What Can I Offer You?

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

Issue #1: Operation: Lady Doomsday (Image source: Wikipedia)

Issue #1: Operation: Lady Doomsday (Image source: Wikipedia)

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.

With my help, steak will be on the menu.  (Image source: Flickr

With my help, steak will be on the menu. (Image source: Flickr

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.

Yes, I'd like to pay for this with a blog. (Image source: Flickr)

Yes, I’d like to pay for this with a blog. (Image source: Flickr)

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.


About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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27 Responses to What Can I Offer You?

  1. Katie says:

    I think we’d all like our blogging to have some kind of trade value…

  2. I love wandering around supermarkets.

  3. You mean you didn’t learn useful survival skills from G.I. Joe? Step one: wear a badass ninja costume. Step two: Have really stupid enemies. There ya go.

  4. djmatticus says:

    Don’t fret! Supermarkets will be replaced by bazaars and farmer’s markets and other such gatherings where people will hawk their goods and services. You’ll be just fine! Plus, the animal calls could actually be a good one to trade for – you’ve just got to make sure you are doing the “come hither” call rather than the “flee like your life depends on it, because it does” call.

  5. Pingback: I would die in a month | Vivir, que no es poco

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  7. beefybooyawn says:

    My wife and I are hoping for a zombie apocalypse, but at the same time I figure we’d be two of the first to go. We’re slow and have no good hunting or killing skills. I have asthma, so outrunning a zombie is out of the question. Plus I’m fat and as I said, slow. So yeah, bartering wouldn’t be good for me either cause I have no useful things to barter. Knowledge or otherwise.

  8. rarasaur says:

    I bet if you really went around all day offering a blog post for things, you’d probably get stuff. From small businesses, at least. I don’t know if it’d be stuff you want… but it’d be something. Of course, in an apocalypse situation, this would probably not be true….

  9. UndercoverL says:

    Learn To Knit Tea Cozies. I Am Telling You I Am On To Something. (No, This Is Not The Title Of A Book, It Is A Glitch Thanks To An Unfortunate Union Of My Phone And Gatorade.)

  10. aliciabenton says:

    If you wrestled, you could certainly survive a zombie apocalypse. Hardest sport ever. Maybe just don’t wear a singlet while fighting said zombies. That might be a little creepy considering you’re not in high school anymore.

  11. Pingback: Not Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse | Beefy's House o' Fun

  12. Pingback: Quack! | The Cutter Rambles

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