The Joys And Pains Of Being Profitable

Nothing Exchange was just kicking off. While most of the world was still oblivious to our existence, eleven people (one day, some will call them visionaries) invested the first 22 Euros in Nothing, to try and help us prove how well the concept of the free market works. We, the staff of Nothing Exchange, decided to celebrate by spending our new-found fortune on booze and hookers.

After deducting PayPal fees we were left with a total profit of €20.35. Alas, it turned out that the best we could get for €20.35 in the department of booze and hookers was a bottle of Sljivovica and a foot massage from a 65 year old bar maid who bore a striking resemblance to Bilbo Baggins. So we reconsidered and came to a conclusion that a more rewarding choice must exist, even if it is just spending 35 cents of our total budget on a packet of ketchup, spreading the contents of said packet over a €20 note, and eating it. We would at least be safe in the knowledge that our feet and our livers would live to see another day.

We asked a friend, who happens to be a lawyer, to join our feast, but to our great surprise he informed us that that all money is the property of the state and that eating it is, in fact, a criminal act. We could not quite believe this and since our friend, as great a chap as he may be, was not unknown to fall victim to the charms of Sljivovica, we decided that it would be prudent to contact the Ministry of Internal affairs and explore the matter further. We were astonished to find out that our Sljivovica-loving friend was a 100% correct and that all money is the property of the state and that it is entirely illegal to burn, eat, shred, vaporise, feed to kittens or deface it in any way. Obviously we were quite surprised to find that the money we so justly earned was not ours at all and proceeded to ask whether we needed to return the money to the state as it is, after all, their property. They responded that it is not their property in that sense but in another, very vague sense and proceeded to explain that we should think of it as a sort of loan and that we can feel free to spend it any way we wish, but not destroy it, EVER!

So we asked if it was OK to buy McDonald’s food with it and they responded that it was, which was baffling because up until then we were pretty convinced that a pack of ketchup and a €20 note would be more nutritious and better for our health than a Big Mac. They did not seem concerned about our health at all and, frankly, seemed a little bit like they wouldn't mind terribly if we choked on a Big Mac right there and then. Aside from having to clear up the mess afterwards, of course. This was a bit scary, but we were still unclear on the intricacies of the “money is ours but also belongs to the Government” arrangement, so we asked:

"What about Apple products? If it's your money, you can't possibly approve of us overpaying for pretty hipster trinkets like that." To our great surprise they responded that this would be perfectly acceptable.

"Boy band CDs?", we asked meekly, last shreds of hope slowly leaving us.

"As many as you would like."

Completely baffled by the Government's choice of acceptable ways to spend their money we proceeded to enquire whether we should expect the Government to ask for the money back at any point, to which they responded that they just might. When we enquired as to when this may occur they responded: "When ever we choose to", and then, none too kindly, asked us to leave.

Confused and weary, we left the Ministry and wondered the streets for a while trying to figure out what to do with our €20.35. We came up with many different options but quickly began wondering if the Government would approve of our choice. We were starting to panic. Nothing came to mind and the money was still there, just waiting to get us in trouble. What if one of us spontaneously combusted, burning the money in the process? We could get into serious trouble. What if a squirrel stole it from my pocket and nibbled on it? Would it still be our fault? What if I was stabbed right trough the wallet and the Government property was shredded and subsequently drenched in my blood? How would we justify our carelessness?

Then, just as we were crossing the borders of mild anxiety and entering the land of severe paranoia, it finally came to us:

We bought a **** DVD, a dirty magazine, a pack of tissues and some hand cream and mailed them to the ministry. Frankly, they seemed a little uptight and like they could do with it. We hope they approve.
NothingExchange NothingExchange
Sep 11, 2012