Sometimes there’s an online article that is just so compelling that we at the Merchant Advance blog simply want to share it with you, our readers, in the hope that it gets the recognition it deserves. This is one of those moments. Unfortunately, this post was inspired by the tragic loss of one of our generation’s pop-cultural icons, Mr. Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed Spock on the original series of Star Trek. Canadians have been paying tribute to Mr. Nimoy in the days since his passing by redecorating the portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier that adorns the five-dollar bill in his image: a practice QZ.com highlighted in their recent piece titled “Spocking Fives.”
Laurier’s visage also inspired the website “Where’s Willy?” – a social experiment and sort of mass human geography project aimed at charting the flow of paper money between consumers and merchants all across the country. Users are encouraged to stamp or annotate their bills with the website’s address and instructions for whoever might find marked notes to enter them in an online database. The passage of a given bill from user to user and area to area is charted – sometimes over the course of many years.
Has your small business ever encountered weird or wonderful bills such as these? Interestingly, QZ observes that the new-generation of “plastic” Canadian banknotes may make these practices more difficult – endangering, perhaps, their long life and prosperity.