Per a very recent court ruling, the Treasury Department of the U.S. is now obliged to provide blind Americans with a way or ways for them to be able to distinguish different denominations of paper currency, from the one-dollar bill to the hundred-dollar bill.
Possibilities include using different-sized bills, special foils, scratch and sniff fragrances, etc. However, Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, Jr., a practical joker, wants each bill to have a three-dimensional aspect related to the portrait, thus giving the blind person an immediate tactile answer to the bill he or she is holding.
For example, for the one-dollar bill, a silver dollar in President Washington's mouth for supposedly throwing one across the Potomac River. For President Lincoln, on the five-dollar bill, a projection of the mole on his face, for the ten-dollar bill, a bullet about to strike Alexander Hamilton in his duel with Aaron Burr, for the President Jackson twenty, a projecting hairdo, for the President U.S. Grant fifty-dollar bill, a cannon for this Civil War hero, and for the hundred, Benjamin Franklin with his kite.
When President Bush learned of the court's ruling, he was stunned. "Ya mean, I'm almost outa here and now I also gotta worry about the blind? Pretty soon they'll say about me, 'he's the blind leading the blind! I'm sorry, but I cannot buy into this extra cost in my budget...it has to go to the defense of Iran...I mean Iraq! Sorry about that! We've been there awhile now and we'll win the battle for their hearts and minds. Then, of course, we can stop fishin' and cut bait! Man, do I love fishin.'"
Clearly, the President has lost touch with reality, a subject for a later time...
In any event, the Treasury will go ahead with the changes.
Fortunately, no five-hundred dollar or larger bill has been printed for several years. The five hundred would have President McKinley and the gun used in his assassination, while President Grover Cleveland on the one-thousand dollar note would have his mouth's palate tumor at the side. The real tumor is now preserved in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
medical museum. If you are bulimic and wish to throw up, a visit there and a quick run to the toilet will work wonders!
Reported by Joseph Kerr Enzi, engraver
(Based on U.S. Treasury Special Consumer Bulletin 2008-49, May 20, 2008)