Not my circus, not my monkeys...

As of this writing the Schlock Mercenary Challenge Coin Kickstarter has funded at over 4,700% of the original $1800 goal. Apparently I'm making something that a tiny percentage of you really, really want.

I say tiny percentage -- if Google Analytics is to believed, roughly 150,000 people read Schlock Mercenary each month. With fewer than 1,500 backers, the project represents less than 1% of that crowd. See? TINY.

The next stretch goal is about $15,000 away, and it's a spot of community service. Sandra and I will collect and compile as much historical and anecdotal information about challenge coins and their associated traditions and create a document, freely available, which will help everybody understand them. I am not an authority on the subject, and I will never claim to be. My job is to interview the authorities, and present their stories. Okay, AND draw spot illustrations and single panel comics. If you've ever had to use the "one step and arm's reach" rule, you already know where the low-hanging fruit is.

But, as alluded above, roughly 99% of your don't appear to have taken a shine to owning challenge coins. Perhaps I can interest you in a new tradition?

This coin is available in the bundles with other coins, but also separately. You can get one with the "I'm just here for the monkeys" $15 pledge, two for the $25 pledge, or six for the "Company Mess" pledge. These coins have at least two uses:

  1. This thing you walked in on? Not your circus, not your monkeys. Totally not your problem. You feel a little bad walking away from it, so you hand the person who owns the circus a coin, and run for the door. It's like a get out of jail free card.
  2. Did somebody just walk in on your circus, and help you prevent your monkeys from blinding you with flung feces? Hand that person a coin as you thank them.

Yes, I'm totally minting a new currency, and co-opting a spot of Polish idiom in the process.. Maybe these negotiables are backed by spite and a desire to abandon others, but then again, perhaps they're the new gold standard of the golden rule. Ultimately, it's up to you. I plan to keep two of these in my pockets at all times. 

Regarding the Kickstarter -- while it may look like I'm suddenly going to be rolling in money to the point that it I appear to be printing my own, the reality is quite different. This project's costs won't scale down much further than they already have. The numbers look like this: 10% comes off the top (5% for Amazon Payments, 2.5% for credit-card processing fees, and 2.5% average dropped charge rate), roughly 20% of the total will go into postage, and 50% will go into inventory, most of which will be put towards filling orders. At the end of the month Sandra and I will be able to pocket about 20% of whatever that final number is, but the word "pocket" is misleading, because it's just going to end up getting turned into re-printing The Tub of Happiness (we have less than 50 copies left) and starting a print run for The Body Politic.

So now you know what lies behind the curtain of this particular circus. I love these monkeys, but don't you think for a minute that they aren't always throwing poo.