On the 1st of September get set to be bedazzled by (cue off-kilter drumroll) … Australia’s new $5 note. Yes, according to the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, the new note’s design features the Prickly Moses wattle (named after a prickly prophet?) and the Eastern Spinebill (a spiky beaked native bird).
Now I’m no design (or medical) expert, but the so-called wattle illustrations do remind me somewhat of a hideous, possibly life-threatening form of brain-eating amoeba. Harsh? Well, other members of the public have also slammed it. “A mid-80’s primary school mural”. “Clown puke”. And cop this Treasury Department … “A thousand monkeys with a thousand versions of Photoshop could never come up with something as hideous as this”.
But in defence of this great nation and its myriad of uber-talented designers (where were they at that creative brief?), other countries have adopted much worse. In some cases, much, much worse.
Take Northern Ireland’s five pound (George Best) note. Touted as the “greatest (football) player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland”. OK, but what’s with the side-split-sans-ball action shot? Georgie Boy was probably relieved to know that only 1 million of these little suckers were printed.
Or Zimbabwe’s one hundred trillion dollar note. It was not only the fiscal over-statement of the century (although it is worth about 0.00284898 AUD), I’m sure they could have visually depicted this fine country with more than a stack of zen-like boulders and a cow with five legs.
Now, I’ve never actually been there, but I am fairly certain the female population of Iceland are a little more attractive than this poor dear who looks like she’s been cast as a historical figure from the movie Coneheads. And her sisters are tarred with the same brush. And her husband looks like a creepy Shakespearean clown.
Well this is cute. The Belarusian 50 kaneek note features a squirrel. Some of the country’s other bank notes feature bears, wolves and beavers (which are actually Northern American rodents). I quite like it. Except that shouldn’t Mr Red Nut be holding an acorn of some description? He looks like he’s about to eat his own hands. Or paws. Or whatever. Weird.
And why not finish with this little beauty. This is a ten-dollar note from the Cook Islands. No explanation needed here other than it looks like this fine piece’s artiste has dabbled in a little too much of the local tipple. And I’m not being obtuse, but is that a naked lady sitting astride a man-eating predator? And grinning like a maniac?