Utah Man Charged for Paying Dentist With Too Many Pennies

Jason West of Vernal, Utah, allegedly annoyed his dentist very, very much by trying to pay an outstanding $25 bill with 2,500 pennies. The dentist—who's apparently a coin snob—ended up calling the cops, and now West is being charged with disorderly conduct.

News reports say West didn't believe he owed the dentist any money, and got a little testy:

"After asking if they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies onto the counter and demanded that they count it," Campbell said. "The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor."

The incident upset clinic staff, said Campbell, adding that West's behavior served "no legitimate purpose."

Oh, so everything in Utah has to have a legitimate purpose? That explains a lot about the state. But isn't money money? Maybe West's delivery technique earned him the citation—which carries a $140 fine. Hope he doesn't try to pay it off in pennies.

That West is being charged for paying with coins seems somewhat hypocritical in light of Utah's new law encouraging people to use coins to pay for all their purchases. True, the coins are supposed to be made out of gold and silver, which as metals are supposedly more valuable than zinc and copper. However, a guy from the U.S. Mint says the new Utah law is "'is of no real consequence,' and is purely symbolic," which puts its purpose into question.

Also! It's worth noting that Brigham Young, a Very Important Person to Utah, supposedly believed that wheat was just as valuable as gold. Would Jason West have been cited had he paid his dentist in wheat? Probably. What's more, Young also opposed waste, which suggests that he would be proud of West for saving up all those pennies. Utah, maybe it's time for you to sort out some of your contradictions.

[Deseret News. Image of pennies by Marcin Wichary/Flickr]