Acme Savings and Own

My souvenir stories are in a completely wrong order… this one is the ’96 trip, the first one I did while in England. A colleague of mine was interested in visiting the US, so we bought Greyhound tickets that gave us unlimited travel for two weeks so we travelled up and down the East Coast and a little bit inland – Boston in the north, Washington DC in the south, and Toronto in the west. And New York in the middle, obviously.

The first night after our arrival in New York is still making me thank my lucky stars that we got out of it alive and well. You see, when we got from the JFK to Port Authority (a huge bus terminal in NY), it was late at night. We had booked ourselves at a youth hostel but it was close to Harlem, so we needed a cab. While we were trying to find a vacant cab, we must’ve looked like two stupid tourists (which we were, to be honest) so this one guy starts to talk to us, asking if we need a place for the night. And for the life of me, I don’t know what insanity struck us to make us follow this guy to some small hostel just around the corner. The place was so suspicious that I wish I would already forget it… but as it turned out, nothing bad happened. They didn’t even ask for a payment up front so in the morning when we were about to leave, we didn’t see any personnel who would take our money. I can’t remember how long we waited, or if we just left the money on a table, but we paid in any case and got out of there with nothing worse than owing the youth hostel payment for the night we didn’t show up for. I would never, ever do such a thing now!


Despite our sorry lack of judgement, the trip was fine. Some mishaps along the way of course, like for example not hopping off the bus on the American side of Niagara Falls (that town is so small that we didn’t realise we were already there), so we ended up in Canada and then had to find our way back to the customs and the US. Well at least we got to see the Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.

So, long story and I haven’t even arrived to the picture yet. I used to be a big Warner Brothers fan – Wile E. Coyote and Marvin the Martian were my absolute favourites (still are!). There’s a Warner Bros store in London but that didn’t stop me from visiting the one in New York as well. But it’s the brown thing behind the pins which is the real deal. It’s an Acme wallet, which I didn’t actually get in the New York store, but I found it in some marketplace in Boston. The cover says ”Savings and Own” and ”We don’t loan, we own” with a greedy looking Daffy Duck surrounded by bags of money. On the inside, it says ”It’s mine, it’s mine, it’s all mine!”. I am known to say that out loud sometimes… so for almost 20 years, I’ve carried this wallet with me. Honestly, if I would lose it or got it stolen, I wouldn’t miss the content. The cards can be replaced, and there’s never so much cash in it that it would hurt me. But it would really hurt me if I lost the wallet itself. It’s mine, it’s mine, IT’S ALL MINE!

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