Waiting for an MTO at Sheetz can reveal a person's true self in countless ways. I think this goes without saying. Last night, while Ashley and I sat on a window ledge at Sheetz in Shepherdstown waiting patiently for the pepperoni sub she had so graciously agreed to buy me, a guy paid for a tank of gas and dropped a ten dollar bill on his way to the men's room. Seeing that the guy was totally oblivious, Ashley grabbed the ten-spot and chased after the guy, calling "Hey!" three times before she caught up to him and he turned around. Ashley is a good person. She is a better person than I, because, as I immediately informed her when she sat back down, I'd have kept the fucking money.
She was taken aback slightly. "It's stealing."
"No, it's finding."
"But you know the money doesn't belong to you, you know it belongs to that guy, so keeping it is stealing from him. It's immoral."
"It's not immoral. It's opportunistic."
She was growing exasperated with me. "How can you go on and on about morality and honesty and doing right by other people and all that shit you always talk, and then say you'd steal from somebody if you saw the opportunity?"
"Are you familiar with hypocrisy?"
Of course it's wrong to keep the money. Of course returning the ten bucks to the guy who dropped it is the only morally acceptable thing to do. But, I admit with far less shame than is appropriate, I'd still keep it. I used to do it all the time when I worked at Pilot. I'd find money on the ground every once in awhile, a five here, a twenty there. Once I found about thirty bucks in folded bills that must have dropped from some trucker's wallet on his way out to the parking lot. Guess where that money went. Once I hovered around the gas island for like five minutes, pretending to sweep up trash, waiting to see if this woman who'd just filled up her car would drive off without noticing she'd dropped twenty bucks on the ground. She saw the money laying on the ground, unfortunately, and picked it up. Too bad, too — in my head it was already spent.
When the guy who dropped the ten came out of the bathroom I got a better look at him: khakis pants, a white and blue striped polo shirt, carefully disheveled blond hair. He thanked Ashley again and walked out to his car. I turned to her and said, "Yeah, I'd definitely have kept it."