How to Get Rich

July 1 st 1987

The Idler is a daring adventure in publishing that deserves the attention of all who care for the state of the media in Canada. Begum in January 1985, The Idler has survived by the sheer stubbornness of its founder-editor and a stroke of "good luck" in the form of a generous patron. Its content is a variety of the irreverent, funny and serious. It is also a magazine that needs subscribers; in other words, it needs you. To give you a taste of this delightful magazine, which is unlike anything else published in Canada, we reprint here its poker-faced reply to the question "Can you suggest a fairly quick way to make a million dollars, with a small investment?"

Sir,—Work hard; jolly hard. But should this prove too much for you, I suggest the old Bulgarian overshoe trick. 1. Import a million pairs of overshoes from Bulgaria—they are desperate for foreign currency, and will give you any credit terms you ask for. 2. Have the shipment split into two lots—one consisting of left shoes only, and one of right. 3. Have the left shoes sent ahead first. 4. When they arrive at Customs refuse to pay the duty. Customs will seize them and auction them off, and no one will want one million left-footed overshoes, so you (or your agent) will be able to obtain them for a song. 5. Then the right-footed overshoes will arrive. You may obtain them for another song. 6. When you have both lots, marry the boots together, and sell them for a dollar a pair. (Remember not to pay the Bulgars.)
The Idler, May-June, 1987)

For a sample copy and a subscription, at $12.00 per year, write to The Idler, 255 Davenport Rd., Toronto, Ontario, MSR 1J9.


Harry Antonides came to Canada in 1948, initially working as a farm hand and railway labourer. After over a decade working in a chemical plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Harry joined the newly forming Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) in 1962 as a field representative. By 1970 Harry became director of research and education. In 1974, he was a founding member of the Work Research Foundation (now Cardus) and publisher of their sole publication, Comment magazine. A prolific writer and dynamic speaker, Harry delivered lectures all over North America and published numerous articles, reviews, and essays. He is author of several books on Christianity, labour, and economics, including Multinationals and the Peacable Kingdom (1978) and Stones for Bread: The Social Gospel and its Contemporary Legacy (1985). Harry is retired and lives with his wife Janet in Willowdale, Ontario.