To all the hearty partiers, congratulations — this is your day. Today the stars have aligned and it’s time for you to begin the ritual raising of your BAC. You may do so with abandon and without guilt because, Lads and Lasses, this year The Feast of Saint Pádraig falls on a Friday.
Erin go braless!
If you don’t mind, I’ll sit this one out.
There was a time when I tried to be a party guy. I mean, I tried really hard. Thing is, I kept coming up against the same problem — I hate being drunk. It’s not the hangover, which is insult piled on injury, and I have no moral objection to it. I simply don’t enjoy the state of drunkenness.
I do like a nice warm buzz. I love good beer (make mine dark) and bourbon, neat. As a general rule, however, I avoid drinking to excess.
As for this holiday, it’s said that on Saint Patrick’s Day everyone’s a little Irish. I’d like to point out two exceptions to the rule — Scots and rednecks.
We’re still Scots and rednecks.
Deb and I had ourselves a quiet and uneventful Friday. We stayed in Harrison. We took Smudge to school, where the trainers arrived late and the puppy didn’t have her best day. We picked up groceries.
The bright sun was seductive, making it seem warmer than it actually was (low 40s).
Tomorrow, propane. More digging at the homesite, too. A trip to The Mountain on Sunday.
Building on what I said about legal tender, here’s a question — suppose your money’s no good?
For whatever reason, probably because our society has collapsed and all efforts to stabilize it have failed, the face value of currency means nothing. Paper or coin, it’s worthless. Then what?
I want to reinforce the operating principle here: If you can’t hold it in your hand, you don’t own it. For purposes of this discussion, that means that whatever takes the place of money must be tangible. Generally, it should be acquired in advance — that is, before you need it.
It also needs to be a thing of value — not as you perceive it, but as defined by others. Only those in your community can determine the value of what you offer in place of money.
Obviously, I’m talking about material bartering. The practice is pre-fiat currency, the oldest form of quid pro quo, some form of “I give you this thing, you give me that thing.”
When we think about barter, what usually comes to mind first are stockpiles of goods. Most preppers, for example, have set aside things like alcohol and cigarettes, toiletries and ammunition, perhaps tools and supplies unlikely to be available after the collapse. That’s good and very wise, a fine base for productive exchange, but there’s a lot more to bartering than that.
Often overlooked, I think, are skills. I’m talking about the ordinary and the practical — carpentry, small-engine repair, butchering, teaching, reloading and the like. We own our skills. No one can take them from us. That makes skills more valuable and negotiable than anything else we can offer.
Develop skills now, just as you’d lay in supplies ahead of time. Don’t wait ’til after the shit hits the fan.
Land is another seldom-considered asset — not as real estate, but for the opportunities it opens up for exchange. Perhaps your property has tillable ground, and a neighbor who lives on a barren rocky outcrop wants to plant a garden. Maybe you have a spring on your land. It could be that the property owner next door will give you permission to harvest a whitetail in return for eradicating coyotes.
The possibilities are limited only by needs, resources and cooperation. It takes all three.
Finally, it’d be prudent to think through your potential role in a bartering economy, however insular it may be, before that worst-case scenario enfolds in front of you. Given the proper trust, discuss it with like-minded neighbors. Predict what you can contribute and what you may need.
How you’ll fare is all about value. As you make your preparations, prepare to be of value — and then, because your value will make you a target, put defenses in place.
(Don’t dismiss that last piece of advice. It’s critically important.)
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.