Money for Nothing ... and T.P. for free!: A satirical crime thriller


Once upon a time, a female career student with excesses in smoking and gothic clothing had bought a bottle of hard liquor from a supermarket located in the Vienna suburb of Erdberg close to Fiakerplatz. She paid with a ten and received two coins in change: a twenty-cent piece and a single Eurocent. When hastily trying to stow the liquor in her backpack, her tobacco-browned fingers lost grip of both coins, which fell under the checkout counter and remained there at a secluded place where neither customers nor personnel could discover them. The situation of the two lonesome coins got worse when an employee wiped them farther into oblivion with a floor mop into a gap between the mopboard and the floor.

Despite the fact the floor was wiped clean at the end of each working day, cleaning equipment happened to get as close as a few millimeters when it was used, the chances that the two lost coins might get recovered shrank day by day. In the course of endless months, it became evident to the electrons inside their alloy made of copper, aluminum, zinc, and tin that they couldn't get free from their imprisonment to see themselves happily reentering their purpose of existence: the regular flow of money. With all remaining might in their quantum-size ganglia, they longed to serve as small change again but it was all in vain. The earliest moment of getting discovered seemed the installation of a new scanner, but since the chain store had been just recently opened, that seemed ages away. In fact, the tragedy of the twenty-cent piece and the one-cent piece took place at the very opening of the store when the chairman of the discount market chain personally attended the grand opening in Vienna-Erdberg. Would it take until the demolition of the site for the coins to be freed? Would they still be fit for use as means of payment then? Already now they were hardly of value. They would just possibly remain in the rubble even after having been detected since nobody would care. Perhaps some employee would throw them into a jar together with other worthless coins and let them rot there, a transfer from one jail to another. Some stoned student of communication sciences all dressed in weird gothic funeral fashion and distracted by lover's grief had ruined the exciting and diversified career of those two zvutshgerl's [Austrian for 'small ones'] during a fit of comfort shopping in the Erdberg ROA store as she had passed on her distress to the coins, unknowingly and accidentally, by sending them to the floor.

As time went by and weeks became months, an unprecedented phenomenon occurred between the two of them. We are sorry no scientist will ever have an opportunity to investigate it; neither the Heisenberg model of localized magnetic moments, nor the Stoner theory of band electron magnetism will ever be applied or tested by the happenings under the counter. We simply have to declare it a result of the combination of deadly dull boredom and absence of perspective that created strange means of communication between the coins, chatting about memories and history stored in some unknown quantum trace of the alloy.

This is how our story starts, narrated by Koin, Sr. - what the twenty-cent piece calls himself - to the smaller Koin, Jr. during long days and nights when they were kept prisoner of a discount market of the ROA-Group, stuck deep under a checkout counter...

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Money for Nothing ... and T.P. for free!: A satirical crime thriller