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Destroyed Dime

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I love shooting macro photos, especially involving things that don't move. It really allows you to leave the shutter open for a while and get some crazy detail on very small objects. For me, it takes a lot of things that people would find mundane and turns them into objects of beauty.

I took a failed trip to McLogan's this morning, not knowing that they would be closed on Friday. As the foremost supplier to the screen printing and sign-making industries in LA, it seemed like a place that would be open, but it wasn't. As I made my way back to the freeway, I noticed a Starbucks, with open street parking, smack dab in the middle of downtown LA. Seeing a leprechaun would have been more reasonable. To stave off my hallucinations, I thought I would avail myself of the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant and rare Starbuck's beverage.

The lady who took my drink order mentioned when she gave me change that this one particular dime kept turning up in the store, such that it always ended up in the tip jar or part of the till. Thinking that our hero had some amazing ability to track ordinary coins, the barista cleared things up when she held up this dime.

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Be baffled by my overactive imagination and access to a 50 mm macro lens after the jump. Both pics by © / Pesky Humans

I traded one of my recently acquired, ordinary dimes for this oddly mangled 1972 model with the knowledge that today was going to take a photographic detour from my original plans.

I want to think that this dime saved someone's life - in the right place at the right time, perhaps in a coat pocket, the humble dime catches the assassin's bullet and the intended victim lives to tell, literally, the most unfuckingbelievable story in the history of tall tales. It seems to me that a guy who has that experience holds on to the fucking coin so he can deal with the endless line of skeptics that a person like this faces his or her entire life.

Another oddly more plausible scenario is that there is some dude out there that can shoot dimes out of the air with a little tiny gun that is capable of denting, but not piercing the coin. That guy would give the dimes away to onlookers to feed his reputation. The problem with this idea is that somebody with that skill and a miniature pistol is somebody that we would be aware of. Right? Shit, an individual who shoots dimes out of the air with a tiny gun must wear a costume of some sort.

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The bottom line is that I am pretty sure that even the smallest modern arms fire would laugh in the face of a 1.35 mm thick piece of copper and nickel bearing the likeness of FDR. Pardon the pun, but if I am going to try to stop a bullet, my money's on the quarter. It's not as big as a dollar coin, but it sports Washington. Sure, Washington was flawed, but he was a visionary and a badass who believed so much in certain core principles that he risked everything to lead a rag tag militia against the most powerful army and navy in the world, kicked their asses, and then founded a nation based on those principles. Say what you will about Washington, but when the shit gets major, this is a guy I definitely want on my team. Frankly, I would take Kevlar over the quarter any day, but if I was shot where a coin happened to be at the time, I'm hoping that Washington is on the set.

I don't think a BB could do this to a dime. If a projectile is the cause of this damage, I think a high powered air rifle pellet is the most likely culprit. Of all the aforementioned options, this is clearly the lamest. The would-be shooting victim and the guy in the tights with the tiny blunderbuss are both way cooler than the crack pellet gun marksman. Our heroes both live lives of grit and vigor. The pellet guy is in a prone position and ironically holding his breath as a puff of air propels his ammunition down range.

I realize that this is probably the result of an industrial accident (like being dropped into a machine of some sort), or was intentionally done with a hammer and a nailset or punch. Those both beat our air-gun guy, but they suck just slightly less. I get the feeling that if I actually found out what beat up this dime, I would be totally underwhelmed, but I would love to know anyway, if for no other reason than to keep me off the lookout for a guy in a cape carrying a little revolver.

Enjoy! ©