Monday through Friday I never leave the house without 8 quarters in my pocket. Superstition, routine & necessity are all ingredients in my daily grind into NYC and in some ways they all relate to why I have 8 quarters in my pocket as we speak.
I started carrying quarters in my pocket so I could have exact change for newspapers since they were all 25 cents and available only in newspaper boxes. As I moved around the Metro area and newspaper stands came to my stations the quarters became more of a backup in case I needed to use a newspaper box. The number of quarters in my pocket has fluctuated over the years depending on the price of the various newspapers I would buy. I started with 4 quarters and then it jumped to 6 when the Star Ledger & NY Post both raised their price. It dropped back to 5 when the Post had to go back to matching the Daily News for a little while. Steadily the number of quarters in my pocket went back to 6 then 7 and now 8 since the Post is a buck.
I know I jingle a little when I walk and in today’s mostly cashless society, coins are quickly becoming more of a nuisance but I couldn’t imagine leaving my house on a work day without them. I will even go out of my way at times to get a few extra quarters in change so I don’t run out. I guess my wife must have noticed my bucket was almost empty the other day because when I came home from my business trip I found 2 rolls of quarters in my bucket.