We all grieve in different ways. When actor Leonard Nimoy, better known as Spock from Star Trek, died last week, the outpouring of grief in Canada took a uniquely Canadian turn. Fans of the late Mr. Spock took the Canadian five-dollar bill, which has an image of a former prime minister and sketched a few extra lines here, pointy Vulcan ears there, and voilà—a Spock-themed tribute.
Spocking, as the grown-up kids call it, the image of former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier on the bill is not a new phenomenon, but it made the rounds on social media following Nimoy’s death, raising questions about whether the practice was even legal. Enough spocking was being done apparently that the Canadian central bank felt compelled to weigh in saying: Yes, it’s legal, but it’s just not a very nice or Canadian thing to do. “[B]ank spokeswoman Josianne Menard said Tuesday that scribbling on bills [is] inappropriate because it defaces a Canadian symbol and source of national pride,” the Associated Press reports.