The United States Mint

The United States Mint, located in Washington DC, is the official government agency responsible for producing all mint products in the United States. Each day thousands upon thousands of lifesavers roll off its assembly lines. But few people realize that the United States Mint is also responsible for producing mint chocolate, mint tea, mint mouthwash, mint toothpaste, and mint air fresheners.

As you might expect, all these products are produced under the strictest security. Employees are searched carefully each day as they leave work. Security guards watch carefully to see if workers at the mint might have any spearmint lifesavers or mint chocolates in their pockets.

Employees know full well that if they are caught sucking one lifesaver, they could be fired right there on the spot. (Of course, it's okay for employees to stuff their pockets full of hundred dollar bills while they work. It wouldn't be right for the United States Mint to interfere with such a minor aspect of their jobs.)

Naturally, the government goes to great lengths to prevent anyone from counterfeiting mints. Sometimes people get the crazy idea that they can just set up a candy machine in their basement and then live the easy life from the mints they produce.

But the government uses special inks in the rounded paper in which the mints are shipped. This paper is almost impossible to duplicate in any printing press or photocopying machine.

Our entire economy is based on peppermint, so it's no surprise that the government takes mint production so seriously. A bad batch of lifesavers, for instance, could set the stock market tumbling. A poorly produced batch of mouthwash could have a serious effect on the strength of the dollar.

Work shifts at the United States Mint take place from 8 AM to 2 PM, and then from 2 PM to 8 PM. After 8 PM, workers are free to do as they choose - - - including starting their own chocolate factories. (Hence the origins of "After 8" mint chocolate delights.)

Whenever you hear that interest rates are rising or that the U.S. dollar is falling, just keep in mind that without the United States Mint our entire economy would come crashing down in a minute. So pop another lifesaver in your mouth and do your part to keep America's economy (and breath) fresh and tingling.

Phil Shapiro

Copyright 1995

All Rights Reserved

[This story may be freely copied and distributed for noncommercial purposes. In particular, it may be freely used for any freeeware or shareware software projects. (I'd love to see a copy of anything you make with this.)

I'd be happy to communicate with any software development companies interested in producing multimedia stories. I've written a bunch of stories that lend themselves to multimedia presentation.


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