Friday, November 14, 2008

Loonie Advice

Sometimes things people from other countries say make no sense, even in English. I was momentarily baffled by this advice on mending flats, on a bicycle riding website.

If the tire has a large gash in it, simply place a dollar over it as you reinstall the tube. It’ll reinforce the tire at the hole and get you home. Replace the tire ASAP (don’t forget to save the dollar!).

I stared at this for quite a while, trying to figure out how shoving a large metal disk into the tire would help, before I realized that it was an American website and although Americans have dollar coins, their default "dollar" is a piece of paper.

It's a little reminder that despite the similarities and connections between our economies, our dollar is not the US dollar. Not that anyone knows what's going on with either economy. I hope we all have jobs next year.


Lord Hutton said...

My first thought was "coin" too. Cant imagine the advice working, even with a paper dollar, cos too many other things go wrong

jinksto said...

I think the idea with that is to keep the mended tube from creating a bubble out the "gash" in the surrounding tire. The "gash" would need to be small enough to be able to support most of the tire and large enough to require something to stop the tube from pushing out. It obviously wouldn't work in a lot of situations but is a handy piece of advice to get you back home. The American dollar (and a lot of other paper money) is actually rather strong... at least structurally...

Aviatrix said...

"at least structurally" - I like that.

I carry what I call a "boot" a little arc cut out of an old racing tire. It can be put inside a gashed tire to keep the tube from bulging out. And yes, a folded banknote or other structurally sound piece of paper can do that job.

dpierce said...

The US government has tried to get a dollar coin to catch on many times, but it just never does. It seems getting rid of the paper USD would save piles of money, but the people who make currency fabrics have a strong political lobby. (Government! From the same people who bring you the TSA!)

In my experience in countries that are heavy on coins (UK, Japan), it is irritating to have so much metal in your pocket. ("Pound" indeed.) But I suppose that's a minor thing. If they really wanted to make the public adapt to a USD coin, they could force retailers to give you dollar coins in change.

Once in Canada, I stood in front of a vending machine bearing a label that said it required a "toonie". I figured that was some sort of special thing (like a promotion card or arcade / casino chip), and went elsewhere. I was clued in a little later. :)

Aviatrix said...

When they first came out with the loonie, most Canadians weren't too keen on it, but I think most people like it now. It's fun to be broke and then discover you have ten or twelve dollars in your change, and you usually don't have to go hunting for change to use a vending machine.

Sarah said...

I like the Sacagawea US Dollar coins. For once they aren't too huge, and are still easy to tell from quarters. Nice satisfying heft, and gold colored too.

But they're always "spend only". I keep having to get rolls at the bank.

( I'd be happy with the "Loonie" too. The Loon is our state birdy. )

majroj said...

US Dollar is so sought overseas where people don't trust paper, and such a novelty here, that dollar coin disappear. (Back in the day in northern Montana you never saw paper dollars in common trade, all silver).The new vending machines which take bills over $1 US return change in coins including new dollars, but they are quickly stripped out, and the newest bills will not work in the first place, due to shifted and new elements on them, unless machines are refitted.

Never seen a Loonie in central Calif.

majroj said...

Ah, mindblip.
USAF firechief and BAF major went back and forth seesaw fashion over "pressure suits" pilots wore and how we would rescue them safely.
Drawing on my g'parents' British background and dumb luck, I explained to my boss that the major was referring to an anti-G suit worn by fighter and attack pilots, while the fire chief was referring to the semi-space suit worn in extra-high altitude aircraft like the SR-71 and U-2.

Callsign Echo said...

Useless knowledge: "Paper" money is made of cotton. At least in the US. Can't speak for other countries. In fact, it's denim.

Aviatrix said...

Canadian and American banknotes are quite different. If you have them in your pocket in the wash, the American one turns into a little crumpled thing that can be reconstituted if you iron it out. The Canadian one comes out clean and crisp looking. I dunno how it works! It's possible that this has changed. I haven't laundered money in a long time.

Vancouver realtor said...

Nice story, I was thinking too - "why coin??" :)
But I always take some pieces of rubber with me, when biking for a longer distance.
On the other hand - isn't causing damage to money (and I think it's pretty possible you will damage it when you put it into tire) illegal?! :))