A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED...OR IS IT?
YOU DON'T OWN ME (YET) My friend Alan and I have a partial season ticket plan to the Phillies. To answer your question, yes, of course we are gluttons for punishment. It comes with rooting for any Philadelphia sports team. We were sitting in our seats, eating ice cream, when it became time for the 7th inning stretch. On the score board, a big graphic announced, "7th Inning Stretch brought to you by McDonald's". It seems that even something as pure as the 7th inning stretch in a baseball game is no longer free from some sort of corporate sponsorship. I'm sure in the coming years even our teams will have an official sponsor. The McDonald's Phillies at Philadelphia. When we saw that McDonald's was sponsoring the act of standing up and stretching our legs, I immediately thought, why shouldn't I get corporations to sponsor my every move? I can just announce my actions out loud (like my own voice over) and make everyone aware of the fine people who are paying me to do so. Here are a few examples. Upon exiting a room to use the bathroom, "Hey everyone, I have to go take a dump (brought to you by Taco-Bell)". When I wake up to go to work and my head is still pounding, "Man, I have a killer headache (brought to you by Jose Cuervo Tequila)". My friends want me to go out to an expensive restaurant that I can't afford, "Sorry guys I just don't have the money to go there tonight (brought to you by Student Loan Payments)". I bump into one of the guys I hated in high school, "Wow that guy is still the biggest dick I've ever seen (brought to you by Viagra)". I have nothing to eat for dinner except the three day old pizza in the fridge, "This is some of the best tasting pizza I've ever had! (brought to you by Marijuana)". It would be greedy of me to keep all of the sponsors for myself though, even something like World News could benefit from have sponsors for every story they run. "Africans are contracting AIDS in astounding numbers (brought to you by the Catholic Church)". "Another American G.I. was killed today when a roadside bomb exploded next to his convoy that was not protected with proper armor plating (brought to you by Halliburton)". "George Bush yesterday raised the terror alert level from yellow to orange (brought to you by Duct Tape, and the Motion Picture, Fear)". With just a little help from good old corporate sponsors, my life could give me a lot more to look forward to, and put some extra money in my pocket. (brought to you Democrats for President 2008). GIVING SOMEONE A PENNY FOR THEIR THOUGHTS COULD SOON MEAN PUTTING YOUR TWO CENTS IN Pennies haven't been made out of copper since 1982 when copper prices rose so much that the U.S. Mint began using zinc (with a copper coating) to make our pennies. Now it's zinc's turn to shine. Since the end of 2003, the price of zinc has tripled (by comparison, gold has only risen by fifty percent). Because of the rising cost of zinc, and the additional cost to produce a penny once the metal is obtained, it now costs the U.S. Mint about 1.4 cents to produce one penny. That's right, each penny that is produced COSTS the Mint almost half of a cent. What's more, the U.S. Mint produced 7.7 Billion pennies last year (that's more than the nickel, dime, and quarter combined). In the first few months of this year, penny production has risen to an annual rate of almost 9 billion, the highest since 2001. Four pennies are now worth more than a nickel. Eighteen pennies are worth more than a quarter. But don't suddenly try to offset those extra high gas prices by paying with pennies. You'll be hard pressed to find a store or corporation to give you the value of the zinc instead of the one cent coin. I do have a few suggestions that could benefit both the American people and the American government (a crazy notion, I know). The Mint stands to lose 3.6 billion dollars this year alone producing pennies. I think they should team up with the IRS and let everyone pay their taxes in pennies. You all know you have jars and jars of pennies laying around somewhere. For every five pennies you give them, they should give you credit for six. This would save every American money on their taxes (If you owed $15,000 in taxes you'd pay $12,500 in pennies) and would save the U.S. Mint 1.8 billion dollars by recycling pennies and not having to pay for new zinc. Think they'll go for this? I doubt it. Our government doesn't seem to care about saving tax payers any money. They'd rather throw away 3.6 billion dollars a year. 3.6 billion does seem like a drop in the bucket when compared to something like the cost of the Iraqi war, but money is money, and they need to smarten up. They can start by giving me a penny for my thoughts, and then buying it back for 1.2 cents. THE REVIEWS ARE COMING! THE REVIEWS ARE COMING! The time has come folks. That's right, it is almost time to unveil the brand new Spoon, Full of Truth: Reviews. This spin off site will offer reviews of movies, music albums, artists, travel, and night life. You've come to rely on the Spoon for the truth about life and now you can get the truth about many other things as well. Look for the REVIEW link that will be appearing soon and please check out some of the reviews that will be posted shortly. Unlike the original Spoon, this site will offer the truth from both the male and female point of view (although the female point of view is always welcome to submit guest columns to this sight). Thanks for reading, and keep coming back as many more exciting things will be happening at the Spoon in the coming months.