Literally: Chinese Proverb

I get it. This isn’t to be taken literally. But I can’t help it.

We were given this order number at a little cafe near New Braunfels, Tx. I don’t mean to take away from the beauty of this Chinese Proverb, but if this was a train headed to The Garden of Unlimited Waterfalls, I’d have to think twice about getting on board. I’d only think twice because I don’t like to be mean.

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

Let’s assume that there are only two pennies left in the world. If there were other forms of currency, these two pennies would be worth a lot of money. To spend them on one loaf of bread and a lily is a disastrous decision, at best. In a world where scarcity drives up the intrinsic value of anything, it would be wiser to make a loaf of bread, or pick a lily, and sell them for the last two pennies. That would be considered a great investment, and you’d be able to get way more than you had originally bargained for.

Now consider there to be no other currency in the world. You hold the last two pennies. If you aren’t in the middle of a world-ending apocalypse, which is difficult to believe at this point, people will be using a barter system that is reliant solely upon necessity, see Pilgrims and Indians. The chances of finding a florist will be small and bread will cost a lot more than a penny. So either way, you lose. You’re not getting a loaf of bread unless you bake it and you won’t find a lily unless you pick it.

Luckily, the food was good and there is no apocalypse. If you’re here when it does come,  however, and you see my blog, please don’t offer a penny for a loaf of bread. You’ll look foolish.