If you can believe it, America's unsung coin hero, Mr. Nickel, is about to get a makeover! This poor forsaken coin, which towers over only the penny, has been stuck in pocket change limbo for far too long. When the only thing you have to look down on is the penny, a useless piece of copper emblazoned with the image of a bearded maan who got shot in the head, what do you have to look forward to? You may be worth five pennies, but at best you're still only half as good as a dime and carry only one-fifth the weight of a quarter. To make things more insulting, the dime is smaller than the nickel, but still more valuable! Why don't they just dig up Thomas Jefferson's corpse and have small children beat it like a piñata while an American flag burns in the background? But don't blow your brains out just yet, Mr. Nickel, things are looking up for you!

WASHINGTON | After 65 years with hardly a change, the nickel is getting two new looks next year — one design will feature clasped hands of friendship between the U.S. government and American Indians and the second will show Lewis and Clark on a keelboat.

Bravo, I say! At least to that delicious "hardly a change" pun. I'm sure the author had a lot pun – oops, I mean fun – writing that article! While it is good that the nickel is finely seeing some change, it's a shame that nobody is thinking big about those changes. The nickel has, for the vast untold eons since 1938, depicted Thomas Jefferson and some boring building captioned "Monticello." I'm pretty sure that's a reference to Monticello, Indiana, home of beautiful Lake Schaffer and the famous Indiana Beach amusement park, which proves once again there is more than corn in Indiana. I'm not sure why the nickel would commemorate an amusement park that you have to drive through hours and hours of corn fields just to get to, but I do have to admit I'm not as up on American history as some folks. The flipside of this currency conundrum is of course the dire attire of President Thomas Jefferson, who still looks like he's ready to seduce a fine slave woman and father some fine slave children as all the tabloids like to say. I realize that there is some importance in historical accuracy, but really, this guy looks like he's trapped inside a time capsule cleverly disguised as a coin. He needs a fashion update more than the ghost of John Ritter needs to stop haunting my barn. For one thing, ponytails went out of style a decade ago. What is he, some kind of divorced dad trying to impress young girls with his hip hairdo and fancy lad wardrobe? Let's give poor old Jefferson a break and pump some fresh blood into this tired coin of yesteryear.

Unfortunately, the changes they want to make, well, I'm afraid they just don't add up. Lewis and Clark and a lousy handshake with American Indians? It feels like I've been waiting all my life for this, and now I can die knowing I lived a meaningless existence. Lewis and Clark might have been big back around the time of the Louisiana Purchase, but what have they done for us lately? Oh that's right, they are graciously rotting to dust! If we're going to honor corpses, then it's high time we honor the corpse of Norman Fell, seeing as how he has done a lot more for this country than Lewis and Clark. The idea of immortalizing an interracial handshake on the back of an important coin doesn't strike me as being that great either. What's that supposed to symbolize? We may rape and pillage your lands and people, but we'll never forget that firm handshake of yours. Score one for white man's boundless generosity! Look, I'll cut to the chase: these ideas suck. I don't know where these knuckleheads at the U.S. Mint get their ideas, but they're about as fresh as a medical cadaver. I don't mean to be an armchair minter, but I can do a much better job than those bozos. It's time to look at some real makeovers for the nickel that actually mean something:

Daredevil Jefferson
If there is one thing that captivates people like nothing else, it's the concept of daredevils. The men and women who take amazing risks by jumping great distances on motorcycles and in cars, walk thin tightropes high above the ground, and get dangerously close to animals have long been a source of inspiration and shock. They pull our heartstrings like a parachute ripcord as they jump from a burning plane into a tank of anthrax coated lobsters. They are the proxy with which we engage our most primeval flight or fight fantasies. For this, they have our eternal gratitude and thanks. I, as a humble American have to ask, isn't it time we honored them in more than just a primetime special or short blurb on the TV news when one of them gets mangled? Why don't we combine our love of daredevils with our love of Thomas Jefferson, the man whose existence validated the nickel! I propose Daredevil Johnson, the only president with the guts to jump Devil's Canyon or to fly a motorcycle over a line of fifty burning cars – one for each state – and land in no less than the Mississippi River! On the tails side of this coin would be a hand giving the thumbs up, the international symbol for "I made it! I survived this stunt intact!"

The Batnickel
Plain and simple, Batman is the most inspiring person alive today. Born of tragedy, he fights a brutal vigilante crusade to make his hometown safe. He's stood by his city through thick and thin, dealing with everything from earthquakes to viral outbreaks. And in the midst of all that chaos, he keeps an army of deranged lunatics in line. Some may call Gotham City a Sodom and Gomorra of the modern era, but even with its faults and abundance of vice, there are still good people there trying to survive. Championing them is none other than the caped crusader! Never has he asked for anything in return except a little space and a little respect. Isn't it time we honored the world's greatest detective? Isn't it time we put Batman on the nickel? I think so. If anything, it sends a strong message to the criminal element. For those of you expecting a bunch of jokes in this paragraph, forget it! Batman is simply no laughing matter.

The Vladimir Lenin Nickel
In a perfect communist society, money is no object. In fact, it won't even exist. What better way to stick it to moldy old Karl Marx and those commie bastards in Russia than by putting Bolshevik kingpin Vladimir Lenin on a piece of currency? It will be as delicious as secretly hiding a chunk of meat in a vegetarian's tofu! The irony of a communist mastermind adorning a capitalist monetary unit will be a crippling blow to Soviet morale and a strong reminder as to why America is top dog at the international kennel. Make this newly enlightened nickel the vanguard of your pocket change and send a message that Khrushchev and his nuclear thugs won't soon forget. All the while you're buying comic books, soda pop, and seeing moving picture shows with your new nickel, old man Lenin will be spinning in his public tomb in front of demoralized Soviet workers!

[Editor's Note: Livestock still doesn't know the Cold War is over.]

The Jessica Lynch / Elizabeth Smart Always Remember Nickel
How can we honestly call ourselves a caring nation and not honor Jessica Lynch? The captured convoy she was a part of was a dollar that was sucked into the vile vending machine that is Iraq, which in turn spit out this nickel as change! Her indomitable spirit was the driving force that toppled Saddam Hussein's corrupt regime, freeing millions of Iraqis from the clutches of a brutal totalitarian state. What's more, her epic victory over the forces of evil sent aftershocks that rumbled through the terrorist underworld like an abdominal cramp through Allah. The nefarious terrorists simply could not believe the might and grace of this awe-inspiring girl next door. At the same time, how can we forget the harrowing ordeal that young Elizabeth Smart had to endure? After being kidnapped by a polygamist or some other form of loony, her abduction gained national attention. Truly, this little girl was so precious that coverage of her disappearance outranked most important national and international events! Like Lynch, she lost her innocence, but thankfully is being provided a lifetime's worth of wealth through book and movie deals as consolation. What darling damaged goods! By putting these two angels on a coin – the only coin that's all heads and no tails – we make a bold statement about the completely unrelated war on terrorism! We won't forget, Osama! We'll always remember what you did to us!

The Six Cent Nickel
My most radical proposal isn't so much a makeover, but an overhaul in value! I think it's not the look of the nickel that holds it back, but the worth. Five cents doesn't buy much, and everyone knows that. But what happens if you up the value to, oh, say six cents? Suddenly that nickel of yours is looking a lot more dynamic. Right now you're probably saying, "Whoa, Josh, stop – this is simply too much to handle!" But I can't stop, not when I'm channeling the voice of the American spirit! The six cent nickel is just the beginning. I propose that the value of the nickel be increased by one cent each year for the next five years until the nickel is equal to the dime in value. That's when people will see the true beauty of American currency – variety! How many other nations have two different and unique coins that carry the same monetary value? Probably some, but none that are America! To make things easier, the penny will also go up in value one cent each year until it is worth five cents. This way America will look stronger, because it will be the economy without pennies. Only big bucks for us! To further accentuate this amazing new nickel, Thomas Jefferson will be given an Asian headband. This will add an unprecedented allure to the most under appreciated coin since the penny. Does Thomas Jefferson know karate? Does he use chopsticks? Did he take an Asian bride? All this questions and more will be asked when this shiny new metal maven hits the markets. This will be the coin that gets people talking, that opens dialogue, and inspires everybody to push for just a little bit more out of themselves. United States Government, Americans demand a six cent nickel!

I think after what I've just said, the U.S. Mint is going to have some serious reconsidering to do. Lewis and Clark might put a smile on my grandma's face as she buys yarn to nit a body bag for olden times, but it's not going to work for us living in the present. And that wonderful handshake of friendship might make a Native American working at a casino chuckle as he gleefully scalps white man's welfare check in a game of blackjack, but it says nothing of substance to the average American. My ideas are universal and appeal to all sorts of people. At the end of the day, you can take my ideas to the bank. Think about it, U.S. Mint!

Insulin-Powered Gaming

Hey folks, Taylor "Psychosis" Bell here with good news for all you diabetics out there! I have suffered through Captain Novolin, a SNES game that represents your one beacon of hope in this bleak world.

Each platforming segment is preceded by a doctor - either a creepy blonde who looks like she’s laughing while having a stroke, or a lumpy alien beanbag-man who looks like Al Roker with a pillow surgically implanted into his face. Before each platforming level you are advised by one of these two illegal immigrant doctors about what food you should and shouldn’t eat. But be sure to pay attention, because when the level starts you will have to kill various forms of giant anthropomorphic junk food while eating one of everything they tell you, and ONLY one. If they tell you to eat one cereal bowl with legs and you eat two, Captain Novolin demonstrates his fighting spirit by flopping over on the ground and dying. The game may not be very innovative otherwise, but I will admit that Captain Novolin is the only video game action hero I’ve controlled who can be killed by eating an extra slice of toast.

I contracted some kind of alien moon sickness and I've spent the last week coughing up my lungs and a number of other vital organs, and on top of that I've played through one of the worst SNES games ever made, but at least I won't have to suffer alone! Share my pain!

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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