Missing Money

Far away from our solar system we get a look into a meeting in a spacious room on an entirely different planet. The view into space and the yellow landscape through the large, high windows is spectacular, but more spectacular are the main characters of this meeting. A small group of flat round metal circle shaped items, each with an image on one side and a digit with text on the other, circles we as people have come to know as ‘money’. Our own money! Money from different countries and periods in history. One of them, which had a relatively new look, functions as a speaker for a group of some twenty listeners. It seems to be one of our own ‘2 euro’-coins and it is in the middle of giving a lecture, so it seems.

‘We know now that people on Earth are extinct now, thanks to pollution. Their own pollution, like exhaust from their vehicles and all their other machines, equipment, their animals, everything they used. It must have been impossible to survive that. We sent our spaceships several times now and another conclusion isn’t possible. Most animals are extinct too. The amazing thing is, that from their and people’s excrement vegetable seeds survived and developed into a human form. That too, can only be caused by pollution, but this is something we haven’t quite established yet. These amazing vegetables are real people in a vegetable shape. They do everything that people do too, they are men and women, construct things and buildings, talk, walk, though they have no legs, procreate like people, have emotions exactly like people.’ Sounds of amazement rose from the group. The lecturer pointed to a drawing strikingly resembling our friends in Vegaland. ‘Now comes the strangest part. These vegetables use money, like people. And loose money, therefore. This is why our population keeps growing here: all that lost money gone into space is drawn to our two planets and stays. We all know what happens next. Our first inhabitants were covered under the weight of newcomers and melted, long ago. This will happen to all of us, eventually. Our former masters died in the end and so will we. Another consequence may be, that our two planets may grow into each other. If this is good or bad, is impossible to say.’

A first question came from the audience: ‘Why do we need them here?’

‘I had expected that question. They have never been here and why should we have them now. True is that it’s a big risk to bring them here. We have a layer of air and we have water, but is it the air and water they need? Since we don’t know that, we are going to bring only one here now, with air and water from Earth.’ ‘That’s no answer to the question…’ ‘If you hadn’t interrupted me, you had known I come to that now.’ The lecturer started to pace the floor, with gestures showing it had arrived at a familiar, favorite topic and was passionate to elaborate. ‘As you all see, our life is monotonous, it’s a desert life. We need diversion, gadgets, entertainment. Like people, these new vegetables can bring us all that. They can build and invent. They can teach us love, joy, conversation, art. We are coins. Nothing more and nothing less. We are their product. We miss a spirit, mind and heart. Don’t you want that?’ The audience seemed to moan now, if they could rise their shoulders, they would have risen them. One of them said: ‘You don’t know what problem you bring here…’ Another listener said: ‘I really resent that we had no say in this at all. You and higher management decided to bring them here and we are confronted with it.’ The coins became noisy now. The lecturer calmed them down as an experienced speaker should and said: ‘Don’t worry. Only one will come now. We will bring an artist who knows enough about creativity, beauty, love and friendship to be a good role model for us.’ ‘It sounds a bit like you want us to have a pet, like people had. This will be misery and pollution!’ Protests went on for a while, yet curiosity somehow won over anxiety. After all, only one creature will come. How harmful could that be, was the general sentiment. Does money have human qualities, after all, we may wonder…

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