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In my wallet right now is a quartet of familiar faces: one Washington, four Lincolns, a Hamilton, and a wow, how-did-this-get-here Grant.
Although increasingly scarce in these hard times, the four still effortlessly come to mind when conjuring currency: the one-dollar Washington with that iconic wig (or is that really his hair?); the five-dollar Lincoln, with that craggy face and jawbone beard; the ten-dollar Hamilton, less recognizable because he’s less known; and the fifty-buck Grant, all save-the-Union stern with his just-this-side-of-Castro beard.
All four gaze out seriously in shades of faded green.
Also in my wallet is a fifth face, instantly recognizable, to be sure, but less familiar as far as greenbacks go. Everything is different about this guy. First off, unlike the others, he’s smiling. Second, unlike the others, his likeness is in color, his background a pale blue, his shirt white, his suit black. Third, very much unlike the others, he is not white.
Yes, we’re talking President Barack Obama.
And, no, we’re not talking about actual money. This semi-greenback is a sign of the times: an American City Diner “Stimulus Buc.”
Patrons get one of the Obama dollars for every $10 purchase at the eatery on Connecticut Avenue NW. Each stimulus buck is worth a dollar toward a meal at the diner.