I wrote this a long time ago, somewhere around the turn of the millennium. I’ve modernized the pop culture references, but otherwise it’s unchanged. With the news that Canada is phasing out the penny, it seemed appropriate to bring back.
This May Be A Clue
It may not be, as most people think, a penny. A penny is a monetary unit equaling 1/100th of a dollar, which means in the economic world about as much as a pair of jumper cables means to a platypus. Pennies are a useless abomination of financial theory and were done away with some years ago due to their complete and utter ineffectiveness in modern civilization. The object may be, in fact, a clue.
This happened because the world powers became quite tired of listening to the people complain of the sheer absurdity of the penny. When threatened with being taken out of power and forced to work in retail, they realized the penny was, in essence, worthless. It was therefore abolished, and the heads of state strove to give the citizens of the world something they really wanted. After the subsequent inventions of electric socks and the gin and tonic, certain leaders decided that it was time to take their now somewhat happy people out of the confused condition that makes reality TV, QR codes and anything to do with Twilight so popular. To do this, they would have to bring the public up to speed with life forms more intellectually advanced, like the pygmy marmoset, duck billed platypus, or (in some cases) rocks. And so the idea of giving humanity a clue was born.
A daunting task, but one that was accomplished with the cunning and true genius afforded to those who like cheese.
The trick wasn’t so much making the clue, but distribution. After all, handing out a clue or two to every person in the general populace is a monumental task. So a committee was formed to find the easiest and most cost effective way to deliver clues to the masses. Weeks of deliberation and planning went for naught, as one single decision could not be reached. The top two ideas had to be discarded due to the possibility of catastrophic physical injury and the extinction of the puffin, respectively. Finally, after a particularly grueling and laborious meeting involving the “accidental” death of the committee chairperson, it was suggested that all the old penny presses be put back to use for the production of clues. In the interest of cost effectiveness, original penny designs would be left on the clues for a “retro” feel.
There was much rejoicing. The plan was initiated immediately. Unfortunately, the people were so damn clueless that when the clue was introduced everyone just assumed pennies were back. Thus people failed to see the true clue potential and treated them as actual pennies, meaning they were discarded in “Take One Give One” dishes or just randomly tossed aside. The end result was that no one ever held on to a clue long enough for it to take effect. To make matters worse, since the populace was under the impression the penny had returned, all old pennies that had accumulated in mugs, jugs or whatnot over the years were inadvertently brought back into circulation. This made finding a clue even harder. Attempts to market real clues with sex failed because no one ever had a clue in that department anyway.
So the next time you don’t know what’s going on, try digging through that old mug on your desk or in the ashtray of your car. Grab some copper colored goodness. Rub it against your forehead or body part of choice. Maybe you’ll get some insight.
You don’t have to be clueless. You just have to find one.