The Pie Economy

One of the most interesting lessons that we’ve learned in our move to a small town is that when you know just about everyone and they become your friends, it can become a bit fuzzy figuring out where the line between business and favor sits.  One creative solution, that must be credited to a neighbor – known by his “gang name” of “Pies”, is what – naturally enough – we refer to as the “pie economy”.

In the Pie Economy, favors are done – assuming your “credit rating” is sufficiently good, on the assumption that the good deed will be returned in kind.  As in any fringe economy, interim accounting is done in the local currency of choice, in this case “pies”.  Borrow someone’s truck, you might owe ten pies, although depending on the mood and the prowess of the negotiator, it could just as easily be 10,000 pies. 

Now, you’d think that such pricing volatility would tend to have a cooling effect on the economy and, truthfully, it might.  The real control on the accumulation of excess debt, however, it the plain fact that most of these transactions are being negotiated by persons generally deficient in any pie making skills – we call them “husbands”.  It’s the wives, you see, that become the only hope of making a direct reduction of their husband’s debt.  Good luck with that.

The only recourse, is to somehow return the favor, as quickly as possible, and at the highest possible price – just to keep the balance in your favor.  Sound complicated?  Not really….in practice, it tends to produce a pretty nice and (need I say it?) reasonable balance between reluctance to ask for a favor and desire to grant one.  Sounds almost perfect. 

Harry Tuttle


One response to “The Pie Economy

  1. It really is amazing how well it works – despite the fact that the currency has inflated so much that one real. live, steaming pie (hard money) is probably actually worth about a dozen “pies” by now.

    Also, just this past Christmas I made an actual pie payment with very little help from my wife. Perhaps it was a bad thing to start – husbands making pies – but I did it.


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