Rock ’n’ roll will never die — and apparently neither will the ways to make money from the Elvis Presley estate. The most recent I’ve seen is a $2 bill bearing images of The King — for just $19.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling — and advertised as a perfect present for that hard-to-buy-for person on your gift list. I guess it seems more and more like a bargain the closer you get to Christmas.
The front of the bill bears four images of Elvis performing, as well as his name printed around the portrait of former President Thomas Jefferson (the official portrait in the center of the $2 bill), and Elvis’ signature is scrawled across Jefferson’s bust. That has to be confusing to small children who aren’t familiar with the image of Jefferson (you can bet most recognize Elvis right away). I couldn’t find an image of the back of the bill, but it wouldn’t surprise me if to find The King seated among — or perhaps performing for — our forefathers in John Trumbull’s The Declaration of Independence painting (Oh, please. Oh, please. Oh, please), the engraving on the back of the regular $2 them. That might be worth paying $25.90 for something worth $2.
Elvisbill.com says only 25,000 of these bills will be produced, which could send Elvis fanatics into a cyber spending frenzy. I can’t really make too much fun of them, though. Years ago I paid $3.50 for a small package of dirt from Graceland and another $30 for blue fuzzy house slippers with Elvis’ head on the front. Maybe the Elvis $2 bill is the most dignified of those three; at least you can spend the $2 bill if you get into financial straits. Good luck getting anyone to accept it as legal tender, although it is.
The United States actually still prints $2 bills every year (the ones with Thomas Jefferson sans Elvis on the front), but the bills only account for about 1 percent of the paper money printed in this country. Makes me wonder why I never see them being used. Are they novelty gifts, or are there hoarders of $2 bills? Hmmm, I better check that website again to see how many of those 25,000 Elvis bucks are still left.