Yeah, I know it’s hard to be a crank at this time of year when everything is wonderful and full of love and yes, I love my mom and (sometimes) my life, but hey, SOMEONE’S GOT TO DO IT! So here’s your Truth Teller, Dr. Crankenfuss, once again at your service in pointing out yet another dumb bunny thing we all have to live with. And today’s obvious target is our MONEY SYSTEM! Yeah, that’s right, the way we count our money in the good ol’ USA is INSANE, at least when it comes to our coins.
I figured this out when I was trying to show a little brother of one of my friends how to count money. Now I admit the little dude isn’t quite so adept as I am at picking up new concepts. That might be because he’s only five years old, but all I’m saying is I was being very patient with him and my teaching skills were — how shall I put this modestly? — awesome. But he still couldn’t catch on. And I ended up confusing myself because I realized that whoever designed our coins must have had a PhD (Pretty High Dim-wittedness). First let me post a picture of our coinage. (Ooh, another cool word!)At first glance, they look quite nice. Of course, we should be proud of our money. We’re Americans, aren’t we? We’re the best, aren’t we? If we did it, it’s right without question, isn’t it?
Uh, in this case the answer is a big fat NO. And it took a five-year-old to prove it to me. Here goes. Well, first off, let me say that the pictures on our coins are fine. I don’t know why some of those heads are pointing right and some left but I guess that’s the way the designer had them sit that day. Also we won’t discuss why Roosevelt, Washington, Kennedy, and Anthony had to be decapitated for their portraits while the others seemed to have kept their bodies. That’s a discussion for another day. Let’s just concentrate on size.
The penny comes first. And then comes the nickel which is worth five times more. Now logically it should be five times bigger, which would make sense in the mind of any little guy, but hey, we more sophisticated types can see why we didn’t do that. By the time we got to the dollar coin, we’d be carrying around a manhole cover! So we made the nickel a bit bigger than the penny. L’il Jojo got that part. (We’ll call the student L’il Jojo for the sake of honesty cause that’s what he’s really called. Well, actually it’s Jojo. I added the “L’il” to make him sound cooler.)
Now comes the stupid part. When I tried to explain that the dime was worth twice as much as the nickel, L’il Jojo didn’t get it. (And that was after I tried to assure him that George Washington really hadn’t had his head cut off when he was posing for this, but I could still tell Jojo wasn’t so sure.) He actually said, ‘Why is this one smaller than that?” I couldn’t answer. (So unusual for me.)
Luckily, the dime seemed to be the one exception because the quarter and the half-dollar went nicely. He seemed to be catching on. Then we got to the dollar coins. It was obvious this was going to take way longer than I’d thought. First off, the dollar coins are barely bigger than a quarter and they’re way smaller than the half-dollar. Then there are those fake edges on the Anthony dollar and the different color for the Sacagawea dollar, which makes it look a bit like a penny (to L’il Jojo anyway).
In the end, L’il Jojo got very frustrated because he wasn’t getting it and I was frustrated too. I had figured this would take five minutes max. Wrong! I also realized he’d be an easy target if I felt like, say, trading some of my pennies for the dimes he had in his piggy bank — that’s where we’d gotten all the coins in the first place — but I didn’t think that would have been the nicest thing to do, especially after eating all the cookies I’d just had at his house.
Well, I think I’ve made my case. Isn’t there anyone out there who’s figured this out way before me? I mean I’m only in middle school. If it’s obvious to me, why wasn’t it fixed before I came along? (Good) answers would be appreciated.
I hope I gave you something to think about. I gotta go. Daniel needs some advice about his book before he publishes it. After listening to me, he may have to delay it a day or two, but he still hopes to have it on Amazon, IPad, Nook, computers, everything digital, within a week.
From your bestest advisor, that voice crying out in the wilderness against all that is dumb and stupid, it’s so long for now from