So, there I was walking with my head in the clouds making my way to work when my random thoughts about spring ran smack up against a more pressing thought about keys.
That's right, suddenly my tranquil thoughts about running a half-marathon were disrupted by more a more serious thought about whether I put my keys in my backpack.
Responding as I do to such immediate, annoying thoughts, I stopped to search my backpack. That's when a pleasant, soft-spoken elderly woman interrupted me.
"I have to give these to you," she says with her hand extended out to me with two tarnished pennies laying flat in her palm.
“What,” I ask staring at her, then the pennies, then at her again. “The pennies?”
“Yes, I have to give these pennies to you in order for it to be lucky,” she responds.
“Sorry,” I ask, not sure what act of superstition I am about to partake in.
“If you find pennies, you have to give them away for luck. And I found these ones back there” she tells me, pointing back to the sidewalk behind us.
“Okay, sure,” I say, “I’ve never heard of this, but I’ll take them, maybe they will bring me luck today.”
I thanked her, placed the pennies in my pocket, and returned to my search. She smiled and walked off relieved that she had passed on her pennies to someone. Finding my keys, I returned to my walk when my mind turned to thoughts about pennies.
Curious, I decided to find out more about pennies when I got to work. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the penny is composed of the following: 94 per cent steel, 1.5 per cent nickel, and 4.5 per cent copper plating or copper plated zinc. It weighs 2.35 grams and is 19.05 mm in diameter and 1.45 mm in thickness. The Royal Canadian Mint minted 846,420,000 in 2007 and 928,434,000 in 2001.
On 10 October 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint released a study on the future of the penny in Canada. The findings show that most small retailers were slightly in favour of removing the penny while consumers were split on the issue.
You can find out more about the penny’s future at http://www.mint.ca/store/dyn/PDFs/FutureofthePennyENG.pdf.
I say we keep the penny. For, were it not for the penny, I would not have met this elderly woman eager to ensure I had a lucky day.