The Rochdale Herald would like to remind readers that as of next week the shiny gold circles they exchange for goods and services will be rendered worthless, and must be replaced with metal hexagons instead.
The embossed gold discs we use to represent an arbitrary value known as ‘a pound’ will next week suddenly become worthless, despite already having no intrinsic value.
Even though every day we pass each other valueless lumps of metal in exchange for newspapers, sandwiches and Curly Wurlys, all based on the shared agreement that a certain number of coins is ‘worth’ the same amount, next week we’re all going to agree that actually it isn’t worth anything at all.
On Monday you can swap tokens all day long as usual, merrily getting pound coins in your change, and then on Tuesday when you try to buy a biro in WH Smith’s the girl will say ‘Sorry we can’t take that, they’re not legal tender anymore’. You will then get silently furious because it’s so patently a game we’ve all agreed to play along with, and if we all just carried on using the round ones then absolutely nothing would change. Certain people love nothing better than rigidly enforcing rules that have no discernible benefits except giving them the thrill of inconveniencing other people, and we live in a world of made-up money.
So you’re going to end up with a load of worthless circles that you then have to palm off on chuggers and buskers, which at least gives you the temporary pleasure of looking like a big spender, as long as you do it quickly from a bit of a distance.
Then just when you finally get rid of them all, you will encounter some bastard parking ticket machine that only takes the old type when you’re really late for a job interview, and you’ll end up giving a granny a two pound coin for a pound, thereby invalidating the sterling exchange rate and buggering up this great nation’s financial system even more than it is already.