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Outtakes Around the Lakes: Now it’s a coin shortage? What’s next?

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent
Frank Weaver Jr.

Oh no! Not another crises. After Cuba, came 9/11. Next the coronavirus, then bread, milk and toilet paper, and now this. That's what came to mind when my wife, Peggy, told me the latest.

We already know about Cuba and 9/11. We also know the coronavirus spread from China, crossing the Pacific to the west coast and then from sea to shining sea, landing in all 50 states.

Before long, daily contamination and death toll counts, worldwide and soon, state by state, were a common event. Then the face masks, self quarantines and school and business closings brought various claims of miracles, vaccines, or else disappearing before the end of the year by those who thought they knew more about this virus than the medical experts themselves. Now this.

As the wife was about to leave for some speedy “pick-up shopping” I asked her to include some coins. “I need a roll of dimes, nickels and pennies and pick up a pizza from Guiseppe's. Here's a twenty,” I added.

“If I can,” she answered while popping her head back in and reaching for the twenty before making a beeline for the car.

“Whoa!” I exclaimed. “What do you mean, 'If I can'? If you're driving by a bank, just pull into the drive-thru. That way you won't be exposed to anyone who may be contaminated. And don't forget the pizza.”

“They may not have coins,” she said as if she was an expert on the daily operations of banks. And then she played her trump card. “Haven't you heard, Frank? There's a coin shortage.”

“So stop at a store and ask for change,” I suggested, not fully understanding why, with everything else going on that has us living under a caution flag, we suddenly have a coin shortage.

“They have no coins to make change, either,” she said. ”That's why so many won't accept cash.

“Why? Have the coin presses shut down? Did we run out of nickel?” I asked. “Is there a copper shortage? Silver? Coin wrappers? What's causing it?”

“You,” she charged without even pausing for a quick second or two to conjure up a half believable reason and in the process shocking me. And then she added, “You and your grand-daughters.”

“Me?” Why does that not surprise me? Eventually, I get blamed for everything. After all, I was in Ireland during the Cuban Missile Crisis and they blamed me for that, too! Curiously I asked, “And why are my grand-daughters and I to blame?”

“Because of all the shiny new pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters you keep giving them,” she answered, “each time they set foot in this house – and that's anywhere from 25 to 50 times every day and double on weekends. They could open their own bank!”

I could see a Scottish streak slowly emerging so I tried toning it down. “Now, now, now, Sweets. I'm sure most of that count is part of that wonderful, vivid, imagination of yours. To be here that many times they'd have to live a lot closer.”

“They do, Frank,” she answered straight-face and without blinking an eye. “They live two minutes away and visit you every day. And it's all to get more shiny coins.”

“Hmm!” I muttered. “You mean it's not to see me?”

“Their Dad's been after them to ask for paper money. Looks like you might have to introduce it to them.”

“I can't do that,” I answered. “They're too young. I'd be spoiling them.”

“A bit too late for that,” she said. “Besides, think of all the help you'd by giving the country.”

I was glad she left. But then she quickly returned. “Thought I'd cheer you up with this news,'' she said with a devilish grin. “You know how you like pepperoni on your pizza. Well Guiseppe's just announced no more pepperoni. There's a shortage.”

Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com