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We were programmed from birth to be attracted to money.

There’s no denying it – from the first few cents magically placed under our pillows for a redundant tooth, or the meagre pocket-money tossed into our grubby little mitts for a job well done – even then, every coin had its own sparkle and allure. Once acquired, we were taught to ferret it away in some ugly ceramic vessel  and await the golden moment when we would be allowed to handle it once more, turn it in our fingers and then turn it over to its new owner in exchange for a sweet or some other immediately gratifying, but soon forgotten, tit-bit.

Not surprising that as adults, our love affair with money continues in the same fashion. We chase it, we earn it, we save and spend and pine for more.

What astounds me at the very base level is how humans can worship something so toxically dirty?  And I mean literally.

Why do you think it’s referred to as’ filthy lucre’ or ‘dirty cash’ people?

I think the best way to put it into perspective, is to follow a little trail I like to call the lunch room loop.

It begins in a fictional American town, (because that’s how I like to tell the story) with Darrell, a studious chap who has just finished expertly dissecting a snail in his science class. Off to the lunchroom he goes, wiping his slimy snail  fingers on his pants leg with no thought for soap and water, and then happily takes the change from his lunch milk and stuffs it into his pocket . There, it joins a few damp tissues and some old chewed gum.

After School Darrell trades his already soiled coins for a new comic at the local store. Here, the shop owner Raj – having has just finished eating his  curry with his hands – throws down the last of his poppodom to snatch Darrell’s money and shove it in the till.

The next day,that same money makes its way back out into the world with Gaylene ,a beer wench at the local bar. Back  home to the trailer park Gaylene goes with her money in her shoe because her cleavage has lost a few coins over the years and her hot-pants have no pockets.

Continuing its travels, the money passes from Gaylene’s seventeen yr old daughter (who works at ‘Beverley’s Beauty Bar’  specialising in hands-on acne treatments), then to a customer’s son who often sleeps in the public amenity blocks when his pregnant girlfriend has a fit of hormonal irrationality. At this point his money is routinely pinched and finds its way back  to the school lunch room. And so it goes…the putrid money loop.

Need I say more?

How is it that we are happy to clean ourselves, our cars, our clothes, our furniture  and even our shopping trolleys but not think to sanitise that object most prized and praised, that object that passes from hand to hand around the world faster than any other commodity?

Can in not be laundered somehow? And no. Not in that way…

Perhaps one day wallets will become portable fumigators?

But for now in my house, the tooth fairy is dead, chores earn a respect not coins and I am switching to bankcard.

Indefinitely.

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