Rob Cockerham of cockeyed.com is a sociologist provocateur that we've featured quite a few times here on Boing Boing. His experiments never fail to delight and illuminate.
Recently Rob found $60 in parking lot and when he reported it on Craigslist he received three replies. Intrigued, he posted another (this time, ersatz) announcement that he'd found money and wanted to return it to its rightful owner. Look how four "different" people replied to his annoucement:
Catherine: I was shopping at the Mervyns on camp wisdom and three hundred dollard fell out of my wallett it was twenties and one hundreds. It was my kids back to school money and have been loosing my mind. Not sure if you found all of it or part. but please email me back either way. Thank you, Catherine (Fri. 4:36pm)Cockeyed.com presents: You Found my Money!
Jack: My wife and I where shopping at Mervyns and lost 260.00 it was one fifty one ten five twenties and one one hundred dollar bill. We where at the Mervyns on Plano Rd. In Dallas please let me know if you found any part of this money we would greatly appreciate it. (Fri. 4:40pm)
Rob: Hi Catherine, I'm sorry, I found more money than that, so I think it must be someone else's. I am very sorry. Good luck. (Mon 10:30am)
Rob: Hi Jack, I'm sorry, I found the money in the shoe department at the Camp Wisdom Mervyn's store. Good luck. (Mon 10:31am)
Bella: Hello I was shopping at the mervyns on camp wisdom with my family I was in the shoe department and jewlrey department. somewhere in either department I lost three hundred dollars. and I am going out of my mind ! please email me back and let me know if you found it. I have been worried sick. thank you (10:35 am!!)
Rob: Hi Bella, That is the same store where I found the money, but I found almost $800 wrapped in paper. I'm sorry. It might even be from the store itself, so I've been planning to go and ask the manager if their deposit was missing or something. Good luck. (Mon 12:50 pm)
Eric: I saw your post on cl just as I was going to put one up. my boss told me about cl. I lost some money at mervyns on camp wisdom I had just come from the bank and stopped in to get some sneakers. the money I lost is my rent money. it was wrapped in paper and was 780.00 . my wife is needless to say unhappy with me for loosing it. I called the store and no one has turnend it in. if you can email me back. thank you. (Mon 12:54 pm)
Bella: thank you for emailing me back. someone just called me who found my money! so thankfully I got it back.
Rob: Hi Eric, Ok, thanks for writing. I called the store and tried to talk to the manager to see if it might be misplaced or stolen from the register, but she was not available. I hung up after 7 minutes on hold. Anyway, I'm waiting for them to call me back too. I want to be sure I have the right person because it was a lot of money. Can you tell me anything about the paper? -Rob
Eric: It was wrapped in white paper, I am loosing my mind paniking because that was almost my whole pay how could I possibly recoop that you know?
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.