Author Tags: Humour

Kyle MacDonald is listed in the Guinness Record Book for Most Successful Internet Trade.

Born in New Westminster on Oct 3, 1979 and raised in Belcarra, B.C., Kyle MacDonald recently gained his fifteen minutes of fame--and much more--by using Craigslist as a stepping stone to notoriety. As he recalls in One Red Paperclip (Random House), MacDonald put an ad on Craigslist, the popular classifieds website, hoping to trade his paperclip for something better. After a girl in Vancouver offered him a fish pen in exchange, he traded the pen for a doorknob, and the doorknob for a camping stove. It was traded for a generator that was exchanged for a neon sign. Enter avid snow-globe collector and television star Corbin Bernsen and the small Canadian town of Kipling, and ultimately MacDonald became a homeowner in just fourteen trades on Craigslist. Previously, according to his bio, he had planted more than one hundred thousand trees, delivered more than one thousand pizzas but ate only one scorpion. "When he's not wearing bird shirts, delivering postcards around the world or promoting Alberta Beef by hitchhiking in a parade, you might find him leaving his wallet in El Segundo or hanging out in Bangkok modeling Italian Soccer jerseys. He also enjoys writing for his website and life in Montreal with Dominique." We have seen the future, and it is UTube.


One Red Paperclip: or How an Ordinary Man Achieved His Dream with the Help of a Simple Office Supply (New York: Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, 2007)

[BCBW 2007] "Humour"

One Red Paperclip (Three Rivers $17.95)

Born in New Westminster in 1979 and raised in Belcarra, B.C., Kyle MacDonald recalls in One Red Paperclip (Three Rivers $17.95) how he was between jobs and relying on his girlfriend to pay the rent in Montreal when a girl in Vancouver agreed to trade her fish pen for his paper clip.

Using the internet site Craigslist, he traded the pen for a doorknob in Seattle, the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove in Massachusetts, and the stove for a Honda generator in California. Eventually snow-globe collector and television star Corbin Bernsen traded him a role in the film Donna on Demand for MacDonald’s newly acquired Kiss snow-globe. Ultimately MacDonald acquired a two-storey farmhouse from the mayor of media-hungry Kipling, Saskatchewan in July of 2006.

When he isn’t gallivanting around the planet, appearing on talk shows, MacDonald is back with his girlfriend Dominique in Montreal—and not living in the farmhouse.

In Canada, MacDonald boosted his profile by remarking on CBC’s The Hour that he wouldn’t go to Yahk, B.C. to make a trade. When the good denizens of Yahk protested, MacDonald upped the stakes, like a good poker player, and vowed he would never go to Yahk unless The Hour agreed to broadcast from the town itself—which they did.

We have seen the future, and it is YouTube.


[BCBW 2007]