The day the credit machines went down

It was a simple bug, an update patch that didn’t quite get evenly distributed that opened the door. The bug itself was harmless, except that it allowed for an opportunistic worm to encroach and spread rapidly. That was the day the the credit machines went down.

At first people were annoyed. Their usual routines were delayed and the atm lines got much longer. Then as everyone rushed to withdraw, the physical currencies reached a critical point. ATMs started drying up first at convenience stores and shopping malls, then soon then the bank branches themselves ran low. The treasury rushed to print bills but their capacity wasn’t anywhere near what was needed for this rapid shift. Bank runs started simultaneously all over the country, and the managers were forced to lock their doors. Bitcoin values went parabolic.

The people that were early to withdraw were the first to rush for the supply staples — groceries and gas. The supply chain for restocking stores was the next to freeze up. Soon the shelves were empty of all but the most undesired non perishables — canned spam, beans, and frozen cheeseburgers were suddenly looked at as gourmet delicacies.

It took several weeks, but people eventually found ways to adjust. Bartering became common. Those with physical service trades were suddenly considered lucky. The hair dressers, plumbers, carpenters, and other service industry jobs were fortunate in that they had the easiest skills to barter. Those who relied on retail were forced to find other skills. Those who had previously been office drones and the like suddenly found they needed to learn to survive outside of a white collar environment.

The bartering quickly progressed from trading of typical consumer goods such as clothing, jewelry, and electronics, to the less material. People found that striking up a conversation with new people outside of their typical circle was no longer just a fun diversion but a necessity — in this new world the people with the strongest circle of friends were the only ones who thrived.

Soon people started looking for ways to branch out and build new friendships. Book clubs, open mike nights, even the local pub all became common stops for many. The usual barriers that kept people in their own long held silos slowly started to dissolve, and people found that their city was a much more varied place than they had ever realized, full of diverse, interesting, funny, and mostly nice people that were worth getting to know better. All the sudden people started to question why they ever needed the credit machines in the first place, after all this new world was actually an improvement in many ways.

People started singing together more. They were singing bye bye miss American pie. People started driving their Chevies to the levy even though they knew in advance that the levy was probably going to be dry but what the hell its still worth a shot right? The good ole boys kept on drinking their whiskey and rye, the day the credit machines died.


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