I was intrigued by today’s Daily Prompt:
If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?
I have given some thought as to how I’d fare in the apocalypse, and my conclusion is that I wouldn’t last too long. Aside from my high school wrestling training and a few bar fighting tips given to me by a fraternity brother, I have no combat training. I’m not especially handy, and if an injury requires treatment beyond applying peroxide and a bandage, I’m not going to be much help.
I work as a web developer, and I have a suspicion that in a world that utilized the barter system, there probably wouldn’t be much demand for development work. Or maybe there would be? “I’ll redesign your web site in exchange for those carrots! An updated web site will allow you to sell those carrots more efficiently.”
Aside from being able to write C# code, I do have some other skills. But would anyone be willing to exchange anything for them?
Knowledge of G.I.Joe comic book titles
I know the titles of the first 100 issues of the Marvel G.I. Joe comic book series. (I can also describe what the cover of each issue looks like!) I realize that this doesn’t seem especially useful, but I did once win $20 because someone was so impressed.
I’ve managed to find some practical uses for this knowledge. Since I have a handy 100 number reference guide, I can use the titles as a form of mnemonic device to remember things such as lock combinations, phone numbers, and passwords.
Would I be able to barter this skill? I’m not sure. I don’t know how much people would be willing to give me in exchange for knowing that the title of issue #47 is Sea Duel.
I suppose I could be of use helping people to remember information. Surely, somebody might find that useful, right?
Mimicry of animal sounds
Upon becoming a parent, people sometimes discover new skills that they never knew they had. After the Cutlet was born, I learned that I was adept at making animal sounds. I can moo, quack, and neigh like a professional.
I could see this being useful for hunters. They could bring me along on a hunt, and I could make sounds to lure in the animals. In exchange, they’d share their catch with me.
Ability to save money at the supermarket
While I haven’t quite mastered the supermarket yet, as I told Mrs. Cutter last week, I’ve gotten really good at grocery shopping. Between taking advantage of sales to determining the optimal way of loading the cart, I feel like I’ve taken things to another level.
Unfortunately, if the barter system was put into place, the whole concept of the supermarket might go away. This skill would be rendered useless.
It would be nice if someone would offer me goods or services in exchange for my blogging and email writing ability. Sadly, I figure that if anyone was going to offer me anything in exchange for my blog posts, they would have done so by now.
So…there’s a good chance if the barter system was ever instituted, I’d either go hungry or have to quickly learn some new skills. Either way, I would be really upset at the elimination of supermarkets.