The fact that I can smell anything through my clogged nose is incredible, and I just now horked up something that resembled Susan Boyle. I am sick. Of winter.
Copper – pressed into a penny and passed from hand to filthy hand – smells like homelessness and old ladies' Kleenex and bile. I hate pennies more than Melanie from Rogers Wireless, and I just spent precious moments segregating gangrenous pennies from the real coins in our loose change bowl. Now, even after scrubbing my hands with the lemon soap purchased with my last Euros in Positano – they still reek of poverty and dirty hair and public transit and vomit. With just a hint of Amalfi lemons.
Used to be, pennies would purge themselves annually, into the cardboard Unicef boxes hanging around the necks of socially-conscious trick or treaters, – but after 50 years and millions of dollars, those lazy bastards at Unicef decided having their hands smell like urine and head cheese all the time wasn't worth it. They cited "safety issues" because whacked-out parents voiced concerns about sending their little darlings door-to-door with cash. Sending them door-to-door begging for candy from pedophiles and people who voted for Stephen Harper was fine – but don't dangle a cardboard box around their necks. Pennies are jailbait for Conservatives and old men who jangle loose change in their pockets as a cover up for rubbing their saggy balls.
So, I am stuck with a Ziploc bag of smelly pennies and a bowl of shiny dimes, nickels and the occasional Loonie. I should roll the pennies and cart them to the bank, but then I'd never get the smell out. I could go out to the railway tracks and lay them down one by one, then wait for a train to come by. I'd get that childhood thrill from wondering if the pennies will derail the train – but VIA's already doing that without my help – and the thrill from placing a warm, freshly flattened penny in the palm of my hand, hardly seems worth going outside.
I could donate the pennies, but the bell-ringing Salvation Army Santas are in Florida in February, along with every other RRSP hoarder over the age of 55.
I could give them to Dalhousie's Molly Appeal fund for medical research. I hear that's how miserly ol' Molly Moore got rid of her stinky pennies year after year – and look what that started.
I could place them in a pillowcase and raise it above my head, swinging it around like Bruce Lee the next time someone with 16 items steps into the 1-10 item aisle in the grocery store.
Or, I could plop them on the travel agent's desk at Maritime Travel and let her deal with them. I say her because travel agents tend to be hers from my experience. And, while I am on the subject, how many people have to lose their hard-earned pennies booking through fly-by-night businesses like Go Travel before they wise up and shop locally for Christ's sake. Spend a few more pennies and book through someone who isn't going to go tits up before your 1968 Boeing takes off for Margueritaville. Maritime Travel have a great deal for $989 (taxes in) leaving March 8th for Puerto Plata and the 4-star Victoria Golf and Beach Resort. Maritime Travel will not only be there before you go and when you get home – they'll be on the end of the line 24/7 for when a hooker named Yonaidys takes off with your passport, your new Nikes and your pride.
This being the last day of February – a month that brought us one day of sunshine and 17 days of fucked-up television – I am going to usher in March by confessing that I have 500 pennies riding on Team USA for hockey gold. Go ahead, call me the Pete Rose of hockey moms, but with any luck some sucker of a 14-year old kid is going to win a Ziploc baggie of coins that smell worse than the little bastard's boxers on wing night.
Go south. www.maritimetravel.com
To give your pennies to the Molly Appeal and medical research go to www.mollyappeal.ca