The Small Town of Peanut Butter & Jelly



In a far off, mythical land, there is a small town called Peanut Butter & Jelly. 

Bill owns a peanut butter farm. Ted owns a jelly orchard. Bill and Ted need a way of getting each others’ products so they can make some tasty sandwiches. But they were tired of trading peanut butter and jelly pound for pound; sometimes it takes Bill a lot more work to make peanut butter than it does for Ted to grow his jelly plants. And sometimes Bill doesn’t need as much jelly. 

So instead they trade pieces of paper called Money. They found it to be a convenient abstract way to exchange energy. If Ted loses his taste for peanut butter and wants to instead buy some bread, he can just save up the paper and give it to Mike. Mike has a bread farm up the road. And it just so happens that Mike loves both peanut butter and jelly. So they use this universal money to measure the worth of their products and exchange their energy. They have a nice little economy going. 

Peanut Butter: $5.10
Jelly: $4.76
Bread: $6.29

The prices on their products fluctuate. Sometimes it rains on one of their farms and they have to raise the prices a little bit to make up for the lost crops. Sometimes one of the crops grows too fast and they have to put the extra in jars in the garage. And that’s OK. Everyone is fair to each other and they know they need each other to make these awesome peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Then a guy named Nuno comes into town. Nuno has never been good at anything but acting like an idiot. Every week his hair is a different color and he hits himself and falls down a lot. He’s a prankster and offers to wander around the farms and tell dirty jokes. No one is really sure what to pay Nuno, because he’s not really making anything all that useful. But oh, boy… he’s funny!

Nuno demands to be paid $500 million dollars a year. He throws a tantrum and doesn’t want to have to work on a farm with Bill and Ted. He’s special. Unfortunately, the economy of Peanut Butter & Jelly can’t support Nuno without some help.

A guy named Harvey hears about their problem and moves into town. He is a politician / banker. He invents a thing called a Credit Bank. Bill, Ted, and Mike can all just borrow money from an imaginary source to pay Nuno — as long as they promise to pay it back at the end of the year. Both Bill and Ted believe that peanut butter & jelly is the wave of the future, and that soon they should be making enough money to pay it all back. 

Harvey also charges a fee of $500 million dollars a year to run the Credit Bank. Bill and Ted agree to borrow the money to pay Harvey, so they’ll owe the Credit Bank $500 million dollars each.

Mike decides to not subscribe to Nuno’s service. He doesn’t know what the other guys are thinking, but that sure does seem expensive. He works hard on his farm all day and doesn’t understand why Nuno and Harvey should get paid so much.

But Harvey and Nuno believe that what they provide is much more valuable than some mundane sandwiches. Every night, Nuno puts on a performance after dinner. Their favorite skit is when Nuno pretends to be gay. For some reason this is funny every time. And Harvey made it all possible!

For an entire year, Harvey sits in a nice office and eats peanut butter & jelly all day long. At lunch time, Nuno runs around making fart noises and everyone has a great year, laughing as they work. But at the end of the year, Harvey says it is time to pay the Credit Bank back. 

Unfortunately, both Bill and Ted have only made about $1000 each that year in selling peanut butter & jelly to each other. The rest of the money Bill and Ted earned went to assorted hidden fees charged by the Credit Bank. Didn’t they read the fine print? And in the end, there is no way for them to pay the Credit Bank $1 billion dollars. 

Harvey declares a State of Economic Disaster, takes the $1000 of hard-earned money from each of them, and regrets that he has no choice but to take possession of their farms and turn them over to the Credit Bank. 

Being a politician on the side, Harvey also passes a law that says all business transactions must go through the Credit Bank. He prints up little plastic cards that must be swiped through a machine for all transactions. All business will be monitored, and of course there are fees for all of this. Confusing fees. Hidden fees. From now on, the value of each person, rather than by their personality or abilities, will be measured according to a Credit Score. 

The Credit Score will be determined by an esoteric and confusing formula that analyzes every microscopic financial behavior, including but not limited to the speed at which the person swipes their Credit Bank Card through the machine at different times during the day, and how too-late or too-early they are in their purchases in relation to the temporal average. There are experts who are paid to figure out things like this: “our analysis has shown that a person who eats lunch 5 minutes early on a Thursday cannot be trusted with a mere 10% APR. We’ll have to increase it to 11.5%.”

Mike can’t handle the insanity and abandons his farm. After all, he made over $1000 that year, and that’s pretty good! He loads up his truck full of bread seeds and drives off over the hills, not looking back. He’ll find a place where people are realistic. A place where people don’t don’t get caught up in imaginary business.

Harvey’s Credit Bank takes over the farms. He brings in heavy machinery and barrels of noxious chemicals. Trucks full of strange-smelling sludge drive in and out of factories all day and night. Instead of making actual sandwiches, they squirt sugary ooze that “tastes like” peanut butter & jelly sandwiches into plastic tubes and sell them for $1 each. Much cheaper! Yay for “Capitalism!”

Financially devastated by the collapse of their economy, Bill and Ted get to work in the factory, pushing buttons and carrying heavy things. They wear goggles, gloves, and respirators. They cough a lot. Twice a day they are allowed to sit in a room and lick the ooze out of the tubes while Nuno (who is now demanding $7 billion a year for his antics) dances around with an orangutan. He loves the attention and has to keep working every year because he spends most of his annual income on expensive underpants from an exotic city on the other side of the planet. It is expensive to be an entertainer!

Bill and Ted will die in another 2 years from chemical poisoning and malnutrition. Nuno will live forever, because clowns are indestructible.

With the money he made in recent years from his brilliant business transactions, Harvey retired. He obviously has some experience with this. He now spends all of his time on his own personal organic farm that grows REAL peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. He continues to earn 10% of the profits from the factory, which exceed $750 trillion a year. He owns a dozen or so identical corporations, each with their own military and midget chef / custodian.

1.) What happened to the small town of Peanut Butter & Jelly?
2.) If an economy is energy, and all energy much be accounted for, where did all of the energy / money go? Do you think it is fair that Entertainers, Bankers, and Politicians (like Nuno and Harvey) got paid so much? Do you think that created an imbalance that led to economic ruin?

{ This post was written and proofreaded by Dr. Zoltan! If you believe George W. Bush is going to invent a National Emergency and cancel the elections, you are right. So visit Get out while you can. }

6 thoughts on “The Small Town of Peanut Butter & Jelly

  1. Quiz answers: 1) Nothing in the story indicates that anything happened to the town, other than gaining some people and infrastructure and factory jobs. That, and Mike picked up and left, good for him. 2) Since energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it’s still there… The money just has to be extracted differently. Yes, why should people who aren’t very good at anything get paid so much money? What created the economic imbalance in the story was the desire on the part of Bill and Ted to watch Nuno. They would rather watch Nuno – who is talented: he is able to convince people to support him – act like an idiot than get back to work and figure out on their own how to make more money. Did they think of diversifying? Why not spreading out (pun intended) into duel products like PB&J candies? Or why not get together and fix the production rate of their respective farms and thus control prices to their benefit? No, they would rather spend most of their time and money on Nuno to Clown. Note that Bill and Ted weren’t smart enough to set up the “pay Nuno” system on their own. Thus it is their own fault for getting into such trouble.

    Jimmy Carter once said “life is unfair” and he was right: is it fair that someone like Michael Phelps got all the great swimming genes? Is it fair that certain people are just better at certain things, be they writing, making money, sex, etc., than others? Suck it up you communist asshat.

    “If you believe George W. Bush is going to invent a National Emergency and cancel the elections, you are right. ” If you’re wrong (which has a probability of 99.9999999999% at least), do we get to stone you?

  2. Dear Bjorn Bjork,

    Even if “life is unfair,” it does not mean we cannot actively attempt to make it more fair! One more reference to drugs and Dr. Zoltan will never ask you to appear on this family show again.

    -Dr. Zoltan!

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