Toll Road, Slot Machine, Whatever

Back in March, I regaled you with a tale of how the lack of human beings staffing booths on the Indiana Toll Road jobbed Jenny and me out of $7.25. Yesterday, on my way to Cedar Point with my buddies Michael and Sean, the marvels of this automation proved their worth yet again.

I went to pay our $4.20 toll—the correct charge this time—with a $20 bill. Almost as soon as I inserted it into the machine, I heard coins starting to hit a metal tray. Yes, this was really happening:

I was getting my $15.80 back exclusively in change.
My mind began to swirl as I contemplated whether I’d be able to scoop all of it up and, provided I could, if my change tray would hold everything. It didn’t turn out to be quite as dire of a situation as I initially thought, however, as $15 worth came back in the form of these:
That right there is a $1 gold piece imprinted with the visage of William Henry Harrison; among the deluge were other entries in the obscure U.S. president lineup, including coins sporting the faces of James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, and James Monroe.
I felt like I had just seized a Spanish galleon or bought some putt-putt tokens, not paid a toll. I’m still not convinced they’re legal tender for debts public or private.
At least pop music wasn’t the inspiration for this series. I don’t know that I could bring myself to spend Tiffany or the Fine Young Cannibals.


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