Yesterday, when I went to mail a paper submission to a speculative fiction magazine down in the United States, I discovered that Canada Post does not stock American stamps. "This is Canada," the cashier insisted. "What do you need American stamps for? Tell them this is Canada, eh?"
Unfortunately, I am not confident that writing, "This is Canada, eh?" in the top right corner of my self-addressed stamped envelope would qualify as sufficient postage for the magazine's response to my submission. Last time I submitted to this magazine--which was the first time--I mistakingly slapped a bunch of Canadian stamps on the SASE. The editors were kind enough to part with some of their own, American stamps to get the rejection slip to me; but though they may forgive stupidity, they may not forgive flippancy.
So, alas, I had to spend four bucks on an International Reply Coupon. Four bucks? Come, now: I'm an artist; I don't have that kind of cash to spare! But, as far as most Canadians go, I'm lucky: I have international connections. Namely? My girlfriend's American family.
So, in a few weeks--when I next see them--I expect to be the proud holder of ten dollars worth of Yankee postage. In school, I studied a little political science; but only now do I truly appreciate international relations!