President George Washington, meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Something strange has been going on with my money lately. It is not uncommon anywhere in America to receive Canadian coins in ones change, but it is particularly so in my corner of the map where many of us frequently go back and forth between the countries.
Of course I know technically that U.S. retailers don't accept foreign currency but in my experience they always take Canadian coins anyway. The quarters and pennies are about the same size and color and I always suspected that cashiers threw them in the register with their American counterparts and never thought twice about it. I never pointed them out when I received them in my change either because they are essentially interchangeable. It's Canada, right? These aren't yen or euros or shekels or kroners or something else weird.
Until this week, that is. Now all of a sudden three different people in smocks behind a counter have hurled the Queen back at me like I was selling the flu. What gives? Was there a memo?
And how crazy is this timing? After years of being the stronger money, this fall's collapse of the U.S. dollar says to me that the 7-11 guy oughta see my Canadian quarter as his fast track to retirement! He oughta grab it from me and think I'm the sucker for letting it go for only 25 cents worth of goods and services. My head is puzzled.