Good News, Folks: Baby New Year is alive and well ... and working behind the cash register at Our Favorite Starbucks. As proof, I offer the following exchange:
New Cashier: What's this?!?
Me: It's a penny.
New Cashier: Are you sure? It has something funny on it.
Me: Oh, it's a Wheat Penny. I haven't seen one of those in a while.
New Cashier: A What Penny?
Me: Not a What Penny, a Wheat Penny. They stopped making them in the '70s.
New Cashier: Oh, the '70s ...!!
And then it struck me. To her, the '70s is a distant epoch, something you study in history class, like the Paleolithic or Pleistocene era. Later, as I watched the final sunset of the year at Santa Monica State Beach, I hatched a Devious Plan for the New Year. Tomorrow, I'm bringing a fistful of useless Dutch Guilders with me to Starbucks and I'm going to tell the cashier they're special Silver Dollars salvaged from the wreck of a ship that sank in 1962 ...!