The Fungibility of Money

TThe wiseass kid in the discount store was lusting after a small candy bar, which cost a dollar. The kid already had a dollar in his pocket but was too cheap to spend it; he wanted to have the candy bar and still end up with a dollar in his pocket.

Wait a minute, he thought, my mother doesn’t know I’ve got a dollar in my pocket...

“Hey ma!” he screeched at the top of his voice. “Gimme a dollar!”

“Shut up you rotten kid! Can’t you see I’m reading?” She muttered and shook her head while leafing through Modern Bride magazine.

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But the kid yelled and screamed and cried. When that failed to produce the desired results, he kneeled down and methodically pounded his forehead on the floor whomp! whomp! whomp! which drew a few stares from startled customers. Finally his mother relented and gave him a dollar but only after extracting from him a clear promise not to spend it on sweets. “You buy candy with it and I’ll whack you upside the head,” she said.

“I promise ma, I won’t spend it on candy.” He emphasized the point by making the ‘cross my heart hope to die’ sign on his chest.

She gave him the dollar and he stuck it in his pocket along with the dollar he already had. As soon as her back was turned, he grabbed the candy bar and ran up to the checkout counter! He yanked one of the dollar bills out of his pocket, threw it at the cashier, and immediately unwrapped and stuffed the entire gooey mass into his mouth, chewing vigorously and swallowing so fast that his eyes bulged and he almost choked all the while keeping a wary eye out for his mother.

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But she saw him! Running over in a fury, she screamed “You rotten little liar! You promised not to buy candy with that dollar I gave you!”

“But ma!” He had trouble protesting because his mouth was full of crunchy glop, so he pulled the remaining bill out of his pocket and waved it frantically in front of her. Finally he regained the ability to speak. “I didn’t buy nothin’ with that dollar you gave me! Here it is, I still got it, see? I bought the candy with my other dollar!”

“You rotten kid,” she snarled, “don’t give me that crap!  Don’t you know that money is fungible?”  Then she whacked him upside the head.