COMIC TRAGEDY

The rising Canadian dollar has almost been enough to get me hooked on eBay again. Lately I have been dancing through auction sites with those surly lines that read ?Payment in US Funds Only? humming ?ka ching? under my breath. All those Canadian sellers who innocently insisted they preferred US funds simply because it ?made things easier for their customers? are now being forced to admit that the only thing it made easier was fattening their own wallets. Normally I brace myself for the inevitable upgrade to US funds, but lately I?ve been scaring the dog with my maniacal cackling when the total comes up. Our poor hound is still recovering from the weekend our dollar traded at $1.10 U.S.

Contrary to the sights and sounds my poor dog has had to witness; the rising loonie is no laughing matter. You know what I?m talking about. That?s right; comedians. I?ve been having trouble sleeping thinking about all those poor comics who built their entire act on our dismal dollar. Jokes like, ?I weigh 300 pounds, but fortunately that?s only 200 Canadian? or ?The only difference between Canadian money and Monopoly money is that Monopoly money costs more to buy? no longer work. They?ve expired. An entire act gone extinct just like that. Tragic, that?s what it is. Now all they can do is walk out on the stage, set their drink on the bar stool, stare at the audience and shrug.

I suppose it?s not very Canadian of me to make fun of them. I mean, it?s not very polite, is it? At least they still have that. In fact, I flipped on the television last night and heard a comic close his act with, ?How do you get 100 Canadians out of a swimming pool? You say, ?Get out of the pool.? How do you get a Canadian to say he?s sorry? You step on his foot.?

If they can?t make fun of our money, it seems they can always make fun of our manners. Which is kind of weird when you think about it; being made fun of because we?re too polite. Worse, I?m not even sure we are anymore. Maybe we should get out there and step on some toes or order some Canadians out of a pool as a sort of test. Of course, we?ll have to wait a few months until the ice is out of the pool and we?re not wearing steel toed snow boots anymore to do it.

In the meantime, here?s a money joke for you. I apologize in advance to lawyers, who seem to get picked on even more than Canadians.

A man on his death bed calls in his three best friends, a priest, a doctor and a lawyer. ?I?ve decided I?m going to take it with me,? he tells them. ?So I?m giving you each an envelope with three hundred thousand dollars cash inside. When I die I want you to put the money in the casket with me.? They all agree to honour his request. After the funeral the three get to talking and the priest says, ?I have a confession to make. I didn?t put the entire amount in the casket. Instead I gave two hundred thousand of it to a children?s charity. I figured the kids needed it more than he did.? The doctor says, ?I did the same thing. I gave two hundred thousand to medical research. I didn?t think he?d miss it.? The lawyer is outraged, ?What?s the matter with you two? How could you have done that? He trusted us! We made a promise to him on his death bed! Why, I put a cheque in that casket for the entire amount!?

But seriously, whatever happens to our loonie or the stock market or our economy in the days ahead, just remember this ? the best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket. And stay away from eBay. Shannon McKinnon is a columnist from the Peace River country. You can visit her online at www.shannonmckinnon.com