So, our teacher asked us to write a letter to a boy or girl my age who lived a hundred years ago, in the year TWENTY17. He even set up a fake screen to receive our mails – it’s so outdated; like at least twelve months old. Mega retro. We had to pick a popular name from the year, and address our mail to the name – which is why, my imaginary friend from the past, you are called Kevin. No one has such long names nowadays! I find it amusing that people used to be named using so many characters. Nowadays, it’s super rare for people to have names consisting of more than one! We learnt last week about how the dissolution of physical currency – oh, I just remembered that people from your time became a bit lazy with language for a while, and that a child my age probably wouldn't understand what I just outlined. Basically, I mean how you used to have, like, real money. (Our teacher gave us some tips on language from your era too – I’m particularly enamoured with the unpredictable interjection of the word: like. It’s strange how we can’t use any of the modern process characters though. Never mind, the restrictive nature of this assignment is actually kind of fun.)
Now, we don’t use coins or notes like you fellas did; it’s all done via our vices. Oh yeah, so vices is essentially a slang term for screens. De-vices. Obviously; you can’t have been that stupid. We learned that you actually did have primitive versions of what we use back then, but you called them phones or tablets, which I thought was hilarious! According to our teacher, you could pay with them too, but you still used money for certain things and there were still shops. He showed us jaypegs of these silly looking vices that still had big chunks of plastic and metal attached to them. Weird.
I don’t tell many people, but I still have one ten dollar sheet printed in a year not long after yours. I used to have two, but then I burnt one because I felt like it. They were kind of like family heirlooms; you don’t see them outside of museum experiences now. After the drastic population decrease which took place in TWENTY73, most remaining paper notes were re-purposed for other uses. We’re learning more about that next week. Sounds, like, pretty boring.
For the most part I keep the ten dollar note in my securobox, and I never show it any of my friends. One day, maybe my last ten dollars will be the very last paper currency on the whole continent. On the other hand, maybe one day I’ll feel like burning it. It could go either way. Sometimes I like to burn the past. We were told not to write a long letter because typical attention spans in TWENTY17 were much shorter than they are now, so I’ll wrap this up.
But, Kevin: you don’t even exist. This assignment is just being sent to my teacher’s ancient vice and is just a waste of minutes.
Words by Andrew Jolly
Illustration by Emmeline Pidgen