Better than a bank: where to stash cash


  Editor’s note: Daryl is off this week. Below is one of his favorite columns from the past.

On days when I have nothing constructive to do at work, I sometimes go on the Internet just to browse around with the hope that I might stumble across a good idea for a future column. For instance, the other day I ran across a story entitled “Scientific study finds that drinking three cups of coffee a day can shrink a woman’s breasts,” which of course sounded like a pretty darn good column idea to me.

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

“Keep looking,” said the owner/editor of the News-Ledger, Steve Marschke, when I told him about the new column idea I had just run across on the Internet.


“Well, other than all the obvious reasons, it also breaks the first rule of column writing.”

“Which is?”

“That you should always try to write about a subject that most of our readers can identify with, something common to most everyone’s experience, and since not every woman in West Sacramento is interested in having smaller breasts, it’s my opinion that you’ve got yourself a pretty lousy column idea there.”

“But most every woman in West Sacramento drinks coffee,” I quickly reminded Steve, looking for an angle to salvage my new column idea.

“Keep looking!”

So, having struck out in the health news area, I turned my attention to what the Internet had to say about personal finance, figuring that everyone would be especially interested in that subject with all the thievery that has been going on back on Wall Street lately, and I quickly came across something which I was absolutely sure would make for a great column.

“Hey, Steve,” I yelled out through the open door which separates our two offices, “how about this for a good column idea – the crazy places where people like to hide their money?”

“Hey, now that’s not bad,” answered Steve. “With people everywhere currently worried about their own banks going out of business, I bet more people than ever are just keeping their hard-earned money at home and hiding it under a mattress or something.”

“That’s exactly what this article says, and you wouldn’t believe some of the places people use for hiding their money.”

“Like what?”

“Well, this one lady hides her extra money in a tampon box, figuring that would be the last place her husband would ever look for his beer money. And here’s another really good one – some guy puts dozens of hundred-dollar bills in a plastic bag and then hides it under the gravel of his big fish aquarium, which is home to a half-dozen or so piranha fish, figuring that a thief wouldn’t want anything to do with all those sharp piranha teeth.”

“That’s pretty funny.”

“Wanna hear some more?”


“Okay, here goes. Inside a curtain rod; inside a roll of toilet paper hidden in the back of a bathroom cabinet; at the bottom of a dirty clothes hamper; in envelopes taped to the back of furniture; in artificial plants; in an old vacuum cleaner that is never used; at the bottom of a basket labeled `dog poo plastic bags’; under a nailed down carpet in the bedroom; in a hollowed-out Bible; inside an old pair of smelly sneakers; in the pockets of old coats hanging in a closet; inside a child’s teddy bear that can be easily opened and sewed back together again; in a mason jar buried in the backyard; under the cat-litter box; and here’s a cute one – inside a piggy bank that this lady puts in her freezer because she thinks that’s the perfect place to keep her cold, hard cash.”

“Very funny!”

“And this one guy says he just puts all of his money under the mattress because his lazy wife is always in bed and he’s pretty sure a thief wouldn’t want anything to do with her. But do you wanna hear my favorite?”


“This one lady hides her money in one of the hundreds of purses she has in her big walk-in closet figuring that most criminals like to get in and out of a place they’re robbing pretty fast and that it would probably take a thief most of a day to go through all of her purses.”

Anyway, after I had finished telling Steve a dozen or so more interesting places where people like to hide their spare money, I asked him where he likes to hide his.

“Well,” said Steve, “I have on occasion left some extra money lying around in my underwear drawer. How about you?”

“I don’t have any extra money, Steve. I work for the News-Ledger!”

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