A Musician’s Economics

Dear Diary:

From the School for Strings on West 54th Street, a petite mom and her daughter exit. The girl has a child-size violin case slung over one shoulder, while mom has a full-size cello case strapped to her back.

Suddenly, I spot a pair of dollar bills lying on the sidewalk between us, as does a smartly dressed woman coming from the opposite direction. Assuming they belong to the string players, she scoops up the money and calls back to them, “Did you drop these?” The viola-lugging mom turns quickly, shakes her head, and keeps walking.

I continue behind mom and daughter and hear the following exchange:
Daughter: “How do you know the money wasn’t yours?”
Mom: “It was already on the sidewalk when we walked by.”
Daughter: “It was?” (Mom nods.) “So if you saw it, why didn’t you pick it up?”
Mom: “With this thing on my back, I don’t bend over for anything less than a five.”


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