I'll write up the potential reading list for the next post - I wrote this last night while trying to wind down. Bob has created a monster with this handy dandy laptop. I can sit and blog ANYWHERE.
You've been warned.
If you visit some of us Canadian bloggers you may see terms like 'loonie' or 'toonie' when we speak. Recently Jenster wondered what exactly a toonie was. Me, being the kind of person I am decided to do a whole post on our 'funny money'.
Hey! This won't be about economics so butt in the chair!
First, in the wonderful days of my youth all our money was paper except for anything under one dollar. I should tell you now I don't think I have ever seen a Canadian half dollar. So we have quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies (there was a movement there a while ago about getting rid of pennies and I just know it was a government conspiracy to somehow eek out more in taxes although I don't have much proof - just crazy Cindy logic)
So when I was a kid, if I wanted money I could ask my parents for a dollar or two and this is what I got.
Now I don't know what the Tooth Fairy does in other countries but she usually leaves coins. Thus, for a molar a child would get a quarter. We'll get to the spoiled rotten children of today in a minute.
Okay, I see you there staring at that two dollar bill like it's baloney but trust me, it's real and the red colour was delightful. That's right, our money comes in different colours and all I can say is when I have gone to the States I have wondered how you all don't get ripped off left right and center.
A picture of our colourful currency for your perusal.
Looking at the picture you might not be able to tell there is a striking difference in the colours although the blue and purple look close. Basically I know what is in my wallet with a quick flip through. I'm also aware of what I am handing to a teller. Why? Because I know I had three twenties in my wallet so when she hands me back the change for a 10 I already know we've got a problem.
In the States I'm constantly counting the money and trying to put it in an order so I know where the 20's are and where the fives are. Up here, I can reach into my pocket and with one glance see that 5 sticking out because of it's colour.
And the saying 'I would love me some green' would be better put up here as 'I would love me some brown' as that is the colour of our hundred dollar bill. And yes, I have actually seen many.
Oh and to throw a wrench in the works, there are businesses that won't take 50s or 100s so if you go to an ATM and it's low on the 20s when you need a hundred bucks, you'll get two 50s. Nothing like having money you can't spend to stress you out!
And we're off the rails!
A year ago I saw a counterfeit bill and OMG, how anyone can tell them from the real ones is beyond me. The person said you could tell by the eyes which of course has me thinking they were screwing with me. The other thing they do is scratch the money on paper to see if the ink comes off. And get this, if you go to the bank and get cash and then go to a store where they tell you the money is fake, too bad, so sad. Apparently the last one holding it is the one burned. I told Bob I would just deposit it into the ATM. Luckily Bob explained I could be arrested for passing along fake money. Rock meet hard place.
And, we believe we have found the track again folks!
So the two dollar bill was red (the currency on the left is today's currency so the red has been taken over by the 50, I would have to see if the 50 was always that colour or if it changed once the two dollar coin was released.
Meanwhile the one dollar bill was grey/green.
Hmmm, did a check on Wiki to see if I had my dates right but they have the dollar bill being called a loonie because there is a loon on the back of the dollar bill. I have no recollection of this and called it a 'buck' or dollar.
Then the Canadian Mint decided that it would be cheaper to change one dollar bills to coins. Makes sense since paper money can only remain in circulation for so long as they get ripped or washed umpteen times in people's laundry so when they get to the banks, they will take the ratty ones and take them out of circulation. Coins don't become ratty and they look really pretty after tumbling through the wash!
Thus the birth of the dollar coin.
Huh. What's that you are seeing on the back of the coin? Why that would be a loon and well quicker than they could get them in circulation the population was calling them the 'loonie'
Cause we're crazy Canucks don'cha know. We've been mocked about our term for our little dollar coin but we seem to enjoy the silliness of it and think nothing of turning to our significant other and saying 'hey, you got a loonie?'
Now, I know it was a while later but I can't really remember when but the loonie was biting the mint in the ass so they decided that a two dollar coin should be introduced (it's twelve hours after originally writing this and I have no clue what this sentence means so don't frown and add logic, you'll get a headache, just walk away). Wow. It's bad enough my wallet is heavier than ever but they want to make a two dollar coin?
Look at that beauty! I love the center design and really who doesn't love a polar bear? So you think maybe it would become called a 'bearie' (where was I when the populace decided to name it something silly!?) or 'polar' but nope, us Canadians are a laid back bunch and when it came out it was naturally called the 'toonie'
So here is a picture of our coins in full glory (again, I've never seen a half dollar so it's quite unique to see one. I'm not sure vendors would even take one as cash.
There was talk of making the five dollar bill into a coin but I think the government and mint were worried what us laid back folks would call it.
Now that would be ridiculous.
Oh and to finish up, clearly the Tooth Fairy has come into some serious money. Molars are now going for two bucks! A little girl I was talking to the other day who had recently lost a tooth was not pleased that the tooth fairy only left her with a loonie.
The great thing about having coins worth up to two bucks is that you never know how much money you have until you pop it out of your pocket. Wow! 10 bucks! I thought I had no money! Then there is my husband who doesn't use coins. He saves them and about every two months he saves up to 1000 bucks in coins.
That goes into his 'change account' which has been used to pay off many of our big purchases. Thing is I think it'd be two years before he could save enough for my new kitchen cabinets but he bought exterior doors for the house and the bill will be 5000 dollars (on a don't pay for 18 months kind of deal) and Bob already has more than that saved up.
So yeah, I love me the loonies and the toonies!
If I have gotten any of this wrong I'm trusting Kristie, Nath and Ames to straighten me out because really this is just the history of Canadian money as I remember it. Which isn't always the way things really happened.
What's funny is Canadians enjoy poking fun at ourselves and hey, it makes us seem harmless but really, how harmless is a country that houses the C-Rex?