March 23, 2002
'Queer As A Two-Dollar Bill'

Though I no longer recall where, I ran across this phrase (Google rating: 17) a few weeks ago on some bulletin board or other. Whoever wrote it was immediately corrected by pedantic readers (not me) who pointed out that the traditional insult is 'queer as a three-dollar bill' (Google rating: 625). I don't know about Canada or Australia or Singapore, but in the U.S. the two-dollar bill is legal tender and has been for many years.

Perhaps Andrew Sullivan and his allies in the campaign to normalize homosexuality might want to adopt the erroneous version as a slogan. After all, the American two-dollar bill is:

  • Only a small percentage of the population of America's wallets, purses, and piggy banks. You can go for weeks without seeing one, but you can find them even in the smallest town if you look for them.
  • Perfectly normal. The two-dollar bill is legal tender and just as valid as any other American currency for any monetary transaction.
  • Often discriminated against. Merchants in particular dislike two-dollar bills, since there is no place for them in the standard cash register drawer. Ordinary citizens sometimes refuse to accept them, especially if they've never seen them before. But once they get to know them . . .
  • Associated with charm, wit, and intelligence. The two-dollar bill has a picture of Thomas Jefferson, not some stolidly great man like Washington ($1), or a rough-hewn or downright crude one like Lincoln ($5) or Jackson ($20) or Grant ($50).
  • Very handsome. Ben Franklin ($100) was as witty and charming as Jefferson, and may have had more substantial intellectual accomplishments, but just compare their faces -- and hairstyles. And then there's Franklin's reputation as a lady's man even in his old age . . .
  • The reverses of the other denominations depict monuments or government buildings or weird pyramids with eyes. The back of the two-dollar bill features an all-male social gathering.

Take it away, Andrew.

P.S. This is a joke. Please don't take it seriously. I think it was Robert Asahina in The American Spectator who wrote, of the old compare-and-contrast method, "no doubt somebody somewhere is right now comparing Kafka and Jack London on the grounds that they both wrote animal stories". (This is quoted from very-long-term memory, and may not be totally accurate, but the gist is right.)

Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 23, 2002 10:20 PM