Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

Money Clip
I do….

So goes the Cole Porter song from “High Society.” And while I’m decidedly short of funds, I do have a trick to feeling like a million bucks that I’d like to pass along.

I think the story goes that when a certain young actor, who was then penniless, was asked to play a millionaire playboy, he asked in return how he could possibly feel like a very rich man? The director told him to go to the bank and withdraw USD$5,000 and put it into his front trouser pocket to carry around for the day.

It worked like a charm and the young actor went on to become a famous actor who specialized in playing the gentry. (Sorry, I can’t remember who it was. Maybe it’s an urban myth. But I think I heard it on “Frrr-esh Air with Teri Gross.”)

Now, I wouldn’t even know where to lay my hands on that much cash. Nor would I be very good at carrying it on my person (for any length of time.) But I do like to carry $50 around in case I have to pick up a bar tab or cab home or tip someone helpful.

And when I do carry cash, I carry it in the sterling silver money clip seen above. It is the second one I’ve had in the shape of a paper clip (a marvel of industrial design.) The first didn’t have the monogrammable disk. (I’m thinking of having this one engraved with “Pls. Refill.”) Both were gifts from very special people, my father in the first case (it went missing some time ago) and the disarming Mrs. E in the other.

They really do make thoughtful gifts.

Carrying a money clip serves more than one purpose; it makes me think about the cash I’m using, and it keeps me from having to carry a “billfold.” Which in turn keeps me from walking around with the bulging back pocket and popped open pleats. (My “wallet” is a credit card case that holds only a few necessary cards and identification. When I did carry a wallet, it was one of those larger ones that fits inside your inner breast pocket in your suit.)

In other words, it makes me feel more elegant. And I bet it will you, too.

So until that lucky day when my man will carry my umbrella and cheque book and wear a watch for me, I will continue to use my money clip — just four smaller bills, please.

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