Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

One day, foreign currency might be worth some money

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Appearances are often deceiving.

Video: Kirby's Augusta
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– Aesop

I always check my order when I go through a fast-food drive-through. Now I have to remember to check my change.

I got a quick breakfast at McDonald’s last week, and when I later fished through my pockets to put away the change, I found a weird-looking quarter.

I figured it was one of those new ones featuring state parks or something, but then I saw the writing identified it as a 1979 coin from “Republica Italiana.”

Its value was “L.50,” which probably means half a lira and probably means I’ve been stiffed again.

I’ve got a little bowl of foreign coins I keep at home, hoping one day I’ll figure out what to do with them. I keep them because my bank said they didn’t want them.

“What do you do if they end up in a roll of coins?” I asked, perhaps too slyly.

“Throw them in the trash,” I was told. “That money’s not worth fooling with.”

They’re probably right, but I don’t have enough money to discriminate between countries, so I hold on to it. One day, change could change.

LATIN LOVE: Speaking of Italians, they used to speak Latin. After I recently wrote of my fondness for the world’s most famous dead language, I got lots of support from people such as Susan Phillips, who teaches the language of gladiators at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering School.

“One of my assignments every term is for my students to find Latin in their other classes and in the ‘real world.’ ” she wrote. “We call them ‘Latin sightings.’ After I teach the students a little Latin and tell them where to look, they get very excited. They find phrases, abbreviations, and references in many, many places. They love to tell me that their video games have Latin references, mythology and Latin words in them. We have had discussions about Latin and Harry Potter, Latin and The Hunger Games, Lat­in and Percy Jackson movies. It is such a pleasure to see the light bulbs go off in their heads when they begin to understand more and more that Latin is ubiquitous.”

TODAY’S JOKE: From Bill Wood in Hephzibah:

A woman answered her front door to find a plumber standing there.

“I’m here to fix the leaky pipe,” he announced.

“I didn’t call a plumber,” she said.

“What?” he huffed. “Aren’t you Mrs. Smith?”

“The Smiths moved out of this house over a year ago,” she explained.

“How do you like that?” grunted the plumber. “They call you up and tell you it’s an emergency, and then they move away!”


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