I heard a clink today and looked down. There, at my feet, lay one of the Bank of England's finest twenty pence pieces, in all its fake silver glory, rattling down to a state of rest. Now I've probably got my maths all horribly wrong, but if a British sterling pound was still a Troy pound of silver, as it used to be before the Henry the VIIIth and the British government got their ravenous inflationary hands on it, a twenty pence piece would be worth about £17 current fiat pounds; in other words, the value of four original silver shillings has now shrunk to approximately 1.5% of their original value due to government meddling with the money supply.
All these thoughts and more swilled around my mind before the coin came to a dizzying halt. Sod it, I thought, and walked on. I couldn't be arsed to pick the damned thing up.
So, what would you bend over for? I think I'd probably still go down for a pound, and maybe even a fifty pence piece. But it's been a while since I've bothered to stoop for ten pence pieces, and five pence pieces are like so much fancy glitter hardly worth even following with your eyes if they should spill from your wallet.
But this is the first time I've walked on without a second glance from a dormant twenty pence piece.
Government inflation really does have the strangest effects.
BTW, any link between this story and my experiences as a young man walking down Canal Street in Manchester, being asked if I wanted to spend twenty pence, are entirely coincidental - I still to this day have no idea what these men were talking about.