The Double Tailed Quarters

There was a time in the 80s when times were really good in the construction business. I was flying high, as was Kenny and our friend Coy. We all had our own businesses but we worked together at times, hiring each other’s companies to help out on projects. Kenny & Coy had a lot more in common with each other than with me. During that phase of their lives they each were without the benefit of a wife at the time or at least they acted like it. They worked hard and partied hard as the old saying goes. Now me, I was mostly a home body, not wanting to even think about how much child support for 5 boys might cost, I was home every night.

We ate lunch together almost daily and that like everything else always turned into a game of chance. We all 3 would get a quarter out and simultaneously flipping it in the air and palm it. When showing it, the odd man would be the one to buy. We did that for a long time when one day I was visiting with Madeline’s grandfather, Pops. He was a very accomplished machinist. I got him to shave the faces off of 4 quarters, leaving each ½ the original thickness. I then took them and super glued them together to produce 2 quarters with tails on both sides.

I guess because I was thinking back to the hay hauling days or some other times that I may have not been treated fairly by my brother, I picked Coy as my accomplice. So from that moment on if we had coffee I would intentionally show a head up on another quarter so it assured that Coy or I would lose. But when we had big juicy steaks, the special coins would always be used to insure that Kenny paid. Besides the money savings, the best part was seeing Kenny’s total disgust with losing. He really doesn’t like losing.

It came time for the 3 of us to go to Utah on a hunting trip. We rented a motorhome for the trip. Couple of thousand dollars for that. Yep Kenny lost. Filled it up with beverages and such for several hundred more dollars. Nothing but the finest brands. Yep, Kenny lost.

Sometime after we returned from the trip (that trip is a story unto itself – more on that another day) we each carelessly stuck out special quarters in a pay phone and they were gone forever.

For whatever reason one day we told Kenny about it. He swell up like an old toad for a couple of days and wouldn’t even play odd man out with us. Heck I don’t think he would even meet us for lunch. Soon things returned to normal and he still gets testy now when someone brings up the subject of the double tailed quarters.

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