Column: Joe Morinville


I started to talk about the penny a couple weeks ago, but I got side tracked thinking about all the other stuff they stopped making. With them starting to collect in all the pennies starting Monday, I’m wondering if it was the right decision.

1/ When I buy a scratch ticket I use a penny to see if I won. A dime is too small and I don’t want to muck up a quarter with that sticky grey crap. People will look at me funny when I spend it. Guess it will have to be a nickel until they get rid of them too.

2/ What am I going to put in my new penny loafers now? You can’t put a nickel in penny loafers. Maybe I’ll have to buy Nikes and use nickels. I don’t like running shoes. You have to tie them up and that isn’t so easy to do these days. Mind you, property tax notices will be out soon. I’d best get some practice bending over now.

3/ And speaking of bending over. Premier Redford went on the TV last Thursday night to get us ready for her upcoming budget. Thousands of tax dollar to go on TV with an eight-minute video telling us how tough things are with oil revenues being so low. Touch your toes, folks. I was sure she was going to ask us to send in our discontinued pennies to help top up the Tory coffers.

4/ I almost never have a screw driver to hand when a bolt comes loose, but I almost always have a penny in my pocket or at least in my shoe. Goodbye impromptu screwdriver.

5/ Pennies also make good pry bars for opening tricky packages and things like TV and VCR remotes. Can never get the battery lid off the darn remote without a penny. Now I’m going to have to get up and change the channel when the battery dies.

6/ Now I don’t know if it is true, but I’ve always been told that if you plant pennies in your garden you will keep the slugs away. Actually, when I was a kid my uncle told me if I planted pennies in the garden it would grow into a money tree. I keep doing it because I’m not a quitter.

7/ With the penny gone we will need to get rid of a bunch of expressions some of us have used for our whole lives. Bad penny, a penny for your thoughts, costs a pretty penny, and a penny saved is a penny earned. They will all have to be rounded up or rounded down now.

8/ The Canadian Mint says a modern penny is “94% steel, 1.5% nickel, and 4.5% copper plating or copper-plated zinc.” Guess we should have stopped calling them coppers a long time ago.

9/ There are about 6 billion pennies floating around out there. Pulling them all back in over the next six years will cost about $80 billion. That includes paying out the money to buy the pennies back and handling and melting them down. When you take out the money the zinc and copper is worth, the feds will be about $38 million in the ditch on it all. Wasn’t this about saving taxpayers money?

10/ If you are thinking of getting rid of your pennies, think about taking them to Neighbors Vitamin Shop or Service Credit Union. They’re both donating them to the Food Bank and a whole bunch of pennies will go a long way there.

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