In debt to the bank … and Jack in the Box.

I ripped off Jack in the Box 20 cents.

Wasn’t intentional.

By airing that publicly, I risk arrest. It's a risk that conscience and honesty require.

I’ve one vice, one indulgence. The Old Overholt rye whiskey ain't it; that’s a necessity to living.

The indulgence is the Oreo shake specifically from Jack in the Box. There’s a post in there waiting for another time. Today’s about my thieving, unintentional.

Some of you might’ve noticed the similiarities between certain nickels and quarters in circulation, in size, weight, edges and features, particularly at quick glance.

Many is the occasion when I’ve paused during a purchase to bring coin to eyes for close inspection or, as often, laid change on the counter, only to be told by the waiting clerk that x-amount more is needed.

Dang that nickel that looks like a quarter!

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really it was. Well, OK, technically the rain had let up to a drizzle but it was storming somewhere.

And a midnight Oreo shake beckoned. And thus I was at a drive-through, because the lobby was locked.

The total came to $3.27. I handed the older Hispanic lady with a missing front tooth, might've been two, $20.27 for a straight $17 back.

So I was surprised when $16 and coins were returned, so I mentioned that I'd given her 27 cents so the change should be a flat $17.

Chattering behind the window then a woman of apparent authority appeared to open the register and correct the transaction. As I drove off, it suddenly occurred: Maybe it was one of those danged nickels that look like quarters again! I shorted Jack in the Box 20 cents, unintentionally.

I wasn’t about to U-turn to the drive-through. Have you ever tried to give random money at a fast-food joint?! Registers aren't designed for it; it carries half the complications of applying for home loans.

So I carried onward with my shake. And my guilt. I'm remaining alert for the means and opportunity to return that "stolen" 20 cents into the universe.

Man, if I made a living thieving, I'd be broke and emaciated.

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