Believe it or not, this happened to me, despite the extraordinary odds that such could occur. There’s a story to tell, so buckle up, read and gasp, and be grateful it didn’t happen to you!

You can bank on the story’s truth.

As best as I can put it together, I bought lunch for my husband and me – on a whim – at El Pollo Loco, an Orange County chain that made extraordinary chicken tostadas. My husband had been working the soil in his garden, which is possible because we live in Southern California and he welcomed this much-loved meal and its break from his outdoor chore. Rain was expected later in the day and he was hurried to complete the task.

Immediately after handing over the meal bag, the window clerk handed me change from my twenty-dollar bill. I corralled the bill and change in my cupped left hand (I’m a righty)… and I mildly recalled an odd clink, then drove home to my hungry husband. I recall nothing about my seatbelt and shoulder harness, but I likely unlatched the apparatus to extend my body to reach the bag and the change

All was well until the next morning…

My driver’s side seatbelt wouldn’t latch!

Ever the problem solver, I just drew my belt and shoulder harness further across my body, clicked the mechanism into the passenger belt slot, and drove to Bible Study. Unlike Chuck Berry in has ancient rockabilly song, I had a particular place to go. Listen to his tune here:

I made an appointment at the Mercedes dealer where I purchased my car, hoping for a warranty extension, but no! I steeled myself for the expensive purchase and installation of a new seatbelt, glad that I hadn’t maxxed the limit of my MasterCard.

Imagine my relief when the mechanic found that a penny had improbably popped into the cavity of the latch!

Sadly, that penny wasn’t going into a piggy bank. It was scratched and misshapen. I didn’t save it, but I savored the serendipity of its ‘I can’t believe it’ story. It cast new meaning on the phrase, “a penny for your thoughts.”

File this tale under the heading: ‘You can’t make this stuff up.’