Thursday, November 10, 2016

Another Cent-less Loss

On February 4, 2013, in a typically arbitrary and mean cost-cutting move, Steven Harper’s Conservative government withdrew the Canadian penny from circulation. From that day forward, cash transactions were to be rounded to the nearest nickel.
     That summer, August 10th to be precise, I purchased a bag of ice from the general store at Wymbolwood beach for $2.99, forked over my three dollars, and with some fanfare was presented with what would be the very last penny I would ever receive in change.
     And to honour that one-cent worth of rebellion, I have carried it in my pocket ever since.
Then, on the morning of November 8, 2016, when I was changing into short pants for a chiropractic appointment—swapping my wallet, my keys, and the coins from the pockets of my long pants—I realized I had lost the last Canadian penny I’d ever received in change. I had never considered it my lucky penny, just an important penny, and a comfortable little ritual in trying times.
     It was not on the floor of my bedroom, it was not in the little basket Dr. Eric keeps for the stuff that falls from people’s pockets as they lie on his table.

Really, I had never considered it lucky, and after three-plus years in the left-hand pocket of my many pants, I have to admit it was looking pretty grotty. Lots of pretty good things had happened to me in all the time I’d been carrying it, but lots of shitty stuff, too. And honestly, I was already getting my head around the loss of the silly thing, when a Tuesday that had already started out badly ended with the election of Donald J. Trump.
     Then, as if I needed any more proof, I found it again on Wednesday.
     Sorry, America.

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