Once in a Blue Agave Moon: “…Go Ahead, I’m Listening…”

Chapter Sixteen, Part II

“Blue Agave Moon…I already have an idea for a label for it.” (Jed)

“But why?” (Elliott)

“Because you want people to identify with your product on sight.” (Jed)

“No…that’s not what I meant; I meant why make a market for it in the first place? I have almost everything I have ever wanted in my life right here, right now. I don’t want to be famous…I would prefer people did not even know I existed. I know this may surprise you, but I am really happier than I have ever been in my entire life. My life is simple and uncomplicated.” (Elliott)

”We haven’t even had to shoot any intruders for several months.” (Chiana)

“Remember what I said…the world is changing again…just like it always has been, except for the fact that people like you and I are in a position to maintain, er even increase our control over the parts of it that give you pleasure, satisfaction or security.”

“People are starting to get hypnotized by gold and silver again. Don’t ask me why…I could never figure out why emeralds were supposed to be worth less than a quarter of what diamonds the same size would bring, despite the fact that emeralds are nine times more scarce than diamonds, and I think, much prettier.”

“There are even some individuals who have managed to acquire enough material possessions and influence to be able to function as freestanding banks; they print their own money, and anybody who does business with them uses their money out of convenience.”

“Some are even providing support and logistics to people they know and trust in order to build, re-build or even supply payrolls for any kind of industry that can make something they consider valuable, including repair parts for other industries. It’s primitive and very limited, but there are people out there who intend to restore the parts of our infrastructure that will enable them to prosper and acquire wealth. (Jed)

“Most of these people have been financially involved with these new banks in the past, which makes it convenient to use their money as long as all the people involved agree to use it as a standard, because they trust the printer…they believe in his “wealth” so he doesn’t have to barter for what he wants.”

“In early post-colonial America, ‘Bank Notes’ printed by the institution that issued them were common, but counterfeiting was relatively easy back then, and they were almost useless in long-distance exchanges.”

“Before the internet collapsed along with the world banking system, remember that whole thing with bit-coins? As long as all parties concerned mutually recognize the value of anything, it can be used as money.”

 “Bartering is, as you already know, a time-consuming enterprise that is not without certain risks, of which we are all aware.”

“I have found a way of tapping into that stream of wealth in a way that affords me EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED as well as a very real connection with others who benefit from having me act as an intermediary between parties of like interest and values.” (Jed)

“Perhaps you neglected to notice that Elliott already said we have almost everything now, and we rarely ever need to leave our home…at least not without exposing ourselves to an outside world that is treacherous and fraught with many dangers.”  (Chiana)

“And what about those times when you did need to venture forth to find something you needed or wanted in a world of chaos and murder? (Jed)

“Well, it inevitably became a quest, an expedition of unknown length or magnitude that did not always yield the desired product, although sometimes we found something of value that we could convert into something that we could trade for what we really wanted, once we found the right source.” (Chiana)

“Exactly; and that is where I come in. Why leave home at all if you can use someone else to run your errands, assume the risk, and get you exactly what you need in less time with no danger to you while you stay at home and make more?” (Jed)

“Well, to tell the truth, sometimes I do get a bit restless…they used to call it ‘cabin fever’…I know it’s dangerous, but I actually looked forward to traveling and bartering, at least until we ended up someplace we didn’t want to be, or if things got ugly…and after two attempted ambushes and one unsuccessful robbery that turned into a real bloodbath…well, I do see your point.” (Chiana)

“I’m surprised she hasn’t shown you her scar already…I think she’s actually proud of it, considering the fact that the guy that shot her ended up taking a round through the left eye, which blew the back of his head off…single shot, fast draw. I was really impressed; I also tried to convince her that it wasn’t necessary to empty the rest of the magazine into his groin, but she was understandably angry and after all, it was her first kill…” (Elliott)

“It was all reflex. Elliott made me practice ’til I almost got to hating it. Now I understand why. It was all over before I had realized what happened…” (Chiana)

“Yeah, as I recall, that’s part of the gauntlet that Elliott has put us all through…it’s like a rite of passage…even back before Armageddon…I remember many an afternoon at Hialeah Gun Range or Tamiami…” (Amy looks wistfully and winks at Elliott as Chiana finds herself slightly surprised when she is forced to stifle a sudden jealous twinge.)

“It was like he has been warming up for the Apocalypse his whole life…back then it seemed more than a little edgy and slightly weird, even to me, but I guess he got the last laugh after all.” (Rebel/Jeanette)

“So you’ve got scars?” (Leigh-Ann)

“No…sorry, I don’t smoke…”  (Chiana)

(Everybody groans)

“It was just a grazing wound, thankfully…but it burned like hell almost instantly…before I had realized I already shot the guy…it passed right between my thighs, but grazed me here.” (Chiana pulls up the left leg of her cargo shorts right up to her crotch, revealing a three inch long keloid scar very high on the inside of her thigh)

“Hey, don’t stop on account of me…” (Jed)

“Don’t you think it’s a little early for the grand tour?” (Chiana)

“I think we’re getting a little bit off subject, even though this is a fascinating story …(Leigh-Ann) 

“I have to reluctantly agree, but the point is that you have created Paradise right here. To the best of my knowledge, no one else knows exactly who you are or where you live. That is good for many reasons, but one of the additional advantages of your anonymity is it lends an air of mystery and curiosity to your product.”

“If you tripled your output of Blue Agave Moon, there would still be enough demand to continue to raise the perceived value of the product.”

“In the process, after a mutually agreed percentage is set, I would propose to trade part of it back to you in return for lodging, hopefully with an option to become a citizen of your colony.” (Jed)

“Excuse me, but just to be clear, He means all four of us.” (Rebel)

“I stand corrected…yes, and we recognize the fact that you will want to discuss this with the fellow residents, and I am also sure that we can provide them with access to our services in a way that will be mutually beneficial to them as well.” (Jed)

“What percentage of what?” (Chiana)

“It depends on with whom I am trading. I’ll give you an example; say I trade a gallon of Blue Agave Moon to a weapons and munitions dealer that I know for a thousand rounds of 7.62 x 39mm…you still have your AK, right?” (Jed)

“Of course.” (Elliott)

“In fact, we have two now…Elliott gave me his Chinese Norinko semi-auto after he got a Bulgarian full-auto about a year ago.” (Chiana)

“Great! Now if we agreed to, say twenty percent commission, I would get two hundred rounds, which I could either keep or trade for something else I needed. Now, regardless of what I do with my share, in exchange for being allowed to live here, if I reduced my rate to ten percent commission, you would either get nine hundred rounds, or half of what I got if I traded my two hundred rounds for something else you also wanted.” 

“I also know several other people who trade in gold or silver, or their own printed money which is sort of a promissory note that is really only good in their own locale by people who deal with them. I know you have no interest in any of that, but I can use it to get you other things you want.” (Jed)

“Gold? I thought that got the kiss of death after the nuclear meltdowns under the Federal Reserve banks…why would anybody trust any gold…or silver?”

“Because I managed to acquire a sixties-era Geiger counter that had been made for Civil Defense issue during the cold war back when people were building bomb shelters in their basements and back yards. You’d be surprised at how much “hot” metal got into circulation before the public learned about it.” (Jed)

“That’s the problem with wealth and power…the more you get, the more you want. I am not sure I want to risk my autonomy and privacy for material things I don’t really need.” (Elliott)

“And I don’t want you to either; that’s why we want to live here too, but you need to remember that the world does not stand still. No matter how it evolves, those who have acquired the means of power will end up controlling those who have not…you need to prepare…even if it’s just to keep what they already have.”

“This is your chance to secure your position in the future.” (Jed)

 

Chazz Vincent

04/22/2017

 

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