Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A nickel for your thoughts?

My youngest daughter's godfather once stumped my girls by taking a penny, nickle and dime from his pocket, and posing the following riddle:

Johnny's parents had three children: one was named Penny (he pushed forth the penny), one was named Nicky (he pushed forth the nickle), and what was the last one's name (as he pushed forth the dime)?

Ever since, Julia's Godfather has been known as Dimey. But as of next week, the penny will be reclaimed by the Canadian Mint, and it seems Dimey's joke won't be nearly as effective.

Truth be told, I'm a bit sorry to see our cheerful little bits of copper coinage disappear. They're no longer worth as much as it costs to make them, and with the price of copper where it is, I guess I can see why the Canadian Mint can't be bothered any more. But a girlfriend of mine made me into a penny fan when I met her twenty years ago. She had the knack for finding them everywhere she went, and collected a fair bit of money in the process.

What will we do without our lucky pennies? I know, our change purses won't get so heavy, but we'll also lose our Rummoli tokens. I'm tempted to hang onto the few pennies we have left just so we can still play that crazy card game. Not that we play it very often.

I'm also keeping a penny for my first aid kit. When Julia was perhaps five, she came screaming into the house, because she had been stung. Uncertain what to do, I called my mom, who reminded me of an email that had been making the rounds, saying, "Put a copper penny on a bee sting." So I did, and within minutes, the welt was gone and Julia was back to her happy little self. Actually, I think I'll keep more than one penny, just because.

Anyway, I couldn't bear to see the penny's demise without eulogizing it a bit. So, with apologies to John Keats and his Ode to a Grecian Urn, I present...

Ode to a Canadian Cent

O penny small! Fair copper coin! with face

   Of metal queen and maple leaves so bright,
With 'Lis'beth Windsor and a latin phrase;
   You, cheerful change, will soon be lost from sight
For all eternity: and good fortune!
   When underfoot we shall no longer find
      You lost there by a previous passerby.
   Sidewalk, no copper coin of any kind?
"Pennies are luck, luck pennies" -- a sad tune.
     Because our country's mint made me say goodbye.

Will you miss the penny, and all its attendant phrases, like "when the penny drops," "a penny saved is a penny earned," "penny wise, pound foolish," and songs like "Pennies from Heaven"?

A nickle for your thoughts...


  1. If you haven't got a penny, then a ha'penny will do.

  2. That was genuinely impressive and definitely worth checking out ^.^ I can't say that I'm sad that pennies are gone, but thank you for the smiles and the fond recollections!


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