Can you imagine buying a house with just a paper clip? Here's the story of a Canadian who bartered a red paper clip all the way up to a house in 14 trades. Kyle MacDonald from Montreal took only one year to own a two-storey farmhouse in Kipling, Canada.
The idea of bartering a paper clip dawned on MacDonald when he was jobless but wanted a house to live in. Instead of uploading his resume online to find a job, MacDonald decided to put up a picture of a red paper clip on a website.
He immediately got a response from two young women in Vancouver who were willing to trade a pen that was looking like a fish.
He traded the pen for a handmade doorknob with a Seattle potter the same day.
MacDonald later went to Massachusetts with a friend to barter the doorknob for a portable cooking stove.
Two months later he flew to California and bartered the stove with a US marine sergeant for a 100-watt generator.
A few months later, MacDonald was in New York to exchange the generator for an 'instant party kit' (empty keg in which one can fill beer bottles of his/her choice), with illuminated Budweiser beer sign.
He went on trading thing after thing and also managed to barter with some celebrities. Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette decided to barter his Ski-Doo snowmobile for the "instant party kit" that MacDonald had.
On one afternoon, he went all the way up for trading with rockstar Alice Cooper the motorised snow globe. This time, in exchange, he got a paid role in a Corbin Bernsen movie titled 'Donna on Demand'.
But why would Bernsen trade a role for a small snowglobe? well, Bernsen is said to be one of the biggest snowglobe collectors in the world.
Getting an opportunity to act in Bernsen's movie was not enough for MacDonald. He chose to trade that too. This time, it was not trading with just one person but with one whole town.
A town named Kipling in Canada offered to barter a farmhouse with him for the paid movie role that he had.
"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," mayor of Kipling Pat Jackson was quoted as saying by a news website. The town then held a competition for the role.
A few years after living in the farmhouse in Kipling he posted the house up for 'trade'. Soon the offers started rolling in. "Most people wanted to fence off the yard and live in the house. There was a feeling around town that the house should be some sort of living museum. This all seemed like a lot of organizing and responsibility, so at one point I woke up one morning and offered the house to town. Totally free," McDonald wrote in his blog.
The town has now turned the house into a cafe and tourist attraction. Drive into Kipling and you will find some official Saskatchewan tourism signs that announce the Red Paperclip House, one of Kipling's largest tourist attractions. "I'm very proud to have helped contribute to the existence of a large paper clip and tourist attraction in a remote Canadian town," he wrote.