In the story selected for our study ‘My Lost Dollar’iv Stephen Leacock/narrator lends a dollar to his friend Todd. Ironically, the money lent to Todd, and that which would cause such heartache for Leacock, could not have been given on any better occasion. Todd is given the dollar to pay his taxi fare while embarking on a journey to Bermuda, a favourite holiday destination. Thus it is obviously a moment of pleasure for the borrower Todd whereas a painful beginning for the lender Leacock. Leacock, in the hope of realizing the debt from his dear friend makes a mention of it whenever he has conversations with Todd. Finally, he gives up the hope of getting it repaid realising that it is futile to try and get back the dollar.
Leacock in his opinion states, “The best definition of humour I know is: humour may be defined as the kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life, and the artistic expression thereof. I think this is the best I know because I wrote it myself”v. The story of the lost dollar begins with the honest realization of Leacock of one such incongruity of life, of lending money to your near and dear ones:My friend Todd owes me a dollar. He has owed it to me for twelve months, and I fear there is little prospect of his ever returning it. I can realize whenever I meet him that he has forgotten that he owes me a dollar. He meets me in the same frank friendly way as always. My dollar has clean gone out of his mind. I see that I shall never get it back.As a switch from the animosity that the practice of borrowing and lending can create between two individuals, even friends for that matter, Leacock tries to downplay the tension by reducing the amount lent to a meager or let us say a frugal one dollar. Not wanting to make a major issue out of a trivial thing stephen leacock employs the tool of laughter.