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Ben sez: None of your beeswax


Okay, one more coin. This is the Continental Dollar; the very first coin of the brand new United States. It was designed — couldn’t you guess by looking at it? — by Ben Franklin.

The motto “Fugio” (I fly) together with the sundial means “time’s a-wasting.” This motto also appeared on the penny at right some years later; it’s often called the “Fugio” penny. Check out the goofy little R. Crumb face on the suns.

It isn’t certain whether Ben meant “Mind Your Business” as in “you there! Look to your factories and your warehouses, Sir” or “sticketh not thy snout where it should’st not be.” With Franklin, it could go either way.


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: April 3, 2007, 2:37 pm

With Ben, he probably meant it both ways.

Ooooh! My new toy just arrived!!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2007, 3:26 pm

Heeeeyyyyy…what toy? I just went to your blog, and it’s the All Sammich channel today.

(Personal favorite sammich: shaved Spam, fried with Muenster cheese on a Portuguese sweet muffin with mayo and barbecue sauce. Mmmmmm!)

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2007, 3:59 pm

Be envious, Enas! My sister recently introduced me to Steak-ums (which are on the grocers shelves here) and I’ve been packing ’em away with grilled onions and cheese on a french sammich baguette. Out-friggin’-standing. Fast. Easy. Superbly non-dietary. They have to list the calories and fats in exponential notation! That’s the way I like it!

…and I think I shall go have one (heh – two) now.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2007, 4:08 pm

Mssr. Weasel, is it your job to tweek my ancient brain cells?

I vaguely remember something about that “Mind you business” line on the early coins, but the details escape me. Its probably not important – or its vulgar, else it wouldn’t have stuck.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2007, 4:32 pm

Damn, McGoo, you’re older than I thought.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2007, 5:50 pm

I am approximately….all…the years old. At least I felt that way when I mowed the lawn today. Damn, it hurt.

But I’m all pudgy now with two Steak-um sammichs in me.

BTW: great site – and writing. I don’t say that enough as I tease, intrude, insult, and distract the crap out of you and your honored guests.

Also BTW: A faint fragrance of a thought came to me mid-bite while I was feeding my face. “Mind your business” is somehow linked in my mind to the thought that “Government should not interfere” with business – or the peoples’ various endeavors in general.

Mayhaps BF was saying to the govmint “Keep out”. Or – equally – to the people, “You watch out ’cause the govmint ain’t gonna do it for ya”.

Whatever. Neat coins.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: April 3, 2007, 5:51 pm

Yah, steakums are da shiznit Mr. McGoo. Oh, sorry to tease and run Mr. Weasel. Post and pic is up now.

That’s certainly a unique sandwich recipe you’ve got there. Let me guess – devised during your younger, poorer days when you threw together whatever you had at hand? I remember those days.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2007, 5:55 pm

…and we are not seeing a toy report from Enas. Its been hours. Must be something good.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2007, 6:04 pm

OOps. Spoke too soon.

Comment from Alissa
Time: April 3, 2007, 6:50 pm

I’m going to pretend not to read you anymore. The other Ben sited certain frustrations from these quarters… tied-in to what was said earlier about not posting toxic stuff and offending. I donno. I’ll only send swarthy, able-bodied, right-wing bushmen this way, and if you see my blog trace, you totally just imagined it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 4, 2007, 5:20 am

Eh. I suspect I’m bluffing. Surely, if I had some angsty message to impart, I’d’ve blurted it out by now. Instead, I seem to be ending up with Dear Diary. Me talking about myself; what a shocker.

Glad you enjoyed Disney. I’ve never been 🙁

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 4, 2007, 5:21 am

Ewwwww! Graphical smiley! I meant to disable the damn things.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: April 4, 2007, 9:45 am

I think she’s talking about something else, Mr. Weasel. Didn’t you used to be on her blogroll?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 4, 2007, 11:21 am

The backstory is, I keep claiming I’m holding back all these bilious ‘winger rants out of deference to the several nice liberals who read this site. I suspect I’m bluffing.

I started sweasel for the express purpose of venting some political anger, but I find myself reluctant to post about whatever it is everybody else is posting about today. It’s got that greasy, AOL “me too!” feel to it. So instead I end up journalling and catblogging…false advertising if I ever do cut loose with some serious partisan spleen.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 4, 2007, 2:19 pm

You’s doin’ jes fine, Herr Weasel – IMHO. You are definitely NOT copying other sites. Keep writing, keep writing.

Meanwhile – I was enjoying being totally confused and mystified by her post.

Neat knife, Enas. It looks too expensive to fling, though.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: April 4, 2007, 2:37 pm

Thankee Mr. McGoo! Yah I don’t want to throw that one around, but I probably will use it as an ice-pick from time to time.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 4, 2007, 2:58 pm

Ice pick? Ok. Depends on what the ice is cooling, I guess. A good single-malt, mayhaps?

Sir Weasel – another memory surfaced just now:

“Not worth a Continental Damn.”

Origin? Meaning? Or was it a dream?

Your coin looks like its worth several damns – quite a few, in fact. Like – “Damn, I’d like to have that.”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 4, 2007, 3:09 pm

Here’s what Bartleby says:

QUOTATION: “Not worth a Continental dam” had its origin about this time [1780]. It is not a profane expression. A “dam” is an Indian coin of less value than one cent and a Continental one cent was next to worthless when it took six pounds, or about thirty dollars to buy a “warm dinner.”
ATTRIBUTION: OLIVER TAYLOR, Historic Sullivan, p. 97, footnote (1909).

Other versions of this phrase include “Not worth a Continental” and “Not worth a Continental Damn.” While other writers do not include the Indian connection, they agree the phrase arose when Continental money became worthless toward the end of the Revolution. See Mitford M. Mathews, A Dictionary of Americanisms, p. 383 (1951).

I don’t own that coin, alas. I nicked the picture off the ‘net. I don’t know what it’s worth. I know most of them were cast in pewter and it’s thought it might be a practice run before making a silver version.

Sometimes coins are worth less than you’d think, though. I’ve got a George III penny I paid $16 for. It’s because they made a squillion of them, so there are still plenty around.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 4, 2007, 3:35 pm

Ah-ha. Never heard of a “dam” before. I still wouldn’t mind having one of those Continental Dollars.

Yep, some coins are old but common. But then there’s stories like the guy over in Jolly Ol’ England who was refurbishing an old stone building on his fambly property. He punched through a stone wall and out poured someone’s private savings from long ago. The coins included one coin from about 1108 or 1308 or whatever. It was only the 2nd or 3rd one known to exist in the entire world, and was worth mucho bucks. Read this somewhere in the last few years. Don’t know why it stuck.

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