Because it is time. The American public hasn’t been using them for about a decade. They have become so worthless, that people give them to each other as a matter of routine. Get your change, pick out the pennies, and leave them there for the next guy. Need a penny or two? Well, there should be a few there for you, because the last guy sure as fuck didn’t want his. That’s the game.
I hate when stores don’t want to play by the game. If a store doesn’t have a little tray, I am immediately annoyed. The hell if I’m fishing another dollar out of my pants because it came to $5.02. When that cash register rings up $5.02 and you look at me, we’re fixing to have a long staredown. I’ll return an item before I break another dollar and let you give me three more of the fucking things in return. And that item probably had a profit margin of at least $.03 to you, so who’s the loser now? Get it? As long as they’re still around, you better play by the game.
When there is no tray, my normal routine has become to fish through my change and immediately pick them out and deposit them into the trash. Not only are they worthless, but they are disgusting, and I’m not carrying them around. Most have been in circulation for 20 years, and as the stepchild of your change purse, they have been given no love. They live in ashtrays, parking lots, and huge jars owned by 72 year old men who remember when they were worth something. Old copper is gross enough to start with. Add to the fact that they are covered in gum and shit and filth, and you need to wash your hands every time one touches you.
Think about this: a stamp costs $0.37. 37 pennies weigh 6 ounces. It takes about two stamps to mail 6 ounces of stuff. Therefore, if I wanted to mail someone 37 cents in pennies, it would cost me 74 cents. By my definition, it’s pretty clear cut. When a monetary unit can’t afford to mail itself, it’s worthless. Don’t get all cocky either, nickels…….you aren’t far behind. (I don’t really know how much 37 pennies weigh, that was just a guess. I have a scale in my office, and would find out, but I can’t. I threw out all my fucking pennies. Just trust me though….I’m right on this general principal. I know by instinct that they can’t mail themselves.)
Vending machines won’t even take them. They hired engineers to assure that any penny which entered the slot would be immediately routed straight to the change opening. Think about the engineering involved. Dimes, which are smaller than pennies, go right into the till, but they had to create some sort of mechanism that would sort out and eliminate any penny that enters the machine, lest they get involved with the REAL money that is in there, and gross it all up.
Have you ever tried to give one to a bum? Seriously. I almost got in a fight in San Francisco over the fact that I gave a bum some pennies. The man had no home, was hungry, cold, and hopeless, yet when I gave him a handful of pennies, he tried to spit on me. Fortunately, his lack of front teeth seriously affected his aiming abilities and I easily dodged the saliva-based projectile, but nonetheless.
Isn’t this enough evidence for Alan Greenspan and the Fed to say enough is enough? I now summarize my case:
1. Pennies are considered worthless, even by homeless people
2. Pennies are disgusting
3. Pennies can’t even mail themselves
4. Americans are actually giving them to strangers, like some nationwide game of hot potato
5. Vending machines are even too smart to take them. Their job is to take money, not pennies.
Case Closed. Please, Federal Reserve, I beg you. End the game.
I’m done with the fucking pennies.