Monday, February 05, 2007

e pluribus unum?

early last month an article in the Dallas Morning News caught my eye. Pizza Patron, a pizzeria that "caters heavily to Latinos," began taking pesos as payment. although i do have my opinions on our nation’s apparent open border policies, as a business decision, i assumed that i could not care any less whether or not an establishment wanted to take the time and effort necessary to convert pesos to dollars or euros or vice versa or whatever. it did not really effect me in south mississippi. boy, was i mistaken. last saturday, my daughter and i followed our weekend ritual, frequenting the local shipley’s donuts (which i must say beats the socks off krispi kremes). we got our usual - one plain cake doughnut for her, one chocolate glazed cream filled for me, and change for the coke machine and the newspaper stand. as i tried to purchase a diet coke from the machine (yes, i realize the paradox of eating doughnuts with sugar-free beverages . . . hey, i pick my battles, ok?), one of my quarters kept getting kicked out through the coin return slot. now, at 8:00am on a saturday, i’m not the sharpest joker in the room; repeatedly, i kept futilely sticking the quarter back into the slot, each time jamming it with a tad more force and a bit more frustration, thinking if i could spin the coin just right, the quarter would fall on through and my diet coke would be dispensed to me in a timely fashion. only after about the twentieth attempt did i actually take a moment to look at the quarter. my first thought was, "gee, that’s one of them new finagled jobs. wonder what state it’s from." my second thought was, "that’s the most bizarre depiction of george washington i’ve ever seen. i think he’s wearin’ a do rag and mardi gras beads." and then i realized it was not even a quarter. it was a peso with the likeness not of our founding father, but of jose ma morelos, warrior priest (i had to look that up later). i immediately tried to exchange the peso for a quarter at the registar. you can imagine how that went over in south mississippi. probably would’ve been a whole other story at the Pizza Patron in dallas.