A PENNY CHANGED THE WORLD

By C Jordan English

 

penny_grisGet a buzz-cut, and move to Dodge! I experienced an earth shattering epiphany during the wee hours of Sunday after a restless night. I keep my TV clicker by the bed so I can flick the tube on if I prefer alien-world input. For once, I can give some credit to CNN. They ran a news capsule about the turnaround of Dodge City, Kansas. Why CNN picks a time-slot for this story hours before the sun shows is curious, but the luck of English was with me since I was able to digest this message before sunrise. How can a penny change the world? And, who in their right mind would ever want to move to Dodge?

Without really thinking it through, I was already contemplating the necessities of a big move. I sensed a buzz-cut might pave the way, plus the kick of some nice black Texas boots, an elegant “W” cowboy hat, along with marshalling my internal talents to help me pose as a successful “beef speculator.” Heck, I could do that. Why not encourage border promotions going both ways? I’ve seen plenty of speculative bull during my heady days. I would love to ride into Dodge on something like the iconic Wall Street Bull, but I might have to settle for my brother’s second-hand Mustang. But Dodge, is that a sane choice? Why Dodge?

You probably missed the comeback story because, if you are a normal human, you should have been sleeping. What nerve! Those folks up in Dodge mandated a penny tax across the board, and the effects transformed the entire town. Now, they say, it’s tough to find enough people to fill all the jobs in Dodge because that penny tax funded a casino, a sports center, and other vital concerns of community interest. From a sinkhole of economic despair, the whole town kicked into overdrive because of that one-penny tax.

Of course, we might be able to locate one person who will disagree. CNN interviewed a happy herd of local politicians, all distinguished leaders who were smiling in unison as they shared stories about willful cooperation. Maybe it takes the stark face of prairie living to instill a mature sense of cooperation. They behaved like a group of cozy Holy Rollers strung out on the love-drug, ecstasy, and it came across as genuine. Those smart frontier people up in Dodge figured out how to take stress out of living, and turn an economic struggle into a flourishing enterprise. I imagine some wise guy will crack that the casino caused a spike in pick-pockets, but I trust these down-to-earth Dodge folks can manage their pockets.

It wasn’t long before I was throwing pillows at the TV, and exhorting the media to run more stories like this, with the hope of waking-up other small-town folks across America. I felt fortunate to get the news since I was close to functionally asleep in Mexico. Cultivating an independent middle-American lifestyle like these Kansans did, has potential. The shock wave from this event could be contagious, and lead to the demise of dysfunctional America.

Oh well, I can always rollover, and speculate about the potential Armageddon event rearing its fiery mane up on the slopes of Iceland. I feel somewhat entertained by the minister who claims the volcano in Iceland is pumping with rage because, “The world has had far too much sex.” I sure hope he isn’t the lone voice of gloom in Dodge. That might imply dicey karma on my part. How about just a penny toward redemption?

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