The Day the Dollar Died (Part VI)
VI. “Pass Me the Butter and Blueberry Syrup, Please”
Filed under: The Day The Dollar Died Series
by John Galt
December 2, 2009
The entire story below is FICTION…
February 24, 2010 9:45 A.M.
Sandy’s mother was no spring chicken but being a true Southern girl from Adel gave her the toughness and experience to ride out many a weird situation. Here she was seventy-nine years old and with a south Georgia name like Lillian, she knew that everyone would always come to “Mama Lil” for wisdom when times got tough or the pie didn’t turn out just right. As she looked up at her forty-five year old daughter, she just shook her head as she sipped the coffee in the IHOP her daughter insisted on taking her to this morning. Lillian glanced up and started on Sandy with “Honey, you didn’t have to come all the way over here. It’s not like it hasn’t snowed in Georgia before and I have plenty of fresh canned meat, fruits and vegetables. I’ll bet you haven’t even got a can of Spam in your house.” Sandy just sighed and replied “Mama, Tom went out after work Monday night and loaded up on all kinds of canned stuff that’s unhealthy and bought some toilet paper then made five bucks per package on it in the parking lot. We’re set for a few weeks and don’t worry about a thing with us. We’re worried about you.”
Lil leaned back as the waitress refilled the coffee then another server placed the first plate in front of Sandy loaded with eggs, bacon, pancakes and that selection of syrups that made the IHOP famous for creating business for dentists for decades before. While Lillian was stirring some sugar into her coffee, her plate full of three eggs over easy, the bacon still sizzling, two links and two pancakes with a bowl of steaming hot grits with butter was set in front of her. The waitress, obviously exhausted said politely “Is there anything else y’all need? This might be our last morning open if the supply truck doesn’t arrive, we’re going to run out of food in about an hour and that will be that.” Lil smiled and said in that drawl, “That’s OK honey, we’ll enjoy it as I’m sure y’all took care of us, I have more than I can ask for, don’t you Sandy?” Sandy looked puzzled and just nodded her head no as she dug into the best meal she had had in past day plus.
“Mama, what did you mean by that?” Sandy asked puzzled as she took a bite of butter and syrup loaded pancakes. “Pass me the butter and blueberry syrup please dear,” her mom replied, “and I’ll explain why you’re going to have to get used to what I grew up with as a baby.” Lillian went into a story Sandy had heard a million times before when she was growing up, but this time she paid attention. “Mama, why did you have to eat turnips every night? Didn’t that get old?” Sandy asked as she interrupted the story. “Honey, we were thrilled to take some fat back and turnips with black pepper on some nights frying them up to add some spice to the meals. If we were lucky the potatoes would come in and we could have turnip and potato soup or maybe even a chicken once a month. You have to remember all that nonsense that Roosevelt spread in 39 about a recovery did not mean we recovered. Heck it took the draft to get rid of enough labor to open up the job market down there. We would have starved if it weren’t for the war” she replied seeing the concern in her daughter’s eyes.
As they finished breakfast an hour and a bit later, Lillian insisted that she gets the tip and left the waitress a nice new ten dollar bill. “Mama!” Sandy gasped out, “that’s too much!” Her mom glared back and sternly said “Don’t make a scene, she earned it and will probably be without work this afternoon. You need to worry about you and that husband of yours!” As they walked to the front with the receipt, Sandy reached in her wallet and handed the cashier her debit card and the receipt. The assistant manager, a somewhat exhausted fifty something lady from Villa Rica who looked like she’d been working three days solid said politely “Ma’am, we aren’t taking any cards at this time. The sign on the door says cash only.” Sandy looked over at her mom and with a wee bit of panic said “Mama, I don’t…” and before she could finish Lillian cut her off and handed twenty-five dollars in cash to the bedraggled employee and told her to keep the change. “Honey, I told you I was ready for this years ago” as she held her daughter’s hand and they walked out the door.
Sandy walked around to the passenger side of her GMC Sierra and opened the door and helped her mom into the SUV. As her mom was settling in fumbling with the seat controls and seat belts, Sandy walked around to the driver’s side and screamed out “OH MY GOD! HELP SOMEBODY HELP ME!” There was a small section of rubber hose sticking out of her gas tank nozzle, with what appeared to be drops of gasoline evaporating into the bitter winter wind. The adventure of Sandy in Peachtree City was about to begin even though she was less than two hours away from her home.
February 24, 2010 10:00 A.M. Central Time
Deputy Monckton finished the coffee and as he expected after the speeches from the President and Geithner a call came in on his radio. “All units return to base” was all the voice uttered and as everyone replied with a confirmation he waited for a pause to reply after a deep breath. He looked over at his old friend of many years and told him “This is the call we have all been dreading. We were trained for this in 2002 and 2007 but never thought it would really happen.” Mike said in a somewhat softened, uncharacteristic tone of voice “What call is that Jack? Hell, you have me spooked now.” The deputy handed Mike a copy of a memo they received on Monday morning from Washington from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Mike scanned it and blurted out as he read it “NATIONALIZED? OUR LOCAL SHERIFF HAS BEEN NATIONALIZED?!? Jack are you freaking kidding me?”
“No Mike, I’m not. They have been waiting for the official call from the governor’s office relieving us of our state duties. Bush set this up as an option after the September 11th attacks but nobody ever thought we would see the orders signed by any President” Monckton said, putting his coat on and looking down at the floor. “Jack, just what will you do? You’re going to have some tough choices if they order you against the citizens of this town” Mike said now somewhat agitated. The deputy put his hat and gloves on and looked into Mike’s eyes, “I’ll do my job old buddy, just like I always have.”
February 24, 2010 11:00 A.M. Eastern Time
AUTOMATIC REDIRECT. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER.
THANK YOU THE U.S.I.A.
– 404 UNAVAILABLE –
I was getting somewhat frustrated. The messages were similar, the annoyance complete. First my bank goes offline, then the Wall Street Journal, then the New York Times, then Drudge, then my message boards and now Yahoo and Google so I can’t even check my own email or chat with friends to find out what is going on in the rest of the country. The only websites that I could access were state and Federal government websites which had not been updated in twenty-four hours. Just as I was ready to rip the computer out of the desk and smash it against the wall, the phone rang. And rang. And rang. And it kept ringing. “Damned voice mail must be down too” I thought to myself. Finally after about twenty rings I picked it up and the call that just made my day dandy began:
“Hello to the citizens of this household.”
I had to ignore it for a second and yell out “Honey pick up the phone, the President is calling us.”
“….to contact everyone we can and reassure them during this time of crisis in our nation. Our staff is working day and night to return all systems to normal. No doubt you have heard the speech this morning and perhaps the follow up information from Treasury Secretary Geithner about the functioning of our financial markets in the days ahead. I want to assure that this incident is under investigation as it is possible this attack on our nation’s financial security was an act of terror but in the interim, the collapse of our dollar is a needless rumor spread by the enemies of our great nation to diminish our ability to function in the world community. I shall repair, rebuild and insure that the United States dollar will forever be a currency that we the people can be proud of and have faith as an instrument of commerce. If you wish to receive more information about the new policies and obtain the application for G-GAP or Generalized Government Assistance Program, designed for all citizens you can go to ggap.gov or press 2 at the end of this phone call to leave a recorded message and request a consultation with your regional or neighborhood financial management specialist. Thank you and God Bless you and God Bless America and the citizens of this great planet.”
“BEEP..press 1 to end this call, press 2 to set up a consultation, press 3 for an emergency conference location near you, press 4 to replay the message or hang up to terminate this call.”
I slammed the phone down only to hear an angry swear word and down the hall a somewhat perturbed wife yelling at me “Damnit, I was on that line still when you slammed it!” After an apology and a promise not to do it again, I decided to see if I could get on any foreign news sites on the internet for any information and that was blocked also. Just as I feared, the overseas websites were blocked including the BBC, Canadian newspapers and the wire services and that meant that the only source of information was our local television and radio plus the government websites. The information clamp down to prevent rampant rumors and speculation had begun and that was why my friend told me to go home and get ready for the announcements.
I went to the website mentioned and what appeared was a poorly constructed website with links to all sorts of government assistance programs and after searching it long and hard the information I wanted “Links to Important U.S. Government Agencies” which I clicked and after some scrolling found the U.S. Treasury website. I figured that they had to post some news about the banks and since I was unemployed now, how to access our accounts. As the web page slowly loaded up, there was a new display from the one I had remembered in the past. The links were for everything from news to “Updated International Currency Exchange Information as of 02.24.10″ and a brand new section on “Investing in the New America.” Just to see what was going on in the world of international currencies, I clicked on the link about currency exchange and to this day I wish that I had not.
My eyes felt like they had bugged out of my skull when I saw the exchange rates:
1 IMF UCU = $8.00 U.S.
1 IMF UCU = $T 1.00*
1 Euro = $5.00 U.S.
1 Pound Sterling = $1.50 U.S.
10 Yen = $1.00
2 Yuan = $1.00 ** Exchange rate expires 03.25.10 future rates yet to be determined**
0.25 Swiss Franc = $1.00
*=$T not available for United States or United Kingdom citizens, for corporate or international trading purposes only with participating nations.
and on and on and on. I was stunned. Our currency had indeed been either reset or collapsed for some reason despite the cheery “we can do it” speeches of the past thirty days and this morning. Then it hit me like my wife clubbing me with a frying pan upside the head; what the heck is an IMF UCU? I clicked on the currency links provided and there it was a “brief” explanation:
“The IMF Universal Currency Unit is a new electronic exchange currency designed to expedite and accommodate all participating nations for intnational trade and settlements. The IMF UCU rates are set by the Joint Council consisting of the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations Bank Central Committee.”
As I sat stunned in my office chair, I clicked back to the main page and the other link was equally important that I reviewed next:
Elimination of United States Coinage and Expiration Dates
$0.01 United States Penny – Phase out date 04.01.2010
$0.05 United States Nickel – Phase out date 04.01.2010
$0.10 United States Dime-Phase out date 04.01.2010
$0.25 United States Quarter-Phase out date 05.01.2010
$0.50 United States Half-Dollar-Phase out date IMMEDIATELY
$1.00 United States Dollar Coinage-Phase out date IMMEDIATELY
Retail outlets were being instructed to accept all coinage but offer no change and instead provide SUSDR (Special United States Depository Receipts) for which customers will be able to deposit in their bank accounts or trade for electronic credits via the new GGAP cards. Holy smokes, I thought to myself, they just increased the price of everything and eliminated everything but paper currency! What was more alarming was that those of us who dealt with some international suppliers now had to figure out the impact of the new Trade Dollar and how we would do business again. Then it hit me hard as I realized my business was burned to the ground this morning and my wife’s job working for the state in the transportation department was still frozen as they said to “standby” for instructions for employees. Everything now had changed and the void of information except for that filtered by the government was creating more panic than reassurance.
February 24, 2010 1:42 P.M. Eastern Time
Suddenly the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM of what sounded like gunshots rang out in what sounded like my back yard. Without hesitation I grabbed my shotgun and yelled at my wife to take cover in the bathtub with my pistol and the kittens. She yelled at me “Hell no, who’s going to cover the other windows!” Good point I thought as I crept window to window trying to figure out who or what was shooting at us. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! rang out again echoing through the neighborhood and soon sirens started to blare in the distance. I would hear the noise about every few minutes and figured it was a gang gun fight or a homeowner defending themselves from the scumbags of the world.
As I peered out of the blinds in my side window, I placed my finger over the trigger guard only to see our neighbor’s ten year old kid carrying a piece of plywood and James standing on a ladder with his nail gun firing away blasting nails into the wood to secure the wood over the windows. I walked over to my wife and handed her the shotgun telling her what was going on and talk to him. “James just what the hell are you doing? We are not in hurricane season son!” I yelled at him. He wiped his sleeve on his forehead to get the sweat out of his eyes, sat the nail gun down on the top of the ladder and stepped down. “We’ve already been hit by the hurricane and I’m not going to take any chances. You should do the same thing John so you can sleep at night as I’m hearing stories from the neighborhood of a lot of break ins and armed burglaries in other parts of towns including home invasions and worse” he replied with a very worried look on his face. “James, just how the heck are you going to see who is coming to your house if you have all the windows boarded up and what if you need to get out due to a fire?” I asked innocently enough. “Same way you would deal with it John” he replied motioning over to his shotgun leaning up against the wall.
“Maybe we should start a neighborhood watch and block off the cul-de-sac so we can guard each other’s homes” he suggested. I told him it was not a bad idea and when he was through asked him if I could borrow his nail gun. He was right I realized. The hurricane had hit and this time we had to board the windows up to be safe afterwards, not before the storm. Little did I realize how insane his suggestion was though about a neighborhood watch. The BMW and champagne crowd we lived among were totally clueless as to what was going on in the real world and as long as the sheeple networks continued to broadcast non-news related drivel, they would not take the seriousness of our situation at heart. I now realized what happened when you’re trapped in suburbia and limited with a route to escape or deal with the new reality.