From: Ernie Doyle, USMC retired

To: United States Treasury, Wash. DC
From: Ernie Doyle, USMC retired

Dear Treasurer,

Why do we still have these silly-ass one dollar bills? They're a joke. I didn't serve two tours in 'Nam so I could sort through my wallet for pristine currency to keep some snooty-ass vending machine from turning up its nose at my hard-earned dough. Some damn Coke machine sucks in your dollar, looks it over, sniffs it or something, and then spits it back out if George ain't smilin' just so. What, like I'm counterfeiting singles? Good call, sport. This same machine accepts quarters so worn that Washington looks like something off the Shroud of Turin. It'll put out for slugs like a Philippino hooker, but if your paper money isn't ironed and starched, no Cheez-its for you.

Give us a dollar coin. You say people didn't take to the last dollar coin you made? Well no shinola, Sherlock. If any of those nickel herders at the mint had pulled their ink-stained fingers out of their noses long enough to look at a Susan B. Anthony dollar and a quarter side-by-side, they'd have seen they were the same damn coin with slightly different dead people on them. I wouldn't be surprised if Susan Bs were just old quarters they re-ran through a different press.

And who the hell was Susan B. Anthony anyway? Some broad who looked a lot like Washington, saving you money on tooling costs? You had to dig pretty damn deep in the history barrel to find her. Listen up, is there something wrong with Teddy Roosevelt? If he's good enough for Mount Rushmore, he's good enough to cram in a parking meter. Hell, Millard Fillmore, Richard Nixon, just make it someone we've heard of, so when foreigners and kids ask us who's on our own damn money, we'll know. For my money (that's a little joke), I say put the Roughrider on the buck and be done with it.

And if it's minting capacity you need for a new dollar coin, I know where you can get it. Quit making pennies. Why do you still make those? Is the loafer lobby really that powerful? Is the need for doorstops made of gallon jars filled with copper coins that great? 'Cause it's not like people are using these things as money. Hell, they ain't even copper anymore, just painted clay or something. It probably costs more than one cent to make one cent, which makes no sense (that's another joke).

People don't even take pennies in change anymore; they throw them in that little dish by the cash register so the next guy can use a few to avoid getting any pennies. That's the only thing pennies are good for: to prevent you from getting more pennies. They're a purely defensive coin. No offense at all. You can't buy anything for a penny. If you get enough pennies together to actually buy a pack of Luckys, the cashier looks at you like you're a jerk. Are they happy that you're giving them money? No, they're pissed: "What am I supposed to do with all these pennies?" Me, I jam them in vending machines that don't take my dollars.

I pay your salary and fought in three wars, so I expect a reply pronto.

Ernie Doyle, USMC retired