Recently, while having a conversation on differences in currency between our two countries, I had a Canadian friend drop a little nugget of information on me . She casually mentioned that the Canadian one hundred dollar bill is scented like maple syrup. She slipped it in there as almost an afterthought between some other completely unrelated comments as if it were a totally normal thing to say.
Excuse me? Perhaps I misheard just now, because I could have sworn you just breezed past the claim that your $100 note smells like Aunt fucking Jemima and it doesn't seem like you were going to elaborate on that for me. Furthermore, the fact that we've been having this conversation about Canadian currency for several minutes and only NOW did it occur to you to mention this information is preposterous. If your money is the legal tender equivalent of fucking Smencils YOU LEAD WITH THAT.
In fact, if true, as a Canadian I'm pretty sure you are obligated to share that information immediately upon meeting anyone not from Canada. If that isn't one of the first three things you say to any non Canadian, you're not fulfilling your national duty.
"Nice to meet you. I'm from Ontario. Did you know that in my country we bake maple syrup smell into our fucking money like a bunch of lunatics?"
I'm a skeptical guy. Somebody says something batshit crazy like 'my money smells like waffles' and questions. are. raised. My first assumption was that she was having a laugh: Just tell the American our money smells like an Ihop and see if we can get him to tell that shit to other Americans so they all walk around telling each other that absurd piece of misinformation like a bunch of idiots, right?
However, when pressed, not only did she swear that she was not lying to me, she got like, four other Canadians to back her up. Still, I was dubious; Canada cant really have maple syrup money can they? Is there some sort of massive national conspiracy where the smell of their money is a clue to the location of the lost syrup mines of Manitoba. Somebody call Nicolas Cage and tell him I've got a case for him. I suspect Tim Horton's is behind it.
Realistically though, my knowledge of Canada more or less boils down to something that resembles this:
What I'm saying is I don't know shit about Canada so I've got no way to know what might be true and what might be a crazy lie. Thanks American education system.
I figured I'd do some research of my own and try getting answers from a source that was less likely to be trying to make a fool of me, so I took to google for some answers. And. . .
Well alright, now we are getting somewhere. Google corroborates that this is at least enough of a thing that people other than me are asking the question. Apparently I was not being completely messed with. HOWEVER, further reading revealed things to be less cut and dry than expected. It turns out the issue is one around which some contention exists. Some claim that the bill smells of maple syrup while others insist that it does not.
In fact, the issue was so widely discussed that the Bank of Canada had to make an official statement claiming that they had not added any type of scent to the bill. I'll let that sink in for a moment.
I think we can all just take a second out of our busy lives appreciate the beauty in the fact that somewhere in Canada, somebody that works for the agency in charge an entire country's money supply had to take time out of their day to make a statement about whether or not they had circulated fucking scratch and sniff currency without telling anyone?
Satisfied that there was an issue of sufficient intrigue to warrant further investigation I knew that the only way I could put this issue to bed once and for all would be to get my hands immediately followed by my nose on some Canadian money and sniff it for myself.
How does one go about getting their hands on 100 dollars worth of Canadian money, you ask? Really easily as it turns out in this modern age of technology. It used to be that if you were in the U.S and wanted to scrape together a bunch of Canadian currency you had to go to a hockey rink with a Zamboni, offer rides for a small fee and wait for them to come to you. Now you can just find a website where you pay American currency and they mail you Canadian Currency in return.
It took less than five minutes until 100 CAD was on it's way to my house in the mail.
They didn't have an option to allow you to pick your denominations, so I was a little worried I'd get a bunch of small bills. You've got to figure most of the people using this service are exchanging their currency because they need cash available for spending when they visit a different country, not because they are some asshole who heard Canada's money smells like a breakfast condiment and wants to know if it's true. No great advancements in human knowledge were ever earned without risk.
Two days later a package marked extremely urgent arrived on my doorstep. You're goddamn right it's extremely urgent Travelex, we're doing important work here.
I was right about the denomination thing. They sent me 100 dollars all in tens instead of a single 100 dollar note.
You know what though? It turns out it didn't matter that they didn't send me a single $100 note. Every one of those ten dollar bills smelled like Maple. Fucking. Syrup.
To be completely thorough I knew I'd need to corroborate my findings, lest my own nose was unreliable due to interference from my brain expecting them to smell. I took the money and went to everyone at my office independently of one another and made them sniff that money for confirmation that I wasn't imagining the scent. I refused to tell them what they were supposed to be smelling, and to keep their opinion to themselves until others around had sniffed it. Unanimously, every single person I had sniff the money said it smelled like Maple Syrup.
(Side note, I appreciate that my coworkers trust me enough that I walked up to them with a fistful of weird looking money, thrust it at them and went "Sniff this" and they didn't hesitate)
The fact that Canadian money actually smells like syrup is perfection. It's like the people in Charge of Canada got together and were like, "Well everybody already expects us to be a bunch of hockey loving snow people who ride to work on moose so, fuck it let's just make the money smell like Maple Syrup, sing Oh Canada while we do some curling and call it a day.
The equivalent to maple scented Canadian money would be if America had a meeting and decided that from now on all of our currency was going to be covered in cheese, deep fried and smell like bald eagles.
Though, when you think about it, that would probably be an improvement considering our money currently smells like a damp playboy you found in the woods when you were twelve and is about as sanitary as washing your hands then using a shoebox full of dirty socks to dry them. Honestly it's a wonder we don't all have a permanent case of pink eye. Canada is clearly winning the contest over who has cooler money.
Canada is clearly onto something with this whole scented money thing; the rest of the world should follow their lead and every country should scent their currency with an iconic aroma of their nation: You'd have pizza scented Euros in Italy, Curry scented rupees in India, and North Korea could have won that smell like oppression, it would be great.
When all is said and done, I think important work has been done here today. The true scientific mind is not satisfied with mere hearsay or secondhand assurances when it comes to pursuit of the truth. Did Magellan not circumnavigate the globe in order to prove conclusively that the earth was round? Did Sir Issac Newton not (probably) throw and drop a bunch of shit to study it and develop his laws of motion? Do I not get a bunch of Canadian Money in the mail and smell it? Thanks to these acts of science the mysteries of the world around us become unveiled. The earth is round, physics has set laws, Canadian money smells like syrup. All in a days work.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with $100 dollars worth of plastic money that smells like breakfast I can't spend in my country.