Just one more bizarre consequence of the omnipresent disaster that's unfolding before our eyes and ears, Global Warming, is hitting the pockets of the ordinary man in the street.
Scientists at Oxford's premier research centre, Walton College, have confirmed that the scarcity of five pence pieces is due to Global Warming.
When Decimalisation of Britain's archaic LSD or Pounds Shillings and Pennies coinage system happened in 1971, the size of the new 'shilling', or five pence piece, was set at 50% the width of its predecessor due to inflation. At the time, the effects of Global Warming were barely conceived, let alone considered.
Jump forward fifty years to 2006 and now it has become clear to all, even the 'man on the Clapham Omnibus', that the coins are too small in today's heated world.
Walter de la Merton, head of Eco-Impactive Research at the college says that the coins just evaporate when left in the sun too long. "The base alloy-mix was fine in the years prior to Global Warming, but are a bad choice today". Although a trade secret, the alloys include copper, zinc, lead and coal tar. The closure of Britain's Coal Mining Industry, by Clement Attlee in the 1920's has lead to a shortage of coal tar, and no new five pence coins have been issued.
Experts from the British Mint, based in Cleethorpes, West Suffolk, say that keeping the coins in your pocket may be the best answer, adding that perhaps a couple of ice cubes wouldn't hurt either. People Without Pockets, or PWP, an action group responded viruently to this suggestion, but were unavailable for comment.
The coins have been dubbed the 'fiddlygit' by the public and there have been calls to have new coins made of wood and at least six inches in diameter. This suggestion has been rejected by the Mint.
Inflation though, is still the biggest enemy of these tiny coins. A pint of warm beer costs almost sixty shillings in 2006, and there are a lot of thirsty Britishers who just don't have enough of the coins, or are too scared to get them out in such sultry weather.