“Also true,” Gerald said proudly. “Paper was used for currency back then, and it was
considered a replacement for precious metals, which used to be used to stamp coins.”
“But why use money like that? Couldn’t people just steal it?”
Gerald had just finished putting a piece of toast with egg on top into his mouth. He
smiled as he chewed quickly, making sure to masticate and swallow every piece before opening
his mouth again.
“They could,” he said, coughing to clear a crumb from his throat. “And they often did.
Which was one of the reasons why they began to rely on the credit system. But it was some time
before they switched completely, and people still relied on physical currency for quite some
Timmy poked at his food with his fork. “But that’s stupid.”
“Son, keep in mind people enjoy having physical things they can touch. They are much
more tangible. Besides, we still use wood and paper when it suits us. Some people even prefer
to use the kind that’s made by hand in an old fashioned press.”
“Huh! Yes, those who don’t mind throwing their money away,” Martha said with a
laugh. Gerald gave her a look and then went right back to eating his brunch.
“The point, my son, is that we’ve come a long way and it’s important to remember that
people in the past didn’t always have it so easy. But chances are, they did things the way they
did for a reason, and it’s not really fair to judge them for it.”
“Yeah…” Timmy said, staring off into space and poking his food some more. Were his
father watching him, he would see that the boy had more burning questions, he just wasn’t sure
how to go about asking them. It wasn’t long before the one he wanted answered most slipped
“Is it true they once used paper to… you know…”
Both his parents looked at him. Timmy shrugged and began motioning towards his
“Oh, Timmy!” cried Martha.
“Son, that’s not appropriate!” said his father. A few seconds passed before he felt
Martha’s composure had returned and he could answer further. “But it is true that toiletries were
different back then too.”
“Yeah…” Timmy said, finally put food onto his fork. “She said we’d talk about that
during the next class too.”
Gerald smiled and patted his son on the shoulder. They continued to eat quietly for a few
minutes, until Martha thought the time was ripe to bring up the piece of gossip she had heard
yesterday. As with all things, it was important to get the timing right.
“Gerald, I was wondering if maybe it was time to upgrade?”
Her husband looked up at her with sudden disquiet. “Upgrade? But why? Didn’t we just
“Yes…” Martha replied coolly. “Three months ago. But I heard that the Masons are
doing it. Tina told me yesterday that Bert got a tip from the manufacturers’ warrens that a new
model is available.”
“Really?” Gerald said incredulously. “They just came out with the four point oh.”
“Rumor has it the four point five is even better.”
“When can we access it?”