I watched my first-grade foster son jump down from the yellow school bus, his short legs running down our long gravel driveway on a cool, sunny February afternoon. I stepped away from the window over the sink and opened the half-glass paned kitchen door to greet him.
Dark brown eyes twinkled above his pug nose and wide grin. His caramel-colored hand clutched silhouettes of U. S. Presidents Washington and Lincoln glued to red construction paper. Before I could say, “Where’s your lunchbox?” Jacob thrust the thin-faced, long-nosed, bearded profile toward me.
“Mom, did you know Abraham Lincoln cut down a cherry tree, but he confessed ’cause he was honest and couldn’t tell a lie?”
“That was George Washington,” I said, pointing to the curly wigged, clean-shaven outline.
Astonishment flashed across his face. “Wow, Mom! Did you know him?”
Author’s note: Jacob is a fictitious substitute for this adult, former foster child. My name and profile are set in stone.
“And be if further enacted, That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units, dismes or tenths, cents or hundredths, and the milles or thousandths, a dismes being the tenth part of a dollar, a cent the hundredth part of a dollar, a mille the thousandth part of a dollar, and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation.” (The Coinage Act of 1792, Section 20)
President Obama blasts penny production as a waste of federal funds. His statement made the news. It also made me delay my post about POV (point of view) in writing. My POV this minute is to save the penny. Here’s that POV.
I frowned at the 9/10 added to $3.87 when I refueled my car this afternoon. I purchased 9.379 gallons (I didn’t do the math—it’s on the receipt). Why are Milles (one tenth of one cent, or one thousandth of one dollar) included in the price of fuel more than a half-century after the round cardboard paper token disappeared from pockets and purses? A more profound question might be why Milles are still used to calculate property taxes.
When the penny is discontinued, will the Milles (the 9/10 on gas pumps and property tax calculations) disappear along with Abraham Lincoln’s imagine? No? you say.
You are one smart reader! Mr. Lincoln’s face will disappear. The penny will be rounded up to the nearest nickel. The next step in coinage will be to rid us of President Washington’s face which won’t be worth a plug nickel.
Not Worth a Plug Nickel. Great book title. That propels me to put my pennies in the piggy bank and return to writing from my protagonist’s POV.