Friday, April 16, 2010

Funny Money

One thing I love about vending machines that require purchases greater than your average soft drink is that from the wrinkled $20 you force feed into the scanner, you get $1 gold coins for change. Maybe it's the inner pirate in me, but there's something quite awesome about gold dollar coins that makes me giddy.

Last weekend, an automated parking lot in Philly spit out my change, not in the familiar Sacagawea dollars, but some other golden coin. I turned it over and stared. My brow wrinkled "Millard Fillmore? Is this real money?" I mean, nothing against Millard, we share the same birthday for god's sake, but I found it hard to believe he got a coin. And it's not exactly beyond the scope of Philly shadiness to stuff false coins in vending machines. Either way, I put in my wallet, figuring I'd be able to pass it off in some alternate dimension where Fillmore was a time traveler who saved the Titanic from sinking.

It's not unlike me to keep some funny money in wallet. (Not counterfeits...I grew out of that racket in college).

For the past 25 years, I've kept a Lando Calrissian coin in my wallet despite it's cumbersome silver-dollar proportions. I know it's not legal tender in this galaxy, but you never know when you'll find yourself in some galaxy far, far away. If that happens, my Lando coin will be my salvation.

I used to have a Canadian dime a few weeks ago. I passed it off on teller working the till a local retail outfit. Though, with the current exchange rate, I didn't nearly get the satisfaction from it that I used to from dumping Canuck coin on unsuspecting wage earners.

(Note: Some research confirmed the existence of the Fillmore coin as the first of a series of Presidential Dollars...really.)

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