Challenge #02615-G058: Useless? Never Heard of It

in #fiction2 years ago


those odd coins in the bottom of your pocket or bag. Putting them to good use. -- Anon Guest

As a member of the Loyal Order of Hitchhikers, it is prudent to clean out one's bags regularly. Especially the bags one uses for currency. As one makes one's way through several cultures and territories, one accumulates small change like a piece of sticky tape accumulates lint. This is most important as weight limits can prevent further travel and some coin weighs more than others.

This important and vital information had just occurred to Human Zer as they and their essentials were being weighed in the balance and found excessive. "How many Siwus[1] over?"

"Six," said the captain. "I can't spare the fuel to take you. You're going to have to shed the unimportant stuff. I'm sorry." They were. They were one of the freight haulers who knew the ways and the usefulness of Hitchhikers. It paid to know a Frood[2] who knew where their towel was. "I can delay a day. After that... You have to find another lift."

"Understood," said Human Zer. They returned to the more common concourses and found a place in which to sort out their stuff. Winnowing essentials from excess resulted in seven Siwus worth of assorted coins from assorted planets, polities, stations and at least one pretty shell from a place or three that hadn't quite caught up with the concept of money just yet.

A simple leather thong could turn the pretty shells into, perhaps, a Week in the right trading emporium, but the rest of the coins? They weren't really worth turning in for their value in Galactic Minutes and Seconds. Given the trading fees, Zer was going to wind up owing the exchange some seconds they couldn't spare.

Fortunately, Hitchhikers value creativity and resourcefulness. The coins made of metal could be soldered together. The ones that weren't could plausibly be held by constructions made of the ones that were. With ingenuity and rented tools, Zer had a work of art to trade with the shell necklace. Seven Siwus of random coins made a very attractive Maneki Neko, especially once it was polished up to look like a very interesting calico.

Hour notes were far, far lighter than the random loose change of the universe. Even the most useless things could find worth with a little creativity and artistry.

Human Zer returned to the freighter captain with a literally lighter step. "I hope you like ukulele music," they said.

"I hope I do too," said the captain.

[1] Standard Weight Units - roughly equivalent to a kilogram.

[2] Hitchhiker slang. Usually taken to mean someone who's familiar with traveling and not easily shocked by much at all.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / pbombaert]

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Captain's response to hoping they like ukelele music was awesome XD

There is a point in a long journey when even amateurish recorder practice is entertaining and I hope we never see it.

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