Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strapped for cash: Using homemade barter currencies

Given the current economic climate, a lot of people are strapped for cash. More often than not, this poses a problem. However, it's not a problem for Mrs. Margaret Maylindropper of Altamonte Springs, Florida. For several months now she has been without cash, but has managed to stay afloat by paying everything from her bills and mortgage to her gasoline refills with meatballs.

"I make a zesty meatball. They are extra tender and juicy. No one can resist them. Some people want my meatballs more than cash. In fact, some of the neighborhood kids have set up lemonade stands and the girl scouts just wait outside my house with cookies in hopes that I'll buy some with a bag full of meatballs," said Mrs. Maylindropper.
Mrs. Maylindropper is not alone. Her other neighbor, who chose only to reveal himself as Fred, has also switched to a barter currency. Fred offers foot massages and pita bread. One foot massage is equal to two pita breads. Unfortunately, his pita bread isn't as desirable as his neighbor's meatballs. And, his gas company has claimed his foot massages aren't really that great.

"Look, I'm doing what I can. I can't please everyone all the time. My hands get sore. But hey, I think it's a better idea than what I was going to do. I was going to do face painting and body art," said Fred.

Many in the community are relieved that Fred chose pita and foot massages instead. Melanie McGruber had this to say, 

"Last Halloween he tried to paint me. He had a roller and a can of spray paint and asked what I wanted to be - either a mermaid or a fence. I just couldn't decide, so he made me into a merfence."

The resourcefulness of this community is suburban Florida is commendable. Perhaps the country could learn a thing or to from Mrs. Maylindropper's meatballs and Fred's pita. If you don't have money, don't sweat it, unless, you're using that sweat to make meatballs.

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