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April 8, 2007

Once Upon a Time...

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

With apologies to the Brothers Grimm

To-day I bake, To-morrow I brew

And then the child away I take

For little deems my royal dame

Rumpelstiltzkin is my name.

Rumpelstilzkin and the guy in charge of making the money, I will call him Rump, have a lot in common. First, given the state of the current deficit, he has people printing currency from straw. Next, calling him a horses' rump is much nicer than the alternative.

Rumps first brilliant idea was to change the United States Currency. The old stuff was dull boring, green and white reminiscent of dark slime washed up on the beach. Rump decided to make it more colorful and unusual. Sitting at his spinning wheel, he concocted an off center larger head with colorful threads interweaved, or spun in this case.

The pretty money became widely circulated. Soon, counterfeiting elves began reproducing the stuff like the budget director does money. The wee little ones, cousins of Rump, wove so much that Rump had to change the design, colors and shades several times. Banks received so much of the leprechaun paper that special wands had to be produced to prove Rumps money good.

Factories were erected to manufacture magical pens that could tell the difference between the funny monies. Cashiers had/have to streak hocus- pocus across the Rump bill, to see if it was/is real. Millions were made in selling the special sticks. Disney got the government contract.

Rump was made the laughing stock of Washington, D.C, which isn't hard to do. Dejected, he went to his cave, lit a fire and recited the first line: "Tomorrow I brew, today I'll bake" from the Grimms' poem. After several six packs and a bag of munchies, he vowed never to go into the paper money business again. "I know a Miller's girl who can change lead to look like gold," he thought.

He sold the idea to the Munchkins, a.k.a. our elected officials, and the $1 coins came forth from the mints of Washington. "Let them counterfeit this one" he challenged the mystical world.

But, Rumps problems were not over. The people of the religious right noted "In God We Trust" was not engraved on the coin. As if this would change everyone to believe in their god. Rump brought back all the coins. The elves then electron microscope and lasered the moniker onto the sides of the coins. He also had the James Bond date 007 added to ensure everyone knew the coins were from a fantasy world.

The cashiers, who actually were in charge of the monetary policy of the nation, revolted. Not only did they have to wave a wand over the new paper money, they now had to deal with these lead-gold coins. And they didn't care who or what was on the damn things.

United in the union of money takers, they all agreed on a plan. They decided to greet each customer who tried to pass one with the cackle from Wicked Witch of The West, the scorn from Snow Whites evil step mother, the growl from the wolf who tried to consume Red Riding Hood and the scowl from Hansel and Gretel's cannibal, combined. Customers refused to spend them because of the reaction.

Rump went back to dancing around the fire. The coins were deposited in the vault along with Susan B. Anthony and Sasquatch. The cashiers, still waving their magic sticks, savored one small victory. And the munchkins went back to Congress.

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