Ranking The Best U.S. Currency Denominations For Ingesting Cocaine This Holiday Season
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…
Disclaimer: don’t do cocaine. It ruins lives. I’m not a coke guy. I’ve seen my share of it but I retired from that game many years ago. There’s nothing worse than a terrifying sunrise.
Cash and cocaine go hand-in-hand: you climb into the backseat of some stranger’s car (which he probably bought at an impound auction for—you guessed it—cash), hand him your money, and he hands you the tiniest ziplock bag of lord knows what. In fancy circles, it might be a glass vial with a small stopper, like a hotel shampoo bottle. You run back to your friends, chop it up with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, roll up a bill, and get to business.
But every person who has ever knelt over a framed family photo, or carefully raised a house key to a nostril, knows that when it comes to that rolled-up bill, not all bills are created equal. If you’re at a party and someone hands you a sagging $1 bill, wet at one end from the nostril goo of the first three linesmen, you should pass. I don’t mean to sound snobby, but that coke will burn a hole through your septum like a regrettable piercing. You’ll be shaking and shitting and sweating and sneezing from tee-off till tap out. Same pretty much goes for fives.
Behold! My entirely subjective hierarchy of U.S. currency denominations for inhaling cocaine.
5. Andrew Jackson $20
Old faithful. Nothing wrong with this choice. The twenty is to cash what the Toyota Camry is to Uber: it’ll get you there, but you’re not going to be overjoyed when it turns up. Unless, you know, you’re in really dire straits… in which case, why are you buying cocaine? It’s expensive, seek help.
Andrew Jackson is a fascinating dude. His marriage to Rachel Robards was controversial in that she wasn’t legally divorced from her first husband when she and Jackson got together in 1790. In 1806, attorney Charles Dickinson talked some shit about Jackson and his wife in the local paper. Jackson immediately challenged Dickinson to a duel, which was risky as shit because Dickinson was the best dueler in the league. Jackson knew this, so his gameplan was to let Dickinson shoot the first shot quickly, then take his time and shoot the shit out of Dickinson. Apparently, the dueling rules are such that the first guy to fire has to stand still while the other guy shoots him back. WHAT?! (I’m getting all of this from Wikipedia and I still won’t donate).
So here’s how it goes down: Dickinson shoots Jackson and hits him so close to the heart that later, they couldn’t remove the bullet. Granted, these were 1806 surgeons so they were probably using spoons and grilling equipment. Jackson, bleeding from basically his heart, steadies himself and shoots Dickinson dead. Winner winner Jackson dinner.
Look, I’m not saying Andrew Jackson was on cocaine when he thought it was a good idea to let the best dueler in town take a free shot at him, just to “get that out of the way,” minimizing distractions and improving his chances of returning serve. But I’m not prepared to say that isn’t exactly the sort of idea that might come from an all-night coke binge.
4. Ulysses S. Grant $50
Without a doubt, the fifty is my favorite bill. Between the color palette and the square-jawed intensity of Ulysses S. Grant, the fifty oozes patriotism. Can you imagine naming your child Ulysses? What the hell did his friends call him for short, Uly? Sounds like a Bulgarian horse cook. To take a left turn, it’s also the name of James Joyce’s seminal novel—considered to be one of the greatest literary works of all time. If you haven’t read it, don’t. I tried once and it made nothing close to sense. It truly reads like the ravings of a coke fiend: stream of consciousness, left-field allusions, and muddy puns on every page. For that, we’ll leave the fifty in the four spot.
3. Sacagawea “Golden” $1 Coin
No time for a nap? A healthy Sac bump will clear your sinuses and get you ready for a night of hiking west. The original design shows a portrait of the Shoshone legend and her infant son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau—a LOT of name for someone so small. Still, there’s something so charming about snorting controlled substances off the forehead of a toddler. Hell, it might be the wakeup call you needed to tell you that you’re not ready for parenthood.
E Snuffulus U-Num!
2. Benjamin Franklin $100
This will be a controversial choice, as many people would put the hundred in the top spot. Since the treasury stopped printing thousand-dollar bills in 1969, the hundred has been the largest U.S. denomination of currency. It’s the Mercedes Benz S-500 of tootmobiles. This puppy has heated seats and legroom for days. It’s the Uber driver that hands you an iPhone charger and a cold bottle of water. It’s the Herman Miller Aeron chair, the Nespresso with a built-in milk steamer, a hotel shower with a panel of wall spouts, Liev Shreiber’s voice, pin-high on a par 5 in two, Teterboro, tight sheets, and the one time of the year that your Sweetgreen carpenter gets your portions juuuuust right. Depending on your friend group, you’ll rarely see a flat hundred—one that doesn’t curl in on itself because that’s what it knows.
Ben Franklin has the largest head I’ve ever seen. Maybe artists have exaggerated its size due to Franklin’s insane list of accomplishments, as if to suggest that only a mansion of skull could house such a prolific brain. But in my experience, people with large heads tend to ingest more cocaine than people with small heads. And there’s something about that blueish hue they added that makes it feel even cleaner, like a heavily-chlorinated pool.
And the best bill for tooting tails of toboggan talcum?
1. Thomas Jefferson $2
Maybe it’s because you can only get these from the tooth fairy, but I’ve never seen a $2 bill that wasn’t as crisp and clean as the first New England frost. What a beautiful note this is. On the portrait side, we have Thomas Jefferson—president, founding father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and so much more. On the back (as of 1976), John Trumbull’s painting of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. If that doesn’t look like a coke party to you, you’re probably a cop.
Jefferson founded and built the University of Virginia. UVA is a coke school, pure and simple. The students are gorgeous and rich. You don’t need to consult drug statistics, arrest records, or any of the “science” that goes into determining coke-heavy campuses in the U.S; simply check a google image search of UVA students. The results bring to mind those videos of colorblind people putting on color-enabling glasses for the first time. Vineyard Vines ties pointing to pastel shorts, sundresses and pearl necklaces and bloodshot eyes that scream of sleep lost not in libraries, but rather in dorm rooms spent discussing “if Handmaid’s Tale could really happen” through numb gums as the mirror circulates.
Obviously one of the great heroes of our nation, Jefferson also had his vices. He lived and died under crippling debt, compounded by his love of books and wine. Upon his appointment as ambassador to France, he discovered a deep and enduring love for Bordeaux reds and would frequently ship cases back to Monticello. In a letter advising a friend on how to purchase wine, Jefferson writes: “Don’t go to the middleman…. Go straight to the manufacturer. He will always give you the right product. The middleman is going to take advantage of you.” (NPR)
If that isn’t the goddamn cokiest cokeman advice ever…