Every time it rains
It rains pennies from heaven.
Here in Canada we have an institution known as the Senate. This is not like the US Senate, which consists of elected worthies and unworthies, two per state and which has a rather essential role in passing or defeating Congressional bills and such.
The Canadian Senate is our ‘upper’ house of Parliament, vaguely similar to the British House of Lords, and about as representative of the general weal of the land. It is a collection of loosely appointed party hacks, wardheelers, ne’er-do-wells, poltroons, knaves, bounders, and rarely people deserving of such an ‘honor’. They are, of course, unelected and represent nobody much but themselves, the political parties they suck up to, have the power to pass or not pass changes advocated by the lower house, our elected reps, and pick up a pretty damn nice stipend in the process.
Anyway, hot-on-the-heels of other sterling contributions by the Senate they have decided that they want to work towards doing away with the lowly penny amongst our coins-of-the-realm. That’s a good move on their part because it is something Canadians have long been waiting for since there are no other matters of import to be addressed in the nation.
The Senate has discovered that this lowly copper-amalgam disk actually costs more than it is worth to manufacture. Well, my first impulse is to think “so what?” And my second impulse is to think much the same thing. Considering the government wastage that is wantonly visited upon us constantly, I think Canada can handle the cost of its pennies. But, no, the Senate really wants to tackle the penny crisis. How much more refreshing for us that they are headed in that direction rather than looking at, say, the appalling federal pensions granted to the nation’s seniors. I mean, Senators don’t worry much about pensions of the average shmo since they are entitled to huge ones. There is no truth to the rumor that the Senate’s Latin maxim is: Quid me anxius sum?, which loosely translates to ‘What, me worry?’
Anyway, now that my rant is out of the way, what about pennies, and why do I think we should keep them? Well, in the first place, they are part of our lore and culture. Witness the following bits of wisdom pertaining to the lowly penny:
A penny saved is a penny earned.
— Benjamin Franklin.
Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.
Find a penny, leave it lay, and you’ll have bad luck all the day.
Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves.
— English proverb
In for a penny, in for a pound.
— English proverb
Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.
— Margaret Thatcher
You can no doubt thing of areas in which the penny fits into our popular culture. The song list of the Beatles, for example, would be incomplete without the song Penny Lane. Some of us, after all, grew up with the penny and when we were young and allowances were paltry, a penny could get a fellow or girl a lot of stuff. You could score three jawbreakers for a penny, or four ju-jubes. Not bad at the price. For six or seven pennies you could get a day’s supply of tooth-rot. But, of course, if you’d screwed up and were to get no allowance that week, mothers were left with the statement that you would not be gettin “one red cent!”
And I do see other problems arising if the Senate is allowed to follow through with its nefarious plan. For example:
– Will all females named Penny be encouraged to change their names to Nickel?
– Will items that currently cost $9.97 be upped to 10 bucks just to round things out?
– Will travelers to the US be stuck with a bunch of copper Lincoln heads when they come home because the US has refused to abandon their own penny? Be forewarned, American friends, you may be next in this diabolical scheme.
– So, instead of the penny, we will move up to the nickel as our lowest denomination of hard cash. Now, the nickel is a kind of pain in the ass bit of coinage because it’s too easily mistaken for the Canadian quarter, especially since they stopped making nickels octagonal a few years ago. The Senate was probably behind that, too.
– Is this the thin-edge-of-the-wedge and just part of an overall scheme to ban all hard currency under a buck?
Now, for me I guess I have to do some coin-rolling before the Senate bastards (most of whom are from Eastern Canada, I might add) activate their diabolical coinage scheme.