, fashion, adages, and even a Trentonian crime beat reporter.
Sorry, Penny Ray, with pennies taken out of play, that means you have no existence. Death to the penny means there can be no Penny Ray. Change your byline or collect your severance pay in human resources.
Thanks, dude. It's been real.
The penny carnage envelops a Bing Crosby standard: "Pennies from Heaven" could upgrade personal windfall. Imagine nickels from heaven. That's real profit although beneficiaries may want to purchase hard hats.
Ivy Leaguers may have to upgrade their loafers, maybe with a dime piece. Penny stocks could gain a better luster with a name change.
Ben Franklin probably turns over in his grave with a realization that his famous "A penny saved is a penny earned" saying could see extinction.
There's a plus-side though, our ledgers could show better pay for mind production. No doubt that our thoughts, even ones that arrive from out of left field, are worth more than one red cent.
A penny for our thoughts? No way. We demand a raise.
Maybe we will all begin thinking better ideas, finding solutions to problems, if people offered a nickel, heck, even a Susan B. Anthony dollar for our thoughts. I would love being a part of that brain trust.
This is L.A. Parker writing a column live from where you might expect: Penny Lane.
L.A. Parker is a columnist for The Trentonian in Trenton, N.J..