Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bill Me

Come October, we will be seeing new $100 bills in the United States.  Of course, some of us will be seeing more of them than others among us, but still...the bill will be ALL NEW!  Just like an episode of "Mike And Molly," or whatever it's called.

There will be blue ribbons woven into the fabric of these new C-notes, to cut down on counterfeiting.  It is hoped that this more visible way of identifying the real big bucks from the bogus will cut down on the spate of neck injuries suffered by convenience store clerks who tilt their heads back at the same angle as a football on a tee, and hold big bills up to the fly-specked ceiling lights, looking for the telltale ribbon that marks genuine US currency.  I have noticed that someone who looks like an original member of the Grateful Dead can walk into a store and pull a $100 out of a sour old wineskin, and the clerk will take it without quibble, whereas any money that I hand over has to pass a litmus test for authenticity.

Almost 80% of US currency is measured in $100 bills. There were more than 8.2 billion Ben Franklins changing hands out in the world as of now; it's the most popular bank note, by value, among the world’s major currencies.  People from here to Baluchistan prize a stack of American hundreds as safe and recognized anywhere.

Benjamin Franklin was once lampooned on a Firesign Theatre album as "the ONLY president of the United States who was NEVER president of the United States."  A lot of people think he was, because they see him on the money, and because, like Geo. W. Bush, he had plenty of time to experiment with science (Franklin discovered electricity; Bush discovered that you can't shove a dozen pretzels down your neck all at once.  We all work at our own capacity.)

I'll tell you who else was never president:  Mitt Romney, and Alexander Hamilton.  At least Hamilton got a ten dollar bill named for him.

So, here are the new American One-Yard notes.  No matter how good your Xerox machine is, I wouldn't try copying and printing these out.  Unless you look like Jerry Garcia or something.

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