“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon.” - Dr. Seuss
You know, Canada, when you leave home for the crazy dragon train that is the old U.S of A, you expect things to stay the same. Not that I’m afraid of change. I had no problem when Maggie Gyllenhaal replaced Katie Holmes as Rachel in “The Dark Knight.” And when Fruit Loops lowered their sugar content, I was cool with that too. I’ve seen it all come and go. But some changes I will not stand for.
I’m speaking (writing, actually) about Canada’s decision to stop distributing their penny on Feb. 4. The penny is done in Canada. Finished! Caput! Its name means nothing in this town! The final penny (a God among men) was produced last May at the Mint’s production facility in Winnipeg (I once lived there!). He came out of the machine and was immediately snatched by a vagrant child and placed on a train track.
Up until now, the remainder pennies have been dodging authorities at every turn, lest they succumb to a horrible fate like being melted for their precious metals or donated to charity. Now with distribution ending (I don’t know what it means either), any chance for a future in the Canadian currency system in over. Done! Sayonara! If I ever see you near my daughter again, so help me God!
You’re making a big mistake, Canada, and I was there when you (Britain) burnt down our White House in 1814. Let me tell you a little story. There was this little kid, let’s call him Chason, who used to collect pennies. He would grab them at random, as if picking a daisy, and place them in various holders, like empty Pringles jars and Crown Royal bags (I had a very bad diet). This went on for years until he grew up and discovered women and drinking, but he never forgot those pennies. Then, one day, as he was fishing through his old basement, he found those pennies, took them to a Coinstar and got $176! Isn’t that a beautiful story? Anyway.
If you’re going to do away with something, why don’t you get rid of that godforsaken toonie? It looks ridiculous! If all the currency lined up to take a family photo, they would totally make the toonie stand in the back. No one actually uses the toonie, they just spend all their other money buying tools to break them. I dream of the day when those two metal discs come apart, and I can stare through that big Canadian mistake.
Besides, the change is completely hypocritical. Pennies can still be used at businesses that are willing to accept them (everywhere!), and the penny will not actually be dead, because while prices will be rounded up or down to the nearest increment of five cents when the customer is paying with cash, they will not (not!) be rounded up or down if the customer is paying by debit. Do you see what’s happening here? The physical form of the penny is being abolished, but the spiritual, platonic form will be forced to exist in some Matrix/Johnny Mnemonic-type world. If the penny is okay for the digital world, how come it’s not okay for the physical world? I’ve read a few philimisophical books in my time!
This from a country that has Canadian content requirements. Well, what’s more Canadian than the penny? Look at the fresh crisp leaf on the front, the majestic Elizabeth II on the back, and that shiny copper plating. It’s beautiful! Sometimes I just wanna…but anyway. You destroy that penny and you destroy a part of yourself.
Why don’t you just burn your flag? Why don’t you just punch Sydney Crosby in the face? Or how about you get rid of the CBC? You might as well, because there will be nothing left of your country. This is a slippery slope onto a world full of slippery slopes, and I don’t even know what that looks like, though I imagine there would be no place to stand.
But I think I know what’s going on here. A huge part of Canada is focused on distinguishing themselves from the U.S. Well, we do still have the penny, so congratulations, you’re officially different.