From paper-clip to house, in 14 trades
Last Updated: Friday, July 7, 2006 | 10:38 PM ET
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, he looked at a red paper-clip on his desk and decided to trade it on an internet website.
Kyle MacDonald makes friends with Alice Cooper.
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.
n 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.
MacDonald said: "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, 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. "