02 May From paper-clip to house in 14 trades
A 26-year-old Montreal man appears to have succeeded in his quest to barter a single red paper-clip all the way up to a house.
It took almost a year and 14 trades, but Kyle MacDonald has been offered a two-storey farmhouse in Kipling, Sask., for a paid role in a movie.
MacDonald began his quest last summer when he decided he wanted to live in a house. He didn’t have a job, so instead of posting a resumé to look for a job, he looked at a red paper-clip on his desk and decided to trade it on an internet website.
He got a response almost immediately from a pair of young women in Vancouver who offered to trade him a pen that looks like a fish.
MacDonald then bartered the fish pen for a handmade doorknob from a potter in Seattle.
In Massachusetts, MacDonald traded the doorknob for a camp stove. He traded the stove to a U.S. marine sergeant in California for a 100-watt generator.
In Queens, N.Y., he exchanged the generator for the “instant party kit” — an empty keg and an illuminated Budweiser beer sign.
MacDonald then traded the keg and sign for a Bombardier snowmobile, courtesy of a Montreal radio host.
He bartered all the way up to an afternoon with rock star Alice Cooper, a KISS snow globe and finally a paid role in a Corbin Bernsen movie called Donna on Demand.
“Now, I’m sure the first question on your mind is, ‘Why would Corbin Bernsen trade a role in a film for a snow globe? A KISS snow globe,'” MacDonald said on his website “one red paper-clip.”
“Well, Corbin happens to be arguably one of the biggest snow globe collectors on the planet.”
Now, the town of Kipling, Sask., located about two hours east of Regina with a population of 1,100, has offered MacDonald a farmhouse in exchange for the role in the movie.
MacDonald and his girlfriend will fly to the town next Wednesday.
“We are going to show them the house, give them the keys to the house and give them the key to the town and just have some fun,” said Pat Jackson, mayor of Kipling.
The town is going to hold a competition for the movie role.
“There’s people all over the world that are saying that they have paper-clips clipped to the top of their computer, or on their desk or on their shirt, and it proves that anything is possible and I think to a certain degree it’s true,” MacDonald said:
MacDonald, who has attracted international media in his quest,said the journey has turned out to be more exciting than the goal.
“This is not the end. This may be the end of this segment of the story, but this story will go on,” he said.
14 trades to a house:
MacDonald made his first trade, a red paper clip for a fish-shaped pen, on July 14, 2005. He reached his goal of trading up to a house with the fourteenth transaction, trading a movie role for a house. This is the list of all transactions MacDonald made:
- On July 14, 2005, he went to Vancouver and traded the paperclip for a fish-shaped pen.
- He then traded the pen the same day for a hand-sculpted doorknob from Seattle, Washington.
- On July 25, 2005, he travelled to Amherst, Massachusetts, with a friend to trade the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
- On September 24, 2005, he went to California, and traded the camp stove for a Honda generator.
- On November 16, 2005, he traveled to Maspeth, Queens and traded the generator for an “instant party”: an empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the bearer’s choice, and a neon Budweiser sign. This was his second attempt to make the trade; his first resulted in the generator being temporarily confiscated by the New York City Fire Department.
- On December 8, 2005, he traded the “instant party” to Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette for a Ski-Doosnowmobile.
- Within a week of that, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk, British Columbia, scheduled for February 2006.
- On or about January 7, 2006, he traded the second spot on the Yahk trip for a box truck.
- On or about February 22, 2006, he traded the box truck for a recording contract with Metalworks in Mississauga, Ontario.
- On or about April 11, 2006, he traded the contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona.
- On or about April 26, 2006, he traded the year’s rent in Phoenix for one afternoon with Alice Cooper.
- On or about May 26, 2006, he traded the afternoon with Cooper for a KISS motorized snow globe.
- On or about June 2, 2006, he traded the snow globe to Corbin Bernsen for a role in the film Donna on Demand.
- On or about July 5, 2006, he traded the movie role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.