Trashing $500

Posted: August 2, 2017 in Amazing and Interesting Stories, Fails

Once upon a time in the not-so-distant past a girl I was dating asked me to hold on to some cash for her. She did this because she didn’t want to spend it. Seems she’d sold something, collected $500, and handed me the money for safekeeping. I know, sorta weird but I totally understood so I said sure.

However, I had to make a decision – where do I put the dough? I mean, it wasn’t a fortune or anything but $500 is $500, you know? And I didn’t want to put it in my wallet or anything for fear of spending it myself. S-o-o-o, for some reason, and I know not why, I stuck it into a pair of old basketball shoes on my closet. I rarely wore this particular pair and they were old so I thought if on the rare chance I was robbed one night those 1998 Air Max’s would be the last thing somebody would pilfer. To be safe I told the girl where the cash was stashed, in case I forgot where I put it.

Good a plan as any, huh?

Uh, not so fast. If only my life rolled along that smoothly.

Fast forward a few months to, oh, around 3:00am one dark and stormy Tuesday morning. Seriously, it was stormy. To this day I know not why I sat bolt upright as a sheen of cold sweat enveloped me, but damned if that’s not exactly what happened.

For some reason, out of the blue, a grim realization hit me.

I’d cleaned my house on Saturday and taken several garbage bags of clothes to one of those little Goodwill donation bins in Chillicothe, and one bag included a certain pair of 1998 Nike Air Max shoes.

Damn. It.

After I shook off the shock (I’ve never figured out what made me wake up with that memory), I leaped out of bed, got dressed and did the only possible thing I could think of doing – headed to a certain Goodwill donation bin that was 12-miles away.

Somehow, I had the presence of mind to grab a 9-iron out of my golf bag on the way out the backdoor, along with a flashlight.

This particular Goodwill bin was in the parking lot at Kroger, out near a pretty busy road, although not so much at 3:30 in the morning. Anyway, I get there, park, get out my trusty 9-iron, and go to work.

The bin had a little door that was hinged at the top. It was rather high, and I suspect they’re built that way to keep people from reaching in and grabbing whatever the hell they want, which to any passer-by would appear to be exactly what I was doing at the time.

When the occasional car rolled by I would sort of stand there attempting to look casual, which coincidentally was impossible. At one point a police car actually came driving slowly by, and I expected the worst, although I’d already planned to simply tell the truth. After all, who could make up such a story? Hey, hopefully the cop and I would have a good laugh about the poor dumbass who’d thrown away $500.


Lucky for me he didn’t see me, and after looking both ways I began my search in earnest. With the little door propped on my head, my flashlight in my left hand and the 9-iron in my right, I began digging through probably 30-trash bags full of clothes and whatnot. I knew I’d used white trash bags, so that narrowed my search somewhat. However, I had no idea how often they emptied the bins or how quickly they filled up. Was my stuff even in there?

I was pretty sure I’d thrown 5-bags in, and if I found one I was pretty sure I’d find them all. Finally, after about 30-minutes (ish) of digging around, I struck gold . . .

Boom! After feeling around for anything shoe-like in what seemed like a million bags, I found the bag containing my shoes. I carefully opened it, pulled the shoes out, and reached inside.


OK, the loot must have fallen out. It had to be inside the bag. HAD to be. One by one I took out every item in the bag. I looked in pant legs, pockets, shirt sleeves, I even turned the bag inside out.


Long story short, after much digging, sweating and pulling I soon had every damn bag I’d put in the bin sitting on the Kroger parking lot. Hell, at one point I had leaned in so far that my legs were sticking straight out of the little window. How nobody saw me and reported me is beyond me. I even ended throwing the whole mess in the back of my Jeep to bring home and inspect in the light of day. Before I left I even shoved the remaining bags around the floor of the damn bin, thinking that maybe the bills were somewhere on the floor.

Alas, they were not. No $500. All I could think of was that some lucky shopper (or Goodwill employee) was going to be one happy camper one day very soon.

So, probably 2-hours later I was back home, sweaty, dejected and disappointed at my failure to rescue the $500 from the clutches of Goodwill Industries International. All I could do was make a call to them tomorrow, explain my pathetic situation, and hope for a miracle.

But first, there was the not-so-small matter of explaining to the owner of the $500 that it was, indeed, gone. Sure, I’d pay her back since I was the moron who lost it, but I was not looking forward to the conversation the following morning at all. Let me see if I can recite the conversation that ensued in its entirety:


“Hey, remember that money you asked me to hold for safekeeping a few months ago?”


“W-e-l-l, I sort of lost it. And by ‘sort of’ I mean I lost it. I took the shoes it was in, along with a bunch of clothes, to Goodwill on Saturday. I spent a couple hours last night looking for it, but I’m sorry. It’s gone.”

Then, as I readied myself for the onslaught that was to come, came the reply:

“That’s because I needed it and took it out a few weeks ago.”

Son. Of. A. Bitch.


PS- Yes, I thought about calling to first to see if she had it, but it was, you know, the middle of the damn night. Plus I’m an idiot, so there’s that. 


Gimme a holler.

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