I am outraged! Are you guys outraged?! That’s a stupid question, of course you are, because I’m outraged and, because I form your opinions for you based on my opinions, that means you guys are outraged too! And that’s good, because I’m going to do something I don’t often do – vent! (I know this is a drastic turn for a hard-hitting, investigative reporter such as myself, but I can stand by no longer!)
Now, I’m sure most of you were waiting with bated breath for the Harper Government to announce their new budget. It’s like Christmas, only with less math (“And twelve-minus-eleven partridges in a pear tree”) . . . and real. And I was right there with you, sitting in front of my TV, watching whatever the Canadian version of C-Span is, wearing my new budget slippers and eating my new budget tub of ice cream, when “BAM!”, the Harper Government hits me hard and fast (and not in the good way).
Sure, they throw out some things that make sense. Increasing the retirement age – makes sense to me. I’ve always said our elderly are just a bunch of gripers. (“Oh yeah? My bones hurt too!”) Really, what have they done for me? The Cons also throw some cuts at the CBC budget. And why not? The CBC hasn’t made anything good since “The Beachcombers.” It looked like we were in for a pretty sensible fiscal year.
But then they did it, then the “BAM!” hit – the Harper Government is getting rid of the penny. That’s right the old queenie, as we call it in Canada, is about to be dethroned (beheaded?).
At first I was outraged because I didn’t know how anyone was going to buy penny candies anymore – which, as we all know, is a time honoured youngster’s tradition. (“Of course there’s only fifty cents in the bag . . . no . . . no . . . it just feels like there’s a dollar’s worth in there.”) However I was quickly informed that penny candies actually cost a nickel now (I blame the communists), and kids aren’t allowed to eat candy anymore because we have an obesity problem. Next thing you’re going to tell me that everything at the dollar store costs a dollar twenty-five, and that there’s a slave-labour problem. It’s a sad, sad, communist world we live in now.
Butthe real reason I’m outraged is because we’re living in a world that is on the brink of an economic meltdown (or as I like to call it, an economidown – just say it a few times, it takes some getting used to, but I swear it’ll be the next Bennifer), and our government is talking about just throwing money down the drain? I guess, being that Harps is, in fact, a robot, he’s never had a grandma and therefore never learned the lesson, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
What does that mean? I don’t know; my grandma was always spewing crazy sayings like, “It’s the communists’ fault that FDR is dead.” My grandma was crazy. My point, however, is that Canada produces 816 million pennies a year; if you times that by .01, you’ve got yourself 8.16 million dollars. Can we really afford to throw away 8.16 million dollars every year because Harps doesn’t like how his fingers taste like tin foil after he’s handled some pennies. (I can only assume that’s why we’re getting rid of the penny – Harps is kind of power hungry like that.)
Here’s an idea: why don’t we take all those 816 million pennies we produce a year and give them to the CBC? That way they can start making new episodes of “The Beachcombers,” and people will actually have a reason to watch the CBC again.
I don’t know, I guess that’s just my five cents.
– Nathaniel Moher is a television writer living in Vancouver. This column first appeared in The Flying Shingle.