Money’s strange stuff, isn’t it? I mean just because someone “feels confident” in the dollar we can buy more stuff from (say) Australia for less dollars. This is the principal all currency trading is based on. The relative value of the dollar, euro, or yen rises and falls on the basis of some guy’s confidence.
Since most of us would like to be better off, and currency trading is just a form of bartering, I tried the same principle in Target.
“That’ll be twenty dollars, sir.”
“Well, I’m feeling really confident in this dollar bill, so how about we call it even?”
I’ll skip the ensuing “conversation,” aside mentioning that I haven’t been back to that Target because of a pesky court order.
Despite my legal problem, I continued to research the problem, and I have decided I’m going to move to the UK.
Why? Because on their bank notes are the words
“I promise to pay the bearer on demand.”
What this means is you can take a ten-pound note to the Bank of England and demand ten pounds in return. It used to be that you would be given gold in return. Now, however, they grin and just give you ten-pounds back.
Now, if that sounds a bit pointless, just think of the possibilities. If I move to the UK, I can issue my own notes with the words “I promise to pay the bearer on demand,” and all I have to do is give the person their money back, the same note they gave me.
Consequently, I will be moving to the UK next week to establish the “Blackwell.”
I’ll be issuing notes in dominations of 5, 10, and 100 Blackwell’s, and because I’m feeling very confident in this scheme, Blackwells will be traded against the boring old British pound at a rate of 1 Blackwell to 50 GBP. To keep things simple I’m not going to bother with coins for a while.
While I am re-establishing the value of goods and services, I thought I’d do a little to adjust the relative cost of things. For example,
- In no way should car servicing cost $100/hr plus. The mechanic certainly doesn’t get anywhere near that much. So car dealers will be made to charge amounts based on how confident the customer appears. I’d suggest that grinning, giggling, and doing a small happy dance should be enough for a free car service. Tell a joke and they’ll be required to throw in a free car wash as well.
- Ink-jet printer ink will be subject to similar discounts. Handing over 1 Blackwell with a flourish should be enough for 75% off.
- Movie theater popcorn should be based on how much kids bounce up and down. Given my experience I’d say that 10 buckets per Blackwell seems about right.
Obviously an endeavor like this takes a lot of effort, so if you’d like to help assist with the printing and distribution of Blackwells, I’d be glad to hear from you. Once I have the UK situation sorted out, I will be branching out to other countries. So, if you have a particular favorite in mind let me know and I’ll grant you an exclusive license to print Blackwells in the country of your choice.
You’re a nut. but I like you.
On a par with “I am,” Sherry. As brilliant and funny as you are brief. Unfortunately, I’m more nuts than anything else!
Sign me up for 100,000 Blackwells. I’m working on a flourish that conveys such confidence you’ll be forced to give them to me for free…
Flourish away. I’m having to dole them out carefully, something to do with money supply and velocity. Well, that and my printer’s on the fritz. As soon as I haven enough they’ll be on their way. I’ll label the package “highly valuable” so the postman doesn’t lose it.
Nigel, this is the best idea you’ve come up with since the Write-Only-Memory. I don’t know why you have to work for a living. Send me a 100B and I’ll start making copies to help lift our economy out of its doldrums.
No problem, I’ll mail the blank over now. Just don’t print more than a billions worth at a time because it’s just plain embarrassing when people keep offering you their country in exchange.
All would be fine with this except that “I promise to pay the bearer on demand.” has a printing error in it. It should read ‘bear’ not bearer. You have to watch out for bears in the UK, especially ones in banks. They get into everything.
We’re odd like that. here.
Other than that… I like the popcorn scenario. How many buckets could I have in exchange for an hour’s giggling, at the current exchange rate?
“I promise to pay the bear” has a bit more meaning to it really, doesn’t it? I mean, who’s going to skip out on a bear? maybe we should send a bear into the bank of England and see if he can shake some gold out of them.
I think the exchange for a hours giggling would be a bottle of oxygen, since you’d probably need it by then. A good five minutes should be enough to keep a family of four in buttered popcorn for a single movie. If you bring a couple of friends and giggle in sync then I think that deserves enough for an entire Harry Potter series.
You are truly the modern Leonardo, Nigel. First you invent a new calendar, now a new form of currency? So revolutionary and yet so sensible.
I especially like the idea of the Blackwell having a relative value depending on the item you’re purchasing.
And your timing is impeccable—just in time for the Blackwell to swoop in and solve the Euro crisis.
Hi Madame Weebles.
As flattered as I am by your compliment, I’d have to say that my artistic skills stop at drawing straight lines with a ruler. Even then they often go in the wrong direction.
Ah yes, the Euro. I didn’t think of that. I wonder if the debit crisis could be paid off on the basis of everyone just becoming a little more confident? After I wrote that I’ve just realized that the irony is that is exactly what is required. I’m going to sit down now and see if I can redesign the helicopter.
LOL what a great idea! I can imagine going out for lunch – the more my stomach growls, the better the deal – becuase if I’m that hungry, I’m much more confident I’ll eat it all!
I like you’re thinking there, Jennette. That’s an idea that could an end to world hunger. Of course, if you over eat on the main course, the sweet may end up costing you a fortune 🙂
Snort. I’m giggling over my oatmeal. I think you are right about the coins. I mean you can change the way you look on the paper currency by drawing in a mustache or lenghtening the burns a wee bit but it’s much harder with coins. Well, sharpies could do the job but you really want your coin image to be permanant and do you justice or, frankly, what’s the point of having change?
Hi Liz, I like you’re thinking. Wouldn’t it be much more interesting if we could doodle on the notes to update the president or dictators image to suit public opinion? Maybe theres a business in making pens with ink that fades in a couple of weeks so the notes could be re-use doodble-wise. It could even avoid civil wars if the countries ruler really knew what their people really though about them.
Is it ok if I put you in charge of sharpie distribution?
This post surely did make me giggle. But my, oh, my. You will have to put me down for several of those giggling, bouncing buckets. You know those kids and their popcorn!
Ha, yes, I have a girl, and yes, I too get plenty of giggling, with and without popcorn 🙂 have a great weekend.