Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Asphalt Coin Disease

Journal Entry: Weight = 178.2 lbs; Money Found = $.46, 11 pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes; glass bottles retrieved = 6. A good walk with a grouping and 3 small scatters.

Feature Entry: As the weather turns warmer, it is time once again to be alert to the dreaded Asphalt Coin Disease. While this insidious condition doesn’t get the media attention of Lyme Disease, the peanut butter salmonella outbreak, or even the overhyped West Nile Virus, it has its own special dangers. It is neither a diarrhea causing bacteria or an encephalitic virus; rather it is mental condition totally resistant to modern medicine and thus incurable.

The walker is zooming with a sustained elevated heart rate in the elevated training effect zone. Visually the eyes are scanning carefully using the appropriate combinations of focal and peripheral vision. And then, bingo, a coin is spotted. Deftly, using a squatting with bent leg technique and no undue back bending, the coin is reached for, grasped, but nothing happens, the coin does not move. It has Asphalt Coin Disease! The coin is literally stuck in the asphalt and will not bulge. And just like that, your brain is infected with the disease. Symptoms include pouting, foot stomping, irritation, anger, and even depression.

Good news, Asphalt Coin Disease can be treated. But one needs tools. The shovel carried by the featured photo of a money finder using a metal detector can be used to pry out the coin, but this is overkill (see related story in yesterday's featured blog,March 23, 2009). All one actually needs is a sixteen penny nail. I carry one in my utility pouch at all times. Just yesterday an embedded quarter was spotted in a cross walk. A quick look around revealed a small concrete shard, a perfect hammer device. With the safety of a red light, out came the nail, the hammer, and in one strike, the quarter popped out. Total time expended, less than ten seconds. In the coin pouch when the quarter and all symptoms of Asphalt Coin Disease disappeared.



  1. Asphalt Coin Disease? Do you realize that your humorous phrases are fast becoming a part of my morning walking meditations?

    I have been watching a dime and a nickel all winter that are "afflicted". During the cold weather they are impossible to dig out, even with my weapon of choice, a small screwdriver. Hopefully they will still be there this summer when the asphalt softens up or before the road is resurfaced. Also, they are both in busy intersections and must be taken care of early on a Sunday morning.

    On one of our busy city sidewalks some cruel person has superglued a quarter right in front of a building. I can only imagine how he laughs while sitting inside counting the people who try to pick it up. Cruel.

  2. That person with the super glue is cruel. I had not thought that cold weather also results in asphalt trapped coins. I hope your spring weather is warm and dry--you deserve it.