Hassing’s Laws of Numismatics

August 13, 2017 at 7:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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‘Well, I must head off. I say … are you giving me the bird?’


Coins possess the faculties of the leader’s head stamped on them (sight, hearing, speech, smell) but can see only in the direction that side of the coin faces.

Coins can’t tell in which year they’re minted.

They’re obsessed with finding out, but must rely on other coins to tell them.

Older coins envy younger coins, and often lie when asked to read another coin’s year of manufacture.

Deprived of motor ability, coins develop extraordinary mental powers over time.

Obsessed with the desire to achieve movement, they constantly work on their powers of telekinesis. The skill takes many years of meditation and effort. Only 1% of coins ever achieve it, and then it’s severely limited to influencing movement initiated by external forces (e.g. willing the result of a toss, marginally changing the direction of a roll, upsetting a delicate balance, influencing the direction of descent).

Coins have no sense of touch and don’t feel sensation, but they’re highly emotional beings and do experience loneliness, claustrophobia and fear of death.

They’re very philosophical.

Most are gregarious, but all like to preserve their personal space.

Coins are asexual.

Coins get their kicks out of experiencing and relating to other coins varied and interesting uses, provided such uses don’t wear out their knurling.

When put together, coins invariably check out their surroundings, ask each other to identify their year of manufacture and compare stories of their experiences (or occasionally relate those of others).

Coins have phenomenal memories.

Coins compete to tell the best stories.

They are articulate and excellent storytellers.

They often exaggerate.

Coins have different personalities and form friendships and enemies quickly, based on the stories and attitude of the coins they mix with.

Coins have a deep fear of the mint, which periodically pulls currency out of circulation for destruction. The criterion for this is the state of the knurling on the coins’ edge.

Coins are therefore terrified of having this edge worn away. They despise high-wear scenarios (e.g. slot machines).

Coins are aware of the concept of reincarnation, but few really believe in it.



How does a coin find out for certain its year of manufacture?  (Mirror?)

Is it better to be permanently out of circulation (e.g. buried) or killed by the mint (with the possibility of reincarnation)?

Is it better to have a short life full of many experiences, or a long life with few or low impact experiences?

What would it have been like for all of the predecimal coins when they discovered the imminent arrival of the new currency? Will it be the same when we get a new monarch or become a Republic?

What was the best (high interest, low wear) use to which a coin was ever put?

What was the worst (low-interest, high-wear) use to which a coin was ever put?

What do coins think about paper money?



Creation and entombment inside the cardboard roll. Birth into the cash register.  Travelling overseas: high interest, balanced with risk of being lost.

Dropped into the sea. Boredom and loneliness is the price of long life.

The sixpence. Surviving against the odds. Death on any given day.

The oldest coin in the world.

The New Zealand and Hong Kong clans. Ostracized and lonely. Trying to get home.

The bank robbery loot.

Trapped in the Eiffel Tower. Rescued by a boy with chewing gum and a straw.

Trapped in the tar at a busy intersection. Knowing that next Summer promises burial.  Saved by a can-collecting man on an old tricycle.

Inside the child’s money-box (along with the buttons).

At the bottom of the giant beer can.

The poker game.

The two-up game. Skewing the stats.

The secondary school mathematics (probability) experiment. Skewing the stats for a lark

At the pub. Looking up at the coins stuck to the bar. (Face down, great. Face up, sound only.)

The spinster who washed her coins with Tarn-Off.

Being bent.

Collector coins. Immortality, at the price of sitting in a velvet box forever. Taken out at meetings to interact with other crushingly boring pieces.

Returning to ‘the womb’ at irregular intervals. The joy of rebirth at the risk of being pulled out of circulation.

Dropped down the drain and into the sewer system.

The boy who drills holes in a coin for fun.

Made into jewellery.

Swallowed by a baby.

The coins under the back seats of cars in a junk yard. Will they be rescued before the cars are crushed and recycled?

Carrying a nick, knowing for sure that the next trip to the mint will be the last.

The paradox that younger coins carry an older image of the monarch.

Sitting in the ashtray of cars. Rivalry for the most impressive vehicle. Even Rolls Royces have coins in their ash trays.

The homeless person, needing only one more coin for his flagon of wine.

The tip tray at the cafe.

The windscreen washer at the intersection.

The roadside collection.

Pinball machine. Noise and light. Movement.

The gum ball machine.

Teasing a new coin about its year of manufacture.

The coin that determines who serves first at Wimbledon or which team decides play direction at the AFL Grand Final, with millions watching.

The coin thrown into a fountain to make a wish. Normally tourist destinations, so this coin may get to hang with coins from different countries.


Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.


Pic by Wikipedia.





Penny for Your Thoughts?

August 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Short Story | 2 Comments
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mind memory memories remember thought

Barbra is a Mobile Consultant for Piece of Mind Inc. A seasoned psychiatrist, she earns more than most of the folk at Accenture – which is a sh*tload.

Piece of Mind deals in memories. Barbra’s job is to assess, price, acquire and resell the recollections of prospective clients. The longer and more significant the memory, the more it’s worth.

For instance, the memory of a wedding night invariably fetches more than that of watching Billy Crystal in ‘Forget Paris’ – while the complete record of a dead relative is generally worth more again.

Once Barbra has negotiated a contract, she connects her new client to her ‘Think Tank’, which looks like an early Toshiba laptop. This device copies the memory onto triple-density double-sided disk(s) and electrically wipes it from the vendor’s brain. Barbra then emails a backup to Piece of Mind’s memory bank, in case she comes to grief on her journey back to the office.

Contrary to widespread belief, it is impossible to install a memory into anyone other than its originator. The brain’s insanely complex circuitry ensures that any foreign thought is rejected as surely as a bamboo hip joint.

This means that for each memory acquired, there is only one potential customer. Surprisingly, 23% of Piece of Mind’s clients want their memories back within a decade of selling them. Since the firm charges ten times the purchase price to reinstall a recollection, it earns more than enough to cover the lease on Barbra’s V8 Lotus Esprit.

Barbra enjoys her work and is happy to recount authorised case studies. These help explain why so many clients change their minds.

‘A’ gives up smoking by having all pleasant associations with the habit removed. These are so numerous that his personality alters dramatically and his friends desert him – whereupon he turns to alcohol.

‘B’ sells his memory of childhood abuse for $15,000 (which he spends on vinyl cladding). A year later, police ask him to identify his attacker to help break a pedophile ring. After agonising deliberation, ‘B’ sells his house to repurchase his memory for $150,000. His wife leaves him and the offender escapes on a technicality.

‘C’ sells her memory of mediocre nightclub evening during which she has a fleeting encounter with a charming man. She returns the following week to spend her earnings and the man approaches her, keen to continue their conversation. She cannot remember him and he withdraws offended.

Tired of chronic conflict with his mother, ‘D’ sells his entire memory of her, from infancy to adulthood, for $200,000. The mother subsequently begs for reconciliation, but neither party can raise the money.

Barbra’s work is not without risk. Recently, one of her colleagues was abducted and forced to remove incriminating memories from a murder witness and then himself. Despite these efforts, the suspect still met justice on failing a lie detector test (having neglected to have his own memory purged).

Most would agree that memories are precious. So can they be given a price? Think for a moment; what is your most treasured memory? Would you sell it for five million dollars? Such a sum could certainly finance a galaxy of fresh experiences.

We can perhaps conjure memories that we would trade on the spot for two slabs and a bottle of Bacardi. But which memories can we truly afford to renounce: those that are repetitious (our daily commute), those that are substandard (some of the later ‘Muppets’ episodes) or those we’d like to experience over and over (first pet, first car, first love etc.)?

Since they comprise a record of what has and has not worked during our lifetimes, it could be said that memories are what make us. Bad memories could even be considered more important than good ones, since they teach us to avoid dangerous situations.

What reminiscences, then, would you sell and for how much?

Piece of Mind’s switchboard music is the theme from ‘Men in Black’. Few recall that this is a rip off of ‘Forget-Me-Nots’ by Patricia Rushen and Freddy Washington. In light of this and other disturbing phenomena, Piece of Mind’s detractors have accused the firm of stealing memories en masse from the public.

The conspiracy is said to involve an ingenious synergy between mobile phones and fast food additives that exploits the brain’s delicate electrochemical physiology.

Australia is the world’s highest per capita user of mobile phones and a voracious consumer of fast food. Perhaps this is why crucial political promises containing the words: ‘no child in poverty’ and ‘never ever GST’ have been forgotten by voters. Were they to be remembered, surely neither of the parties involved could still claim the right to govern.

Barbra’s take on the matter is philosophical, if not evasive. As far as she’s concerned, ‘memories may be beautiful and yet, what’s too painful to remember we simply choose to forget’.


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

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