CoinFest 2006, the county’s biggest coin show ever, was in full swing, and Bradley was positively goose-bumpy as he walked down the main aisle of the exhibition hall. To either side of him, glittering coins stretched in seemingly endless, intoxicating rows. So many to choose from! Bradley thought hungrily. The young numismatist reminded himself to relax, and not to pick the first pretty thing he saw. It was much easier said than done.
After browsing for several minutes, one particularly well-stocked booth caught his eye. Bradley slowly walked the length of the table until he spied an 1882 Morgan Silver Dollar in mint condition. He gasped. Somehow, among the trove of sparkling delights, Bradley knew this coin was The One.
“I’ll take it,” he said, tapping assuredly on the glass display case. The man behind the table nodded approvingly as slipped the coin into a paper bag and handed it to Bradley, who laid a neat stack of bills on the table. Clutching the bag against his chest, he then sprinted to the exit, oblivious to every other piece of currency around him.
When Bradley returned to his apartment, he drew the curtains and lit a fragrant candle, which he placed beside an arrangement of roses on the dining room table. Then he gently slid the silver dollar from the bag and examined the coin in the flickering light. What he saw was the face of a goddess – pristine and shimmering, impossibly beautiful. What was she thinking beneath that demure gaze? he wondered. She was a mysterious and complicated woman, and that only thrilled Bradley more. His fingertips trembled as he carefully removed the coin from its protective Mylar sheath.
Suddenly, he spied something else sticking out of the bag, something completely, fantastically, unexpected: a 1910 Barber Quarter! The coin dealer must have accidentally dropped it in the bag, and now Bradley could scarcely believe his good fortune. Unlike the silver dollar, the Barber was well-worn and tarnished, its dull mintmark barely visible. Oh, she’s been around the block a couple times, Bradley thought excitedly as he walked into the living room. A real dirty girl.
He placed the two coins together on the sofa, and they made a soft, sensuous clink. That set Bradley’s heart racing, and the exhilaration in his pants soon became more than he could bear. “Don’t worry, ladies,” he whispered, unbuckling his belt with one hand, caressing the coins with the other. “There’s plenty of Bradley Appleton to go around!”