A Penny for your thoughts

Being a “project man” my favorite store is Home Depot. I just love to peruse the shelves there and think about all the things I can build or remodel.

I recently bought a new RV and decided to spice it up a bit by adding some interior design elements to the walls. See there, Ol’ Dutch can talk the language of a metro man when he has to.

The bathroom was first in line and I added some glass tile to the backsplash behind the sink adding a touch of color and style plus made it bright, shiny and easy to clean.

It wasn't too long until the remodel bug hit me again and I started thinking about the backsplash in the kitchen. I looked at everything in the world and finally settled on copper.

I soon found out why criminals are stealing anything not tied down made of copper as the price is sky high. So I put that project on the back burner for a while. Perusing the Internet I came upon the idea of using pennies for a cheaper alternative to the copper tile I had been looking at.

That reminds me of a story. It seems that three couples arrive at Heaven's Gates and meet Saint Peter.

The first man is a banker and loved money so much he married a woman named Penny. The second man was a drinker and loved booze so much he married a women named Sherry. Both couples are sent on to Purgatory to spend some time there in Penance for being so indulgent.

The third man looking at his wife says, “Come on, Fanny, I can see there is no use in us talking to Saint Peter.”

Going to the bank, I bought $25 worth of pennies and began the process of cleaning them. Or at least trying to clean them. Again, the Internet came to my rescue telling me that any penny dated prior to 1983 is pure copper and worth 3 cents.

The magnifying glass came out and I was suddenly making money with each early penny found. Some rolls were making upward of 49 percent pure copper coins.

My rusty yet acute mind suddenly hit on a great idea. For every dollar in pennies I had, I was making almost another dollar in found copper. If you extrapolate that out to say, a million or ten or a hundred million rolls of pennies, we are talking real money here.

At about roll number 35, I began to realize that I was going to need serious help if I was to ever approach those kinds of numbers. Sorting that kind of volume is a major problem and with child labor out of vogue, I decided a penny sorting machine needed to be invented.

After a lot of figuring and such, the Internet saved me the trouble by telling me that someone had already invented a sorting machine. At some point Trixie interjected something about “penny-wise and pound-foolish” and my dreams started to ebb away. I had to remind her that my new found logic is “a penny saved is three pennies earned” with the price of copper what it is.

Now, my plan has one small glitch. It is illegal to melt currency for profit but I hope that some congressman will be my partner which usually makes most things illegal suddenly okay. Or maybe I can find some televangelist who thinks copper coins will have some significance in an apocalyptic world.

So that idea set aside for now, I once again turned to the penny backsplash and began the laborious job of gluing them on the wall. The end result is yet to be seen. Some of the examples online used upward of 100,000 pennies which required many penny parties and a lot of booze for friends, neighbors and a field trip for several sixth grade classes from the local elementary school.

Now most of you will say a penny doesn't make that much of a difference. So I have an exercise for you. Take one penny today and put that in a bank. Every day for a month, double the penny amount from the day before. With my somewhat creaky engineering mind I used the formula 0.01x2^29 to find out I would end up with $5,368,709.12. And that my friends ain't chicken feed on anybody's farm.

I used to just toss pennies to and fro and leave them in the change trays at local businesses for those needing a cent or two but now I am finding myself looking at every one like “there's gold in them thar' hills.” And again Trixie interjects that maybe I have lost all sense. Or is that cents?

So you can “give a penny for your thoughts,” believe it’s important to “put your two cents in,” or maybe you are just a “bad penny?” But always remember, if you find yourself so poor “you don't have two pennies to rub together,” the one you do have may be worth 3 cents and you will be fine.