When you’re out of options, go for the money

Poll: Americans want to keep dollar bill (Yahoo! News)

It’s been a pretty busy week for me. I’ve had more than the usual amount of drama and occurrence at work and at home. At the office, I gave my two-weeks notice that I’m heading to greener pastures (pun both intended and not). At home, my wife is being forcibly adjusted to Stay At Home Mommy-dom, and dare I say it, it’s not exactly her life’s calling.

So why, then, do I bring to the table a fairly pithy piece from the AP about another dollar coin being rolled out (pun definitely intended) to the public? Because I love the dollar coin, and frankly I just don’t want to talk about that other shit.

First, for my foreign visitors, it’s true: we do not widely use the coin equivalent of our basic unit of currency. I know that in many of your countries, the opposite is true: you can’t get a One Euro note, and there is no paper Loonie. But here in the States, you have what amounts to a option with one choice: a Dollar Bill that’s accepted by practically every vending machine or checkout clerk in the land; or, a dollar coin that’s so obscure that even the wino outside the local 7-11 will throw it back at you and scream “Fuck Canada!”

So back to the story: apparently, due to the success of the State Quarters (and I love me them State Quarters), the US Mint is beginning a new series of coins, featuring the visages of US Presidents on new Dollar coins. From the story:

The latest dollar coin will bear Washington’s image, followed later this year by those of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. A different president will appear on the golden dollar coins every three months.

And my favorite:

“I really don’t see any use for it,” Larry Ashbaugh, a retiree from Bristolville, Ohio, said of the dollar coin. “We tried it before. It didn’t fly.”

Thanks, Larry. God forbid we try anything again, right?

Anyway, I think this is both a great idea and a horrible one. It’s a great idea because the dollar coin, as a whole, is a great idea. Dollar bill acceptors are still wholly unreliable. More often than not, what you need from a vending machine is at least a dollar. So why not go to a coin? Except…most vending machines don’t even accept dollar coins! WTF!

It’s a terrible idea, though, because now some complete jackasses will get coins! In what world do Calvin Coolidge, Millard Fillmore, and Warren G. Harding deserve to have their heads on hard currency? Seriously. I predict a tremendous decline in the call of “Heads!” at a coin flip. Who wants Dick Nixon staring up at them when they win? You’ll feel like a cheater before you’ve even gotten the game on.

Anyway, I’m sure the naysayers like Blue Plate Larry from Ohio will still rule the day. My own wife said “we as a country don’t know how to use a Dollar coin.” So it’s got an uphill battle, to be sure. But let’s face reality: life isn’t getting any cheaper, and pretty soon we’ll be looking at $2 bottles of Coke in the office break room. Better make sure you’ve got some well-ironed Georges in your wallet.


One response to “When you’re out of options, go for the money

  1. I love the Loonie, and hate the US Dollar bill. I also love the state quarters. Last time I was in New York I made a bartender go through the till to find me as many state quarters as he could. He was really good about it.

    I think that eventually the dollar coin will fly down there with you guys. Don’t give up, fight the good fight.

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