Have you ever purchased a new wash machine? Bobby Johnson, a 26-year-old computer programmer from Bismarck, did two months ago after his old machine quit.
He might have filled that old machine a little too full the last time and then, when he went back later, he could smell just a hint of burnt rubber as he strolled down the stairs into the basement. Of course, he knew immediately what it was. Because he’d had the main drive belt replaced once before, and the repairman told him then that the machine was on its last leg.
So, he looked online and called Joe’s Appliance and asked if they had any used machines for sale and fortunately, they did for a very modest price and he bought it, sight unseen. Then Joe delivered it two days later and took the old one back with him.
Later that night, Bobby loaded the new machine with dirty clothes, and when it was done he found a $10 bill and four ones among his wet clothes. Well, that was no big deal except he was quite certain he’d emptied out his pockets beforehand. And he made sure all the pockets were empty when he put in the second load.
After ample time, he returned to the basement and found a $20 bill, one $5 bill and three ones mixed in with his wet clothes.
“I must be losing my mind,” he said. “Because I’m sure I checked all of those pockets.”
Meanwhile, he had one load left, so he put the clothes in the wash machine one more time and checked the pockets. Later, when he came back and emptied the washer, he discovered two twenties, one ten, a five and a $1 bill.
“This is nuts,” he said to himself as he looked at the $98 worth of crinkled and wet bills that he’d laid on top of his dryer.
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Then it occurred to him that somebody might be hiding in his house and playing tricks on him, so he looked in every corner and found no one there.
Meanwhile, he was out of clothes to wash. So he took the sheets and pillow cases from the bed in his spare bedroom and threw them in the wash machine, along with the jeans he was wearing. Then he sat next to the washer while it was washing and read a book.
When the load was done, he emptied it and found five twenties, a ten and two $1 bills. Now he had a total of $168, and he felt mighty disheveled. So, he called Joe’s Appliance, even though it was after hours, and got a recording that told him there was no such number.
The next day, after a night of fitful sleep, he went to work and afterward stopped at a drugstore for some toiletries. Near the pharmacy in the back he overheard a young lady say, in a broken voice, that she couldn’t afford her child’s medicine.
That’s when he glanced over his shoulder and saw the cutest little girl holding onto her mother’s leg. So he walked over and asked how much the bill was.
“$168,” the cashier said.
“Here,” he said to the mother as he pulled the crinkled bills from his wallet. “This was meant for you. And I also have a wash machine I’d like you to have.”