This week’s listmaster: David Anderson. David is working on his MFA in creative writing at Butler University. He’s an active member of the Eiteljorg Museum and an avid skier. He owns not one, but two Honda Odysseys.
1. Retire the penny. There are billions of justifications to retire the penny and only nonsensical reasons to keep minting them. But the real reason you need to care about the great penny debate is a political one. If we can’t quit the penny, what chance do we have of being able to make any substantive changes to our collective course?
Check out Death to the Pennies.
2. Bring Back the Bit. Of course, quitting the penny is not enough. If we are going to make change—so to speak—we ought to do away with the nickel and the dime as well. The nickel and the dime have always been problematic. It’s not right to have a larger coin be worth less than a smaller one. That’s just common cents sense. What we need to do is bring back the bit, or an eighth of a dollar. Twelve and half cents is about right for the smallest increment. We’d have the bit and the quarter and then we’d use the half dollar more often than we do today. Round everything to the nearest bit and the world we be a better place. We could move on to renewable sources of energy.
3. The US Open. The US Open golf tournament starts Thursday. It is our truest national championship and “Open” in a way that no other sports are open to those with dreams of playing at the highest level. Over 9,000 golfers participate, most starting at local qualifiers with hopes of surviving to sectional qualifying where two great rounds can earn them a spot next to Tiger at San Francisco’s Olympic Club. 42-year-old club pro Dennis Miller, an Ohio native trying for the twelfth time to qualify, made an improbable birdie on the third playoff hole of last week’s sectional qualifier in Columbus. He didn’t see it go in, but he heard it.
Now Dennis gets to tee it up with the big boys this week and everybody should be rooting for the guys like him.
4. Celebrate our Epicnicity, Go for a Ride. It’s not often that international organizations designate anything in Indiana “epic.” But it recently happened to the Brown County State Park’s mountain biking trails.
5. Steel Ponies. If bikes with motors are more your speed, check out the motorcycle exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum. It’s part history, part pop culture. The most impressive are the custom choppers designed by contemporary craftsmen who use the motorcycle as their canvas. My personal favorite is the Evel Knievel bike that was used in jumps of school buses and fountains and maybe even a river gorge on his way to breaking every bone in his body (Snopes is silent on this, so I am assuming it was true). It will bring a tear to the eye of every kid who played with the Evel Knievel action figure with stunt cycle. At least it did for me.
6. Summer Camp. This is the week you should be shipping your kids off to summer camp. Maybe it’s an idyllic Minnesota camp like Mishawaka or a YMCA camp closer to home but, please, send them away. It’s good for them and it’s good for you.
It’s at summer camp where they make lanyards and learn important life lessons like this one: The Lanyard by Billy Collins.