A dollar in the wishing well To make your dreams come true. You must've wished that I'd be rich. I'll take more coins, Thank YOU! -B.C. Byron
I’ve never really understood wishing wells. Why do so many humans have the impulse to chuck money in water? The most bizarre thing about them is that a good number of people wish for money as they toss their hard-earned coins in. Even if they didn’t wish for money, it’s a high probability that the thing they wished for could be bought with money. Maybe they should be wishing for self-restraint or a book about fiscal responsibility instead. Maybe they could just jump in and take the pile of money in the bottom and go wish shopping today. I don’t get it.
It’s not just wells and fountains that feed on this money-tossing impulse, either. My sister had a tree stump in front of her house that shared the same street as the local grade school. The prior owner, or some other enterprising fellow, had drilled quarter sized holes into the stump and filled one of them with a shiny new quarter – a “seed” so passers-by would get the idea. When my sister moved in, they found a pleasant surprise every couple of days as school kids pushed coins into the old tree on their way home. Her kids got a few of their wishes fulfilled after some prying with tools, but I don’t think the other kids got much out of the deal. This made me wonder how far people might go with the wishing well idea. If, instead of a candy jar, I put a jar full of dollars on my desk at work and wrote the words “wishing jar” on it, will I be able to get my coworkers to part with their bucks? Maybe I can modernize the idea and make a “wishing slider” where people can slide a credit card and record their wants into a microphone. On the screen, users will find a “how bad do you want this wish” meter which they can slide to the right to indicate how much the machine will charge. You laugh, but an old stump with quarters worked fine. Why not a wish slider? I’d better go patent this idea.
A side note: Many wishing wells are actually used to collect donations for charities, which is actually pretty cool of them. So check with the wishing well owner before getting that snorkel and going coin diving.