Thanks to our Canadian Government, my mother is in a panic over pennies.
Let me explain.
Yesterday was the last day that the good old copper penny will ever be in circulation. This has been coming for some time, but like most Canadians, we haven’t really been preparing for this in any way, and have merely been chucking our unwanted coppers in a big pot where they have been gathering dust and other germs.
My mother has her own collection of pennies. They don’t really number all that many, but since I am taking her to the bank today, and since she heard on the news that the Royal Bank is accepting pennies to donate to a children’s charity, she is all in a dither about making sure she has her pennies before she gets to the bank.
I found her, early this morning, sitting on her unmade bed, putting pennies in a pill-bottle. This is all very well and good, but she also has a crammed jam-jar of miscellaneous coins that includes pennies and guess who will get to fish through it, and sort them out for her? She hasn’t got a surface large enough to do this, nor will she be able to distinguish the pennies from other coins anyway, with her eyesight.
Some swift circumvention was required.
I told her billions of pennies were out there, socked away by Canadians, waiting to be collected and donated or disposed of in some other way. Surely, I said, they will be setting up donation bins for the long-term and you will be able to donate your pennies over time.
This seemed to relax her a bit – the tension left her face, and her shoulders eased. She gets worked up over the strangest things.
We have our own store of pennies awaiting some sort of demise. I would like to see them go to a Christian charity. I’m not too keen on the banks’ intervention. Won’t this just mean another tax-break for them down the road?
In any case, the Great Penny Crisis has been averted for now. Mom will be taking her pill-bottle to the bank to hand over to some solicitous teller. She’s ready to go too. She’s still in her housecoat and slippers, but her winter coat is already lined up in the front room.
(We’re not going out until after lunch.)
Here’s a little tune from one of my mom’s (and my) favourites, that I can’t help thinking of considering this situation: