Saturday, October 27, 2007

Penny Smashing

Lately, I've recalled so many memories from our NYC trip last year. I never thought I'd be able to go there because it's so expensive. Since hubby's company was paying his expenses, it was the perfect opportunity to tag along. I was able to see this place that I'd always wanted to see, plus we only spent half the money we normally would have spent to get there.

One of the things we enjoyed while there was touring the Empire State Building. The building is huge and the view from the 86th floor observatory was breathtaking. After taking many pictures and feeling like we were going to fall over the edge, we came back inside to make the trek back downstairs to leave. I spotted an old penny press with a hand crank and decided I had to smash a penny as a souvenir. Who wouldn't, right? The catch was that it would cost me $1 to smash my penny. LOL! I didn't care because I really wanted to smash my penny! I made my way over to the penny machine and there was a couple of girls there trying to smash their pennies. They were from Europe and spoke just enough English to ask for my help. They couldn't figure out how to work the machine. It had been years since I had operated one but I assured them that I could help. I dug into my wallet and found a penny, plus the dollar I needed to get the machine to smash the penny. I selected the design I wanted, which happened to be a picture of the State of Liberty. I started to turn the crank and something just wasn't right. I stood there trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. The European gals were talking to each other and I didn't understand a word they were saying. I'm sure now that they were talking about how silly I American, in her home land, who couldn't even work this penny smashing machine! Boy were they ever right. I looked at my hubby and he just tried to pretend he didn't know me. The European girls decided they would help me and within a couple of minutes, they were cranking out my smashed penny. I have no idea what they did but those gals were able to get this machine to work. Needless to say, I was humiliated and felt like a blubbering idiot. We all got a good laugh out of it and the gals went on to make their own pennies. Not to be outdone, I reached deep into my wallet and dug out another $1.01 so that I could make myself another penny. I wanted one that I had made all by myself! This time I chose the design of the Empire State Building. I didn't want to forget the day that a couple of European gals showed me how to work a machine that I had used many times as a child. As I write this, hubby and I are laughing ourselves silly at this memory. Fun times!

Cost of entry into the ESB ~ $36

Cost to use penny machine to smash two pennies ~ $2.02

The memory of two foreign gals showing me up in my own backyard ~ Priceless

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jenn said...

Those last three lines are great! I almost peed my pants!

I remember the first time I went to the Empire State Building, I refused to go up. I was a child, so my Aunt had to stay with me while everyone else went up.

I finally did it as a teenager, and it was great! Breathtaking!

I'm glad you had a great time!

gail@more than a song said...

I love NYC! Wish I could go every year. We've seen these penny smasher things on lots of our trips but don't know if we've ever tried them before.

jazzjewelers said...

as a kid my dad would never let me use the penny smasher things. so i did it for the first time in st augustine florida when i was 22 years old. haha