that's a fine sack o' 'gaweas!

I went to the post office today to get a book of stamps (Antique Toys, if you must ask) and there was a line. Behind the backs of the people in line there was a machine. This machine was like one of those machines from which you get your can of pop or little bag of Cheez-its. But this machine dispenses stamps. Books of stamps.

So, figuring I was the target market for this particular device, I decided to go for it. I located the number for the Antique Toys and began to load my cash into the device.


It began to take my $5 bill.


It spit it right back.

This continued a few times until I gave up and realized that I would have to either approach the counter or bring out the big guns, which is a bad metaphor to use in a post office, but which simply refers to my $20 bill.

Out came the guns, and out of the change dispenser came my change: 12 dollar coins (6 Sacagaweas, 6 Susan B. Anthonys), 2 quarters and 2 nickels.

Twelve dollar coins.

I feel sort of like I did after the couple of times when I sold my textbooks back to the shady truck dude on Bigelow after the semester and he gave me loads of $2 bills. What do I do? The dollar coin. An exercise in redundancy. A step backward from lightweight, easy to transport currency back in the direction of precious stones and metals.

The dollar coin is so superfluous, the U.S. Mint's official Dollar Coin webpage features the motto, "It's money. So use it." If you were a food company with a product whose tag line was, "It's food. So eat it." you'd probably be on your way out of business.

Not to say that the U.S. Mint isn't headed there itself.

So, here I stand, a pocket full of ways for the Treasury to say it honors women's roles in U.S. history without running the risk of dissing any dead presidents or Ben Franklins. I will let you know when and where I use them, and what kind of reaction I get from the person on the other side of the transaction.

Until then, I will continue to remind myself: "It's money. So use it."