Psst. Hey, Buddy. Wanna Buy A Nickel?

February 21, 2012


The Obama administration has asked Congress to approve changing the materials that pennies and nickels are made from, recently.  On one hand, you might say “Seriously?  That’s where their attention is going?”  On the other hand, you might think this is a wise move, considering that pennies and nickels cost more than twice as much as they’re worth to make.  Ponder that for a moment: The US goes in to debt just minting its money.  Kind of like a Zen exercise to encompass our budget problems. A haiku, perhaps.

Money costs money.
Coins spending paper at birth.
Penny for your debts?

Some have even suggested doing away with the penny, but whenever that gets proposed, politicians cite these mythical groups of people who launch violent, fervent protest against it.  I think they should have to name names.  Are these the same people who write angry letters if a newspaper thinks about dropping The Wizard of Id from the comics?  Because I don’t think these people are real, much less that there are so many of them that politicians need to fear angering the penny aficionados.

Oh, ho ho! Oh, man, with the golfing and the caddies, and the expecting it to be a sword...!

But, let it never be said that I am not here to help.  Why, there are many ways to fix this problem, such as:

Well, the groundwater can catch fire now, but look at all these coins!

Privatize minting money.  Give the contract to Haliburton.  It’ll ensure a profit motive and get the government out of my money!  Sure, nickels will cost $1.80 and be carcinogenic, but think of the streamlining!

Make pennies out of smiles. Every time you have a penny in change coming, the clerk could simply say, “Okay, that’ll be 4.99. Out of five?  Thanks!” *smile*.  Two pennies = smile and a wink; three = smile, wink, compliment; four pennies = the clerk punches you in the face.  (motivation to brush up on our math skills)

Create a coin that condenses several pennies, say, 25, in to a single coin.  Call it a TwiFiPenny Piece.

Make the coins smaller until they’re cost effective.  Nickels could be about the size of a shirt button, and a penny would be like a flat BB.  This would be helpful to blind people, too, in terms of keeping track of which coins are which by feel.  A dollar coin, for example, could be the size of a medium pizza.

Go back to the good old days of bartering pelts and shiny beads. Back when life was simpler.  “I shall offer this coyote hide and piece of turquoise for that slurpee and bag of Funions, good sir,” you’d say with such old-timey class.


Sorry, all I've got is change.

Make the coins out of dirt.  This seems obvious to me.  We don’t use the phrase “dirt cheap” for nothing.

Make your own pennies by simply taking a hole-punch to a dollar bill.

Make the value of the coin whatever it costs to make.  If a nickel is now worth 11.73 cents?  So be it.

Make nickels out of nickel, for the sake of accuracy, but only make about 50 of them.  Pennies could be made out of old tires, to offset the cost.

See?  Done.  Fixed.  Your welcome, America.  Now will the thugs from the Penny/Wizard of Id Coalition please stop threatening me?

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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29 Comments on “Psst. Hey, Buddy. Wanna Buy A Nickel?”

  1. Casey Marriott Says:

    I think the President will be contacting you soon regarding your ingenious solutions. Better make sure you sit by the phone.

    Given Australia rid itself of small coinage in the 1990’s, I think USA can safely assume that abolishing nickels will not cause an economic breakdown. We even considered knocking out the 5c. What can you even buy for a nickel anymore?

    Then again, you got rid of Queen and we didn’t. So, let’s call it even in terms of progression.

    (p.s. if you melt enough nickels and sell the metal, you could technically make a profit).


  2. susielindau Says:

    I like your idea of making pennies out of smiles. Hahaha!
    You have some great ones here and should definitely write your Congressman or send them to the Denver Mint!


  3. gojulesgo Says:

    Did you write that haiku? Of course you did. I love it. You have such old-timey class.


  4. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I long for the good ol’ days on the prairie when Ma used to pay for Laura’s entire wardrobe with a basket of eggs.


  5. madtante Says:

    I think it was back in hs they were talking about cancelling the penny. Wish they would. So dumb.


  6. BrainRants Says:

    On a serious note, I don’t know what to think but believe keeping the penny is merely catering to a vocal minority.

    On the less-serious side, make them out of plastic if we have to keep them. They’ll still cost more than $.01 to make, but less than what they cost now.


  7. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    I worked in a bank back around the whole 9/11 thing , way back then the Fed has been trying to find ways to discourage the use of money (& I’m sure its been going on longer).

    I would LOVE to go back to the bartering system….anyone who has ever witnessed crazed bargain shoppers at a yard sale or lining up for black friday knows that theres a sucker out there that will buy(trade) anything. But the hole puch idea…. I’m warming up to that!


  8. alleybeth Says:

    Get rid of the penny?!?!?! But why would I want to carry a single paper bill around when I can carry about one hundred metal coins?


  9. The Good Greatsby Says:

    And wouldn’t consumers be happier if the cost of everything was rounded up to the nearest dollar to avoid the need for any change?


  10. Shannon Pruitt from 'Mynewfavoriteday' Says:

    Pretty sure you have solved the issue and that Obama’s administration will soon be collecting dirt.

    Hilarious! What will be the next issue you take on?


  11. Rocket Says:

    Mud pennies. This needs to happen. I’d start a petition if I weren’t so lazy.


  12. benzeknees Says:

    Every time someone up here in Canada mentions abolishing the penny, my husband goes on a tirade about how consumers would be shocked by the increase in prices we would be looking at by doing this. Because, of course, the retailers would always round up instead of down, so everything of course would cost more.
    Canada went to the Loonie & Toonie because it cost too much money to print those small bills. Other than the difficulty of getting used to carrying around the larger coins & the wear & tear on your pockets – this experiment seems to have worked in Canada. Maybe Obama could offset the cost of making pennies & nickels by coming up with coins for $1 & $2?
    Although this may cause a problem for exotic dancers – where would they stick the $1 & $2 coins?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Every decade or so we try $1 coins, and we consistently respond with a resounding, “Nah.”


      • benzeknees Says:

        But I loved your Sacagaweha! (not a clue about the spelling) Honestly, it was a good thing when Canada switched – I’d much rather have a one dollar coin than a ripped up, taped up, crinkled one dollar bill from who knows where. (Although I’m sure there are some men out there who would love to know the dollar bill in their hand came from the g-string of some stripper!) Can’t do it with a coin!


        • The Byronic Man Says:

          The only bad thing about dollar coins is that they’re sooooo easy to spend.


          • benzeknees Says:

            At first yes – I agree! But it doesn’t take you long to realize the value of the coins. You look in your wallet & you only have 10 dollars left & you were sure you had 20 dollars. Then you look in your pocket & realize you have 9 one dollar coins too, so you do have almost 20 dollars.
            It’s also easier than running around looking for change if you want to buy something from a vending machine. You have the change right in your pocket!


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