In Stephan We Trust: A Mission for Pearls Before Swine Fans Everywhere

The parking lot I park in here in Santa Rosa no longer has a person that takes your money at the gate.  They have one of those little parking machines you have to find and put your money in.

The fee this morning was three bucks, so I put in a five-dollar bill and got two dollars back in change.

At least that’s what I thought.

When I took a closer look, I saw that I had received two coins, each with a guy named Franklin Pierce on them.

In short, I was the victim of a practical joke.

I say that with confidence because if you look up Franklin Pierce on Wikipedia, you’ll see that he was a former U.S. president whose main accomplishment appears to be this:

“When the issue (of slavery) flamed up early in his administration, Pierce did little to cool the passions it aroused, and sectional conflicts reignited.”

That last phrase is a fancy way of saying he triggered the Civil War.

Wikipedia ends the article with this nice little summary:

“Pierce has been ranked among the least effective Presidents.”

Okay, so my guess is that someone here in Santa Rosa is minting coins in his basement.  Which is fine.  My only comment to him is that he could have picked someone funnier.  Liberace and Scottie Pippen come to mind.

Now the even worse scenario here is that the coin is somehow REAL and that the U.S. Mint has finally gotten so low on the List of People Whose Heads Should Be On Coins that we’re down to idiots who have caused sectional strife.

I doubt it, but if that’s somehow the case, surely my coin cannot be far behind.  I mean, consider this:

1)  I’m an idiot;

2) I’ve ignited sectional conflict (I once angered the entire nation of Turkey with a comic strip); and

3) My hair is more stylish than that of Franklin Pierce.  Which is not to say mine is stylish.  But please, look at this goofy mess.  And don’t say it’s a 19th century thing.  Because Lincoln was from that era, and except for that mole, he looked great.

So if you have some pull at the U.S. Mint, please, make things happen.  And I don’t want to be pushy, but I’d like it done quickly enough so that the next time I park at that lot in Santa Rosa (probably next Wednesday), my change will have me on it.  And to make this as easy as possible, I’ve even located a photograph of me that I think would be nice on a coin.

It’s me eating a crawdad I found in a nearby swamp.

I’ve carefully chosen this pose because it’s symbolic of how it’s a “dog-eat-dog” world and you have to fight for every dollar you earn.  And don’t make fun of that, because it makes way more sense than that silly pyramid with the eye over it on the dollar bill.

So please, even if you don’t have any pull at the Mint, you surely have a few seconds to contact the Treasury Department and make sure this happens before Scottie Pippen fans get wind of this and beat me to it.  And for bonus points, send me the Treasury Department’s response, which I’ll post here.  The worst they can say is no.  Which is doubtful, since they’re down to Mr. Funny Hair.

And please, no requesting your own face on the coin.  While you too may be an idiot, I thought of it first.

54 thoughts on “In Stephan We Trust: A Mission for Pearls Before Swine Fans Everywhere

  1. OK, OK, you can have your face on a dollar coin. No problem. All you have to do is get elected President.

  2. Why not have them give change as Dollar Bills with your face on it………..actually I would prefer Rat on it! Rat represents the people, or at least that is my opinion.

  3. Umm. Don’t you have to be dead before they will put you on a coin? That might put a crimp in your plan unless you are REALLY committed to the idea.

  4. I looked it up and I would have to call them and I don’t really want the FBI on me for prank calling. Seriously, how do you explain that the reason you want a cartoonist on a coin is ‘cus he told you to? Sorry Stephen, you’ll have to do it the old fashion way: Become president and die (in that order, I hope)

  5. It’s legit. The US Mint is doing a Presidential $1 coin program that includes all presidents who are already dead no matter how useless or terrible they were in office. The Pierce coin came out this year.$1coin/index.cfm?action=FPierce

    All you need to do is get elected president and then convince the US mint that you are dead by 2016 and you’ll have your own shiny coin.

  6. Yeah, no way to e-mail them.’s election season…so I don’t see a reason not to e-mail my state representatives!

  7. Stephan, these are the worst designed coins ever minted by the U.S. government. They look like subway tokens. No, I take that back. They look worse than subway tokens. They look like parking lot tokens…like that parking lot in Santa Rosa. You really don’t want your mug on these crummy things.

    Now, if they offer to graft your head onto the “Walking Liberty” lady from the 1916-47 half dollar, go for it! That was one beautiful coin.

  8. It’d be a lot more fun if we could just mint our own coins. Then there wouldn’t be any of those pesky requirements like dying or being elected.

  9. Save the crawdads! (It doesn’t look like you’re going to eat it (him/her), but that the two of you are having some kind of yuk-fest (as opposed to a YUCK-fest, if you actually did eat a crawdad, shell and all.)

    Question: when is a crawdad a “languostino”?
    Question 2: when is there going to be a crawdad in Pearls?

    Question 3: when is there going to be a crawdad on the US dollar coin?

  10. Hey, if you become president just to get your face on a coin, I’d vote for ya. 🙂 seriously though, I wish I COULD E-mail these people! I mean, seriously, putting a president on a coin sort of puts them up on a pedestal, even if they were terrible. You’re already up on a pedastal . . . plus, since they likely wouldn’t print the coins for long, your face would be a collector’s item! 🙂 and at least other countries would be like, “Hey, they’re not all war and guns.”

  11. Okay, Stephan, I emailed them and asked them to bend the “has-to-be-dead” rule just this once. If this works, you owe me big.

  12. Sorry, Stephan, but the government at one point passed a law saying that you have to be dead to appear on currency. (of course, given the choice between a living cartoonist who is pretty popular and a dead president who caused the Civil War, they might make an exception).

  13. a hairdo re-popularized by “a flock of seagulls” in the mid eighties, if you recall.

  14. The best way to decide who get’s their own coin is to count the number of “Did a stoopid” stickers affixed to them… You all have been busy using those, haven’t you???

    Everyone was racist back in the day, even Lincoln said some really no-so-good things, yet he’s portrayed as a shining beacon of tolerance

    It’s all about who writes history.

  15. Franklin Pierce has one other accomplishment: He’s a distant cousin to Barbara Pierce Bush, W’s crotchety mom. Sectional Strife runs in the family.

  16. Great idea! A Pastis face definitely belongs on a U.S. coin.
    Give your Dad my love and tell him to visit us in Florida.

  17. I worded that poorly… get yourself a weiner dog that looks as cute as that one in the picture. BTW, if you can’t get the U.S. mint to get you on one (fantasy is fun and all, but back in the real world…), what if you made your own die and pressed your own gold coins? Or even silver? Then, I’ll gladly take your coin over those other ones anyday… unless you actually eat a cute little dog-in-a-bun.

  18. One more thing… I noticed that the !#$%!$@#!hole on that link I put there says that he’s going to actually eat one. If he does, please use your mafia connections and bend all his bones backwards.

  19. “Apparently you missed the coins for William Henry Harrison”

    Ooo, you don’t want those – damn things are just COVERED in germs.

  20. That’s just a link to their contacts. Don’t be so lazy. Give us the person to inundate, and we’ll inundate them!

  21. 1. Are you sure those were real coins? Maybe the parking lot owner gave you coins that can only be used in HIS parking lot. In whicn case you’re screwed if you never go there again. 2. That looks like a scorpion which is just as disgusting as eating a crawdad. 3. Perhaps Mr Pierce was having a bad hair day what with causing all of that strife. He probably ran out of Hoity Toity Hair Gel.

  22. Did you know that Franklin Pierce is related to President George W. Bush. His mother, Barbara’s, maiden name was Pierce and Franklin Pierce was her distant great, great, grandfather. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  23. Stephan, on which verse would you be?

    Ob… or Re… ?

    Would the other side have a Sitsap? Your doppleganger?

  24. Steph, “mudbugs” are also croc cuisine! Are you sure you want to go there? On the other hand, that could be the inspiration for future strips. Hmmmmmm.

  25. I didn’t recognize him at first but when I looked at the coin I remembered seeing him in Amadeus.

  26. Have you noticed the new penny? Looks like Homeland Security is somehow scaring the mint into changing from the Lincoln Memorial..

    Plus we get lots of Canadian pennies. I think it’s a conspiracy. The Canadians are invading and no one is noticing…

    Homeland Security is too busy scaring the mint.

  27. Franklin Pierce was also really good buddies with Nathaniel Hawthorne, who wrote, among other things, The Scarlet Letter. There’s some English teacher trivia for you. Also, there is a college named for Franklin Pierce in Rindge, New Hampshire. Very pretty school, very ineffective president. Doesn’t deserve his own coin.

  28. I remember that strip. You named a llama Ataturk, which was the name of some tyrant in Turkey. Maybe we should start a revolution and get Stephan Pastis’ face on the quarter

  29. There is a quicker solution. You could just purchase the “smallest country in the world” and then mint your own currency with you picture on it. Google “smallest country in the world for sale” and you will see that there is a tiny bombing platform that the British government built in WWII that is in international waters. It is about 1,800 square feet with a metal building on top. The current owners declared it a sovereign nation years ago and declared themselves the rulers. It was for sale in 2007, not sure if it ever sold (who would want it besides Dr. Evil?)

  30. Franklin Pierce may have been a somewhat dickish President, but Benjamin Franklin totally rocked AND he is on the $100 bill, not a lame dollar coin. And if you put them together you get Benjamin Franklin Pierce, who was a really talented surgeon during the Korean War. See how it all ties together?

  31. What the US Mint should really do is allow anyone to put their face on a coin. One side has the face, and the other side would have a QR type code like they use for stamps. People who want their own coin would go to the US Mint, pay a fee, then the US Mint would produce how ever many they were paid for.

    This works for stamps; why not for coins?

  32. Franklin Pierce was from New Hampshire, where I was born more than 55 years ago, and still reside. We don’t have much to celebrate up here, so please accept these coins as tokens (and US currency) of our place in history. We won’t do it again any time soon. Sorry for all the trouble we caused over the past 147+ years.

    I thought it was George Bush’s fault…

  33. The United States Mint cannot make decisions to produce commemorative coins. Congress must enact legislation authorizing any new commemorative coins, and constituents may contact their Members of Congress and Senators to express a specific interest. In addition, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), an independent organization, makes recommendations to Congress in its annual report as to which people or events might be honored with commemorative coins. You may contact the CCAC Chairperson directly at 801 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20220.

  34. you do know the reason for this is that the mint started minting $1 coins for ALL the presidents, so its still worth $1 even if it looks weird.

  35. even worse, they once made a $10000 dollar bill. Guess who was on it. A really famous guy named Salmon P. Chase. Ya, a guy who’s name is a fish, AND a pinkish color.

    In case you don’t know who this is, he coined the slogan for the Free Soil Party “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men”.

    for more,

  36. Forget Franklin Pierce. I want to know what is your beef with Scottie Pippen? He was a heck of a point guard. In fact, I know he is JoJo Croc’s personal hero.

  37. Stephan: Personally, the only dollar coin I have ever liked is the Sacajawea one from a few years back (more than a few) that was designed by Harry Connick, Jr.s mother-in-law and MOTHER to Jill Goodacre retired, but still lovely (more than a turkey sandwich) former model for Victoria’s Secret. This is no lie. Look it up. Not on Wikipedia. Jill’s mom is a real sculptor and so talented. And Jill was a very talented model and artist when working as a scenic designer for Victoria’s Secret. Not that you know of this obscure magazine, right?
    As for you on a coin with a crawdad, mudbug, crawfish, whatever (they are quite delish in etoufee), I am all for it. BUT, after the election fiasco of 11/2, I am lying very low on the radar. I am not contacting any federal government people. I am scared to, even though I admire and support your protest about using Franklin Pierce, wienie man. Couldn’t they find someone a little more lively? They could have two-sided coins with old DICK Cheney on them that would be great in Vegas slot machines. Don’t get me started. But, you do photograph well, bud.

  38. They’re only up to President #16. Wait til they get to Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, and Herbert Hoover. It’ll make Franklin Pierce look like the good old days.

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