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Hope and Ye Shall Find

(Photo: Tom Thai)

I am not an avid runner but I do it pretty regularly because it is good, cheap, easy exercise. I often run in Central Park. The other day on my run there, it was hotter than usual and I ran further than usual, maybe 5 miles. So I really, really wanted to buy an iced coffee when this ordeal was over. I usually tuck a $5 or $10 bill into my running shorts but I’d forgotten. Oh well.

But then, just a few hundred yards from the end of my run I saw on the ground directly in front of me a suspicious little lump of green paper. I stopped. It was money. Three single dollar bills, crisply folded. Just enough for an iced coffee. I was grateful to whoever dropped it and I hoped it didn’t represent their last three dollars.

I was also grateful that I’m not an economist — for if I were, I wouldn’t have stopped to pick up the money because I would have assumed it couldn’t possibly be real money because if it were somebody else would have already picked it up. (This is sometimes referred to as the Efficient Sidewalk Theory.)