The American bison, a/k/a buffalo, is about to be named our national mammal, thanks to the National Bison Legacy Act, which passed through Congress last week and now awaits the president's signature.
I am all for this — and let's have a national reptile next. The American alligator?
And why stop there? Put me in charge of America and a buck will mean a buck. In other words, take George Washington off the one-dollar bill and replace him with a buck whitetail deer.
Some people in the Treasury keep saying we should switch to a one-dollar coin: more economical, etc. But they lack the guts to pull in the paper money and force a switch. Well, do it! If the Canadians can put a loon on their dollar coin and call it a "loonie," we can have Odocoileus virginianus and call it a "buck."
All will be spelled out in the Charismatic Megafauna Currency Act of 20XX.
The buffalo belongs on five-dollar bill. It just feels right to me, and there are five letters in bison.
Not to be totally mammalian, I will order that the ten-dollar bill carry the image of the aforementioned alligator.
The fifty . . . maybe a bighorn sheep? Something solid and Western? Elk?
The hundred, formerly known as a Ben Franklin, would now be a bald eagle. (Yes, there were other eagle coins in the past. We'll sort it out.)
But the eagle is not worth what it used to be, so how about a five-hundred dollar lynx? Think of the linx/lynx puns.
Or a thousand-dollar bill, for the convenience of those needing to carry large sums of cash around. Reach into the Pleistocene and decorate it with a stalwart Columbian mammoth.
Imagine the conversations:
"He showed up with a roll of mammoths — makes you wonder what he does for a living."
"Anyone got two buffs for a gator?"
"I'm down to my last eagle."
Forget all this Andrew Jackson/Harriet Tubman stuff. My proposed legislation will have people arguing over animals!