Wouldn’t you know it? Now that the real estate market is finally picking up, the dang world’s supposed to end!
Or, you know– it might be. I actually thought it was scheduled for today, 12.12.12. But I guess that’s only for the atheists. For agnostics & Mayans, the day is 12.21.12. Hell, that’s almost two weeks from now!
Still, there’s no sense in waiting till the last minute to get your shits together. I’ve got a checklist of stuff to do between now and the big day: water the plants; stop the mail; stop the newspaper ( ” …I think I’ll miss you most of all… ” ). Maybe a confession or two. But the thing I’m looking forward to more than anything is getting rid of all my money!
I’m no tenth-of-a-percenter, but I’ve got a few bucks stashed away. The big stuff is all off-shore of course, so gifting that won’t be like giving away real rectangular or circular money. It’ll be more like signing one of those huge telathon checks, and though it will make a few people very rich for like one day, it won’t be much fun. What’s going to be a real gas is the pennies. I’ll do them first.
Pennies have almost no value in our last-days economy. During my lifetime, the American penny has gone from being a real piece of money to being something the carwash tweekers can’t even be bothered to bend over and pick up. I mean, how many pennies do you need to even buy something these days? When I was a kid, you could actually buy penny candy for a penny. Today can you buy anything in a convenience store for even fifty cents? What self-respecting cardboard sign jockey is going to lug around a pocketfull of pennies to buy one Junior Mint or a single cigarette? It’s way more than five times faster to beg for nickels. People don’t even feel right giving pennies to panhandlers these days– it might be taken as an insult!
I’ve always believed good luck was merely the absence of bad luck. So I’ve always picked up pennies, if only for defensive purposes. It may not be good luck to pick up a penny, but it sure as hell is bad luck not to– face up or face down. So I’ve been picking them up my whole life, even after everyone else stopped bothering. And for the last 15 years I haven’t been re-spending them. I’ve been picking them up and putting them in a gallon jug that I got from my friends Earnest & Julio.
And if this isn’t a sign that the Mayans were right, I don’t know what is: after dropping pennies in a jar since the last century, it is just now finally full to the top– just in time for the end of the world!
Back before we knew the world was going to end, I used to daydream about what I’d spend the money on when I finally filled that jug. It’s true that you can’t buy much for a penny these days, but you can sure buy something for a hundred thousand pennies, and I think there could be a hundred thousand pennies in there. I used to think I’d buy myself a bottle of Blanton’s or a new tattoo or something pretty for Patti. I thought about a head start on a road trip or some new speakers or a tuba. I thought about spending that money on all kinds of things, but then just as I was reaching my goal at the mouth of the jug– you guessed it– the end of the world!
Whatever. I quit drinkin’ whiskey anyway, and I don’t have anywhere to keep a tuba. Tattoos only fade. So I’m just gonna give it away.
Let’s make it a dance. Whoever guesses closest to the amount of money in the jug gets to keep it. I don’t give two shits what you do with it. You can get some new speakers or donate it to charity or you can fill the jug back up with Chablis. You can take me to lunch– or better yet, make a down payment on a real estate house! But in the end it’s not any of my business. Or anyone else’s for that matter– it will be all yours.
The jug is 11″ high and almost 22″ around at its widest circumference . It is heavier than a Les Paul, but not as heavy as a riding lawn mower. I’d be surprised if there was a single dime in there– I have been very diligent to limit it to pennies only. There are undoubtedly some Canadian pennies in there, and I honestly don’t know how the change-counting machine at WECU deals with that. What I am looking for is the closest monetary total, high or low.
The counting process will be documented. I’ll post the total and the winner by midnight on 12.20. Hopefully the world won’t end until later the next day, and I’ll have a chance to get you your money order around mid-day on the 21st. Send me your guesses any way you like– FaceBook, blog comment, email, text. Don’t call, though, because there won’t be a paper trail that way. And the last thing I want to spend our last day on Earth doing is arguing with you.
Blogger’s note: I don’t think there are a hundred thousand pennies in there. I don’t even know why I said that. I think there are more than a hundred, but probably less than a hundred thousand. I really don’t know. And I just might make my own guess and keep the money if I’m right fair & square. Even Steven. Anyway, here are some more images of my full penny jar with some other household items, just for scale’s sake…