Penny Pincher

The U.S. Mint is mad at me. I pinch pennies. No, I’m not cheap. I give 10% of my income to charity.

But I pinch pennies. Literally. No, I know what ‘literally’ means and that’s exactly what I mean. Emphatically not figuratively. It’s a nervous habit and a bit of a mystery. I don’t think of myself as that strong. I’m in my fifties and yeah, old Ben—that’s me—still works out. But how the heck can I possibly pinch pennies hard enough to actually damage them? Yet I do.

It would be a harmless habit, like a nervous twitch, but it happens to be a Federal crime. I don’t do it maliciously and the government has been very understanding. They’ve decided not to prosecute me. So, the U.S. Mint quietly fumes and the Treasury Department sulks. I feel bad for them. I’m trying to quit.

Have you ever tried to quit a habit? Smoking? Overeating? Arson?

It’s hard, isn’t it? I’ve been unable to do it cold turkey and there’s no patch for penny pinching. So I’ve decided to try substituting a new habit. Something even more compelling. Something that will make me forget about pennies.

I’m taking up heroin. Don’t tell the DEA. I don’t want to get them depressed.