The other day, my son, master negotiator that he is, says to me, “Mom, when I get my twenty bucks and buy my (fill in the blank, whatever he’s scheming for), you pay the tax, okay?” Hmm….I thought about that for a moment. That would save him quite a bit of money in the long run, wouldn’t it? I mean, if this were a long-standing deal. Not bad, not bad, as far as money-swindling deals go. He does do chores for the cash, which I sometimes have to take back, you know when I need it. I reserve the right to do this. Of course, to not return the money is punishable by death. High stakes in this household.
It got me thinking though how much those little extra cents cloud the brain, everything being $19.95, or $5.95 or $0.23, etc. You get the picture. As a rule, we accept there’s going to be taxes. That goes without saying. So, taxes, yes, but why can’t we just include them in the overall price? No plus, extra, additional. There’s quite a bit of this going on, isn’t there?
So, for example, that $19.95 would be $20 or $19. Whatever. Just even. $5.95, six bucks or a simple five spot. Everything would just be even, even, even!
I know what you’re thinking. You think I don’t like all those extra numbers because I don’t like math. Well, I did go up to calculus in high school in my final year. See how smart I am? I will admit it was wildly over my head, and while I do appreciate the abstract, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. There was major resistance. Or, maybe it was because I was a little emotionally unstable. My parents were getting a divorce, for reasons that were also beyond my understanding at the time.
Or, could it be, that calculus was at 7:30 in the morning? Who, on earth, can have a calculus class at 7:30 in the morning? Please answer me that. For that matter, who in the world would even take such a class at 7:30 am? Who, in their senior year, would take any class at 7:30 am? It, understandably so, is a bit of a blur. I remember crying at times. Unstable, as I said. My teacher just thought I was having a hard time grasping the concepts. “It’ll come to you.”
It calls to mind a similar kind of encouragement in my college French class. One teacher used to say to me, “Tu perplexes?” And then, rattle off another couple of sentences or so, all at a very rapid pace. I would just stare at her dumbfounded. Of course, after that I was completely perplexed. “Oui, je perplexe.” I don’t even know if this was proper French or not, but she did not correct me, and I continued to say it my college French class. I thought, at the very least, I sounded sophisticated.
So, I am perplexed about our extra numbers. See I didn’t go off topic much. Our coins, loose change. Let’s just round those dollars up or down, and throw all those coins in a giant Coin Star. What do you say? I mean let’s do it collectively, because it doesn’t work unless we all agree to it. If there’s loose coins around, someone, undoubtedly, will tack on that extra .95 cents. Am I right?
Think of it. If we all agree to throw our coins in, we could come up with a giant pot of money. I’ve done that Coin Star before and have been pretty amazed at the final amount of all that pocket change.
I know you have a lot questions right now, so I’ve tried to think of everything to help answer them.
Lucky Penny? How many of us really feel that lucky when we see a penny? Be honest. Who stops to pick them up any more? So, we can do away with that one. It will now be “Lucky Dollar,” which let’s face it doesn’t buy a whole lot these days either. It might as well be Lucky Dollar with inflation.
Piggy Bank? We can still have the piggy bank although now it will just be dollars. What kid won’t like that? Another kind of piggy bank can be designed that will make it easier to access dollars while maintaining the integrity of the pig shape, for those of you purists out there who want the piggy bank to look like a pig.
The Souvenir Vacation Fund: Had one of these before? You know, you put in extra change for that extra little something when you’re on a vacation. A new t-shirt, perhaps. Now this can also just be dollars. No more knick-knacks. Now you can have a serious souvenir. Think of all the extra money you’ll be saving now.
I know, you think you’re going to miss the cha-chinging of all that money in the piggy bank/souvenir fund? The sounds of coins hitting other coins. I have a solution for that, too. Just go to Vegas! You can hear lots of chinging and clinging of money there. The other option is to simply visit your neighborhood casino. That will work just fine. Well, wait a minute. What about all those coins cha-chinging at the slot machines? I got it! They will now have to be tokens. That’s a very easy fix. You would have changed in them in for dollars anyway, right?
Machines that require coins? They were fun and cute when they cost that lucky penny or a nickel. You know the ones I’m speaking of. The ones that drive parents insane because they’re filled with useless, plastic, junk. Now they all cost at least a quarter or two. So, you’re lucky if you have more than one quarter, and if you do, it’s enough for two kids, but not enough if you have more kids, and not enough if someone doesn’t like what they got, or it’s cheap and it breaks. This, of course, is what usually happens. Just more junk we don’t need. I’m sorry these must go. Parents are secretly, wildly applauding in the background. As far as laundromats and car washes, and things of that nature, they will need to run on tokens like the casinos.
Tooth Fairy? Who gets coins anymore?
For those of you with a coin collection, now it really will be worth something. Think of that! I can’t imagine you would be disappointed.
And the Coin Star, we can just have a final Coin Star party and put that puppy in a museum with the jukebox. I have a feeling you won’t miss it at all.
From our newly acquired money from our Coin Star party we can do something really worthwhile. We could build a bridge, a school, a transportation system, or what about that looming national debt? Tu perplexes?
On second thought, it is almost summer. We’ll be a cashless society soon anyway. You might have just enough loose change for an ice cream cone.