08-24-2003, 11:15 AM #1
Yanks and Canadian quarters, teehee!!
As a patriotic Canadian, I love the thrill and exitement of passing off Canadian quarters to Americans when I visit the states. It's my own little way of saying 'Gothca!' although it has backfired on me many, many times. I've been yelled at cussed out etc, but it still makes me laugh. Apparently I'm not the only one:
Boy finds quarter. Boy hates quarter
The Canada-U.S. pocket-change showdown
Saturday, August 23, 2003
James Norton plans to take his case - and coins - to Canada.
You're fumbling for a quarter amongst the lint and gum wrappers in your pocket. You need one to pay a parking ticket, buy a soft drink or buy a newspaper out of a box. In the deepest cavity of your wallet, you discover an American quarter. Though you'll be on the losing end of the exchange rate, you'll at least get what you want. Not so in the United States, where Canadian change will get you no closer to a package of Peanut M&Ms.
This was the predicament in which James Norton found himself. He lives in Boston, and is the co-creator of online Flak Magazine (www.flakmag.com) and the Middle East editor at the Christian Science Monitor. Not long ago, he needed a quarter to clinch a deal with a vending machine -- and the quarter he had was Canadian.
"I wasn't actually weeping, but it was a hard blow," says Norton.
And thus was stopcanadianchange.com born.
"It occurred to me that if I'm sitting here with this, dare I say passion, there must be 30 to 40 million Americans experiencing this dilemma every week," he says. "Of course, that's an estimate."
The site asks fellow Americans -- those 30 to 40 million souls a week -- to send him their Canadian change. When he amasses $2,000, he vows to make the trek up to Canada for a showdown with the Canadian Minister of Pocket Change.
So far he's raised $2.04, but word of his mission is spreading, so no doubt more change will soon roll in.
For those who doubt the seriousness of his quest, he offers this account of the grief caused recently by the infiltration of Canadian coinage: "I was at Boston's Haymarket and a beefy guy started yelling at this South Asian tourist walking away with vegetables. He started screaming at him, saying he couldn't pay with a f---ing Canadian quarter. So the guy fished around and came up with an American quarter. It could have been a murder. Potentially."
This is the kind of situation Norton hopes to address when he takes his case to Canada, where, he speculates, he and the minister will have a short tussle that will leave them both exhausted: "Then we'll lie down, look at the stars, have a heart to heart. Canada is a great country and the U.S. is a great country, so we'll just have to put our heads together."
Norton, a native Midwesterner, has never actually visited Canada. He makes excuses about distance. That said, he feels an innate affinity with Canadians, who he thinks share the same wry, stoic bemusement of people from the Midwest.
Questions must be asked and answered. How did all this Canadian change make its way into American coffers in the first place? Norton's guess is Canadian rum-runners.
Yes, it's hard to take this guy seriously, but he says he owes it to the Web to follow through and visit Canada. He likes the narrative arc: "Boy finds quarter, boy hates quarter, boy collects 7,000 more quarters. Boy confronts Canadian Minister of Pocket Change. Showdown."
08-24-2003, 11:26 AM #2
08-25-2003, 08:35 PM #3
Where is this guy cause I have some change for him! I'll bet I have.........well............... I can't really count canadian but let's say it's alot. I would just mail it back to them but hell I don't think I should really have to buy the two thirty-seven cent stamps needed to get it there. Ha
08-25-2003, 08:57 PM #4
I do admit, growing up in the Northwest (Seattle) I often came into contact with the Monopoly money that seemed to float its way down from BC/Vancouver. I liked goign up to Surrey and exchanging (i guess it is like 4 or 5 cents now) currency and getting a shit load of Canadian quarters..I used those things all over the state! I definately like using them, but at the sametime would get pissed when I received change at the AM/PM and got a damn Canadian quarter! Of course we always had the opportunity to use it when playing Johnny Appleseed with the local gals on our trips north...
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