4/1/15

Pennies . . .

The most interesting part about the one-cent coin (aka the "penny" (as made/issued by the US Mint)) is that the ONLY reason it still exists is nostalgia, ego, and emotional ties to the little, metallic beauty.

Don't believe me? It is totally true. I mean sure, sure - there are actual logistical reasons (the ability to price to the - well - penny, the costs associated with removing them from circulation and replacing them with nickels (much more expensive to produce), and the inevitable next debate . . . getting rid of the aforementioned nickel) but MOST of it is about emotion. "We" don't want to get rid of the penny.

Pennies are wishes in fountains. Pennies are, when in pair, the approximated, "two cents" value of your thoughts (wanted or not). Pennies are our last bastion of common courtesy on the counter of convenience stores. Pennies are the first money our parents gave us. Pennies are (maybe) the first coin we almost choked to death on shortly after. Pennies are, well, PENNIES!

And, in the spirit of how we build logic, rules, and objective facts, factoids, talking and proof points around our subjective heart's desire, I have to say that pennies are just one small (in size, value, and relative weight) example of how we romanticize what we want to make it into something that we need.

There is NOTHING about the penny we would not move past. Quickly. We can have nickel trays near cash registers. We can offer people a "dime for your thoughts" or "my tarnished nickel" (when sharing thoughts). We can easily choke to death on the nickels our parents give us as children. It wouldn't even take a generation to forget it.

The best part? Unlike the other things in our life that we really, really don't need (Lena Dunham's "humor", bad relationships, self doubt, horrible jobs, M*A*S*H reruns, etc.) we would still be able to hold on to the penny - it would be as useless as it is now but you could keep one, two, or pockets full.