I like money. Doesn’t have to be a fortune. It just has to be money. Bills or coins, I’m good with it as long as I can fold it, flip it, spend it, insert it in a vending machine or toss it on the table at a poker game.
But the world is turning against money. For instance, there’s a new self-serve store in our workplace that sells coffee, soft drinks and snacks. It’s handy. It’s a few steps from my office. But it doesn’t want my money. In the middle of the store is a counter and a cash register (I think that’s what they still call them) with instructions on how to pay. The first day I looked to see where to insert my bills and coins. There isn’t any place. You have to swipe a credit, debit or gift card. Anything with a magnetic stripe..not a picture of a president or imprint of a national memorial or even a buffalo.
I have no intention of charging a Diet Coke and a bag of Corn Nuts. First of all, when the bill came at the end of the month I could just hear my wife say, “Diet Coke and Corn Nuts? Are you 7?” Paying by cash not only is efficient, it saves me from a great deal of embarrassment.
Let’s say this practice of not using a tangible method of trade was a practice when Peter Minuit bought Manhattan from a tribe of Native Americans for 24 bucks worth of trinkets.
Minuit: “OK Chief, I’ve brought a big box of trinkets and Slim Jims worth 24 bucks. Now. I’lll take Manhattan.”
Chief: “Hold on Dutch boy. Keep your crap and give it to the Salvation Army. We run a trinketless society here. We only accept a wampum rub. You keep rubbing the wampus belt until you spend down all the beads. When you’re left with bare string, you’re tapped out.”
Minuit: “But I’m trying to hide this idiotic purchase from my wife. The last time I bought an island it turned out to be manatee that was just sleeping. When I tried to build a settlement, the big galoot swam away.”
Chief: “I understand. Mrs. Chief gets riled when I use my wampum rub to buy Clint Eastwood movies. Yeah. He’s that old. OK…I dig. I’ll take your beads and junk this one time…but don’t try the same thing to buy Staten Island.”