Pennies - 12/2/05
I was riding the car one day with Brian and Noah (to Taco Bell, obviously), and Brian took the pennies he'd received for change and threw them out the window. When asked why, he simply responded that pennies were virtually worthless these days, and it wasn't worth the effort to carry them around. He also added that it wasn't really littering, though, because maybe a small child or a homeless person would find the pennies and want them. After all, there are unfortunates out there who will dig through a garbage can for a dirty beer can that be recycled for a nickel; wouldn't they welcome a free penny?

Noah agreed, and I couldn't really help but kind of concur also. Pennies are useless these days; some places won't even sell you a gumball for a penny anymore, and it definitely takes at least fifty cents to get a good-sized jawbreaker. Pennies are heavy, dirty, and can't really buy anything - all they're good for is the rare instance when your Tbell order costs exactly $4.01 and you can use up a penny making sure you don't receive more pennies as change. Even then, the magnanimous Taco Bell employees will often just let the penny slide.

So some penny solutions we came up with:

  • Collect them and cash them in once you have a huge jar. This is kind of what I do, but then again I'm also the kind of person who lugs a recycling bin full of cans down to the recycling center every month. But I suppose 5 pennies probably weigh less than an empty beer can, and at least you don't get week-old Coors remnants on your hands when you cash them in.
  • Used them for kindergarten arts-and-crafts projects. They're probably cheaper than buttons and pipe-cleaners.
  • Smelt them down and make them into other objects, such as… uh… hmm. Pipes? I guess copper is pretty much useless these days, too. Except for making more pennies. Maybe that's why they keep doing it.
  • Use them for ammunition. Throwing, flicking, sling-shooting... But I guess we're not in third grade anymore. For older juveniles, there's of course the old "sock-full-of-pennies".
  • Eat a lot of gumballs

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