If you live in the U.S. and watch a modicum of television, there is little doubt that you’ve seen at least one Geico commercial featuring the googly-eyed stack of bills that represents “the money you could be saving with Geico.” This goofy character shows up in random spots such as rooftops and bridges of ships. The Money attracts people’s attention using a variety of methods, including staring at people in restaurants, interrupting meetings, and following people on back roads. Truly, this Money is persistent, though I wonder how many people would get away with all of the crap he pulls.
Sure, he’s a likable character, I suppose (it’s the googly eyes–they’re irresistible!), but this Money fellow raises many questions. How does he get around? He doesn’t have legs, arms, or any other obvious means of locomotion, yet he is ubiquitous. A second and related question is how does he manage to travel so far? If he can’t propel himself, does he hitch rides on planes and cars? How does he afford all this travel? Does he spend himself? If so, does that mean you get less money if you sign up with Geico? Also, what is the Money’s incentive? Surely he cannot want to get paid–he is money. Does he crave human attention? Is he lonely? Is he dangerous? How does he get into places where he isn’t expected?
Yes, the questions surrounding this pile of bills are many and complex, but on a more pragmatic level one question is paramount: how much money is the Money? It is apparent that he goes to great lengths to disguise his actual worth. What do I mean? Well, let’s start with straps. The Money is stacked two bundles high, and both bundles are held together with white and blue straps. Anyone who has experience with currency straps knows that blue straps are for $100 bundles. Blue straps usually are used for piles of one dollar bills; thus, it would seem that the Money is $200 plus two eyes.
But hold on there, my friend. He’s too thin to be made of 100 one-dollar bills. In addition to this fact, there is a further, more intriguing element: the bill on top of him is a five! Perhaps, then, we are to think that the Money is $200 worth of fives? Nay, I tell you, for straps of fives that are $100 are much thinner than the Money is. And lest you think he is made of a strap of fives, which is worth $500, you should know that $500 straps are red.
So what are we to think, then? What is Geico telling us about the money we could be saving with them? It seems to me that two possibilities remain: 1) the Money consists of $200 in some ungodly mish mash of bills; 2) the Money wears his straps like a mask, and there is no way to know for sure how much cash you and I can save by switching to Geico. Given that Geico, like all insurance companies, doesn’t want to promise savings it cannot deliver, it seems most likely that option two is the right one.
Money, I call for you to reveal yourself as you are. Unstrap yourself and lay yourself bare for the world to see. It is the only way for us to truly understand you. Do it for the American people, but, more than that, do it for yourself. It is only by looking within ourselves that we can understand our real value.
Failing that, the next time any of you see the Money taunting, following, or otherwise bothering you just to make his presence known, grab him, tear off his blue straps, and count him.