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Couple years ago they switched to polymer bills. Kind of slick feel to ‘em. Official story went like this: polymer is harder to counterfeit. Polymer doesn’t rip like paper does. Polymer won’t get destroyed in the laundry.

You know the truth though, right?

They switched because we Spocked the fives.

Every last one.

Some poor chief-of-staff sucker on Parliament Hill walked into the prime minister’s office with a paper bill tucked into his hands. The prime minister squinted at the chief-of-suckers.

“You mean–” he said.

He held up his hand, split the fingers down the middle.

The sucker nodded.

“With the–” he said.

He laid his fingers over his eyebrows and pointed down.

Another nod.

“And the–”

He pinched two fingers into points and held them behind his ears.

“Yes, sir,” said the sucker.

He placed the paper bill on the prime minister’s desk. On the faded blue five was a man who had also been prime minister once. Someone – everyone – had scribbled over the man with black pen. Where his white hair had been sat a shiny dome of black. Thick inky eyebrows slanted toward his great nose. The ears had been made pointy.

“That’s a Starfleet badge,” said the prime minister.

“Yes, sir,” said the sucker.

The prime minister picked up the bill between two fingers.

“Every last one,” he said.

“Yes, sir.”

“Even the reserves,” he said.

“Yes, sir.”

The prime minister held his head in his hands.

“They’re fucking with the economy, sir,” said chief-of-suckers. The prime minister frowned.

“These are only reports,” said the sucker, “but we heard someone paid for their weed with a Spock five. First one, maybe. Didn’t have enough money. His guy was a big fan of the original series. Gros putain de nerd, if you pardon my French.”

The prime minister turned red.

“The dealer liked it so much he took it in place of a ten.”

“Someone should be arrested,” barked the prime minister.

“We can’t,” said the sucker. “It’s not illegal to Spock the fives.”

The prime minister banged his fist on the desk. The chief-of-suckers flinched.

“We have a solution, sir,” said the sucker.

“Get on with it, man,” bellowed the prime minister.

“Polymer is harder to counterfeit.”

“Go on.”

“Polymer doesn’t rip like paper does,” said the sucker. “Polymer won’t fall apart in the wash.”

“Good. And?”

The sucker saved the best for last, because the prime minister was an Alberta guy. Alberta guys are happy when they can make things out of oil. Chiefs-of-suckers are happy when the prime minister is happy. The prime minister tented his fingers over the faded old five, considering.

“Can you Spock polymer?” he asked. “Can you stop the Spock?”

The sucker hesitated. They hadn’t tested it, hadn’t dared to try. But it must be done. You can’t run a country on a currency that’s been Spocked.

We made sure of that, didn’t we?

“I don’t know for sure,” said the sucker. “But goddammit are we going to try.”