While falling asleep last night after reading some pulp SciFi from the 1950s-1960s, I got to wondering about the idea of a financial Rosetta stone. A commodity found among all money-using communities internationally and inter-epoch-ally (or however you want to say "Now, then, and way back then"). See, one story I read had Suicide Booths, that cost 75 cents to use. I was wondering what that'd translate to in modern money (the book itself was 60 cents, and Analog goes for about $3 these days, so a factor of 5 seems to be the differential rate) and got to thinking about if there were a "thing" that one could use as the baseline for comparing the worths of monies. Precious metals can't work (like say, an ounce of gold) since some countries have more than others. Water can't even work, since inland desert countries have it more expensive than some coastal swampy country would have. Even "a day's labor" won't work, since some ritzy country (Switzerland? The Vatican?) is possibly less likely to have manual laborers than some third world country, thus making the effective minimum wage much higher.
For some reason, a fresh egg seems the best bet. Coastal or inland, equatorial or polar, western or eastern, modern or ancient, most everyone who worked up the idea of money has had (or does have) eggs, and chickens (or chicken-sized poultry) are relatively easy to get.
So! After falling asleep, I had just -horrid- traumatic dreams about paranoia, insecurity, failure, etc.. It was just lousy! Like I'd accidentally channeled someone else's nightmares about never managing to get anywhere and dying loveless, luckless, friendless.. pick a thing and I was -less. Not to mention horrible arguments with my parents.
I woke up a few hours before I was to really get up, had a bit of water, went back to sleep and had a nice little Totally Spies dream -- which is -far- more par for my course.