Dilemma of Riches

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I recently took a vacation to see relatives with my children. My
husband had work commitments and did not come. I was a little
concerned traveling in rural areas but we had the car checked out,
planned to travel in daylight, had snacks and water in a gas-filled tank,
every precaution you can imagine. Instead of a catastrophe, I have a
very different problem. I’m not complaining, but I am in a quandary.
On a remote highway in the west of the state, I noticed a troronado of
cash swirling in the wind off the side of the road. I pulled over,
grabbed everything I saw without noticing the denominations. I looked
around, saw no one, heard nothing, so decided to drive off. It turned
out to be 14 one-hundred dollar bills and no one around, except my
one- and three-year old….
Dilemma of Riches

Dear Riches
No city. No police. No one to turn it in to. Also not a place a woman
and kids want to go wandering around door-knocking saying, Hey do
you want a wad of free money? What a perfect test of moral elasticity.
Are you sure you didn’t see a psychologist with a clipboard lurking in
the bushes? First thing: Run an ad on the local craigslist lost and found
page: Did you lose a green rectangular object in the windstorm on
[date]? If so email x@ with a description. Note: do not use your own
email; set up a dummy account at yahoo or google. Not to stereotype,
but loose hundreds may be part of drug deal. Screen answers for
someone who’s willing to say, I lost money in the wind. Then say you’ll
have the local police come talk to them. If they answer again, go down
that road.
One question is, do you tell your spouse. Another is whether you keep
any or all of the cash. If your kids are too young to understand the
concept of money, you can call it litter pickup and pocket it all, if your
conscience would let you. I am betting not. My recommendation is that
you wait two weeks for the craigslist option to expire. Then give
enough to charity that you can tell the kids it is an object lesson in
honesty. Keep the rest to pay for a treat. Your call what the ratio is,
but I recommend at least 50% to charity, and 100% if you want to
feel extra special.