Monday, July 25, 2011

Change You Can't Count On!

I need someone to explain the concept of Change to me. Not “This shirt smells, time for Plan G” kind of change, I mean the jingle in your pocket kind. Why do I still have Change in my life?

For starters, I understand that for a couple of thousand years this was a highly effective way to move your money around. You had to walk a long way into town, so better to carry a few coins than a half-dozen cows right? I mean, this was a Class-A innovation in world history, right up there with fire and the concept of zero. But hasn’t Change fallen upon tough times lately? Isn’t the luster gone, just a bit, from Change? There’s new upstarts in town. First it was paper currency (“Phaw,” says Change “It’ll fall apart under my kind of workload”). Then there was letters of credit and cheques (“Sure, you can stockpile funds but most transactions are going to need me”). After that we saw credit cards, who had a great run but now there’s debit cards giving Change and Paper the old one-two (“Oh Paper, I’m so sorry”). Now there’s the internet, credit cards, debit cards, cheques, pay-by-phone; and they’re all making it easier than ever not to pay any attention to Change at all (“Spare some change?” says Change from his bundle of rags). And above all this, Change has been slammed, positively SLAMMED by inflation! Just when Change thinks it’s gaining ground it gets devalued to the point that nobody pays with Change as a first option. It’s only when you’re desperate!

Do you know what got me thinking about this? I was at the drive-through, and the fetus working the till tried to pull the old “I’m going to lay your receipt on your hand in order to create a perfect ramp upon which to slide your Change into the space between this window and the car so that I can pick it up later trick” but Erika managed to thwart her, only to give it to me using basically the same trick, which led to me angrily jamming a mixture of American and Canadian Change into the overflowing ashtray and ranting about why this was a part of my life anymore! And really, it doesn’t need to be. I can fill my 1L steins with beer, thank you very much. I don’t need Change to do it for me.

Bring on the completely digital economy, I’m done with Change.

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