Charged Up!

Can you imagine one century back
if someone reached for something on a store rack,
told the clerk she’d lost all her money,
“so charge it to this little card, honey”  ???

She’d be charged…with insanity.


Occasionally, I will overhear a kid in a store reprimand his/her parents that they most certainly can afford whatever Junior wants. All the parent needs to do, of course, is pull out the magic card and their family can have anything their hearts desire! Presto! Consumers take for granted that they can slip a choice of little cards from their wallets these days and produce them for “purchase payment” at a store in our society’s “have it now, pay gobs more for it later” mentality program. Have you ever wondered when this practice started? According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “the use of credit cards originated in the United States during the 1920s, when individual firms, such as oil companies and hotel chains, began issuing them to customers.” (Hmm, wasn’t this just before our economy slid into the Great Depression?) At least in the U.S., though we understood credit being issued on an individual basis, we hadn’t quite picked up on the idea of store charge cards in 1913 or so. It wouldn’t be until around circa WWII when companies would begin accepting someone else’s “corporate card” beyond their own. Listen! I hear the consumer cavalry crying out, “Charge!” Tread carefully. Something feels a little shaky.


 Here we are at Trifextra Week Sixty-Four – and here’s the challenge:

This weekend we’re asking for exactly 33 of your own words plus the following three words:
  • charge
  • century
  • lost
So 33 of yours plus 3 of ours means that everyone will have a 36 word response this time around.

28 thoughts on “Charged Up!

  1. I figured charge would be the noose that would focus every story. I had to look it up to make sure I could see all the possible definitions and directions. Your story should be posted around. Good information for us all.

  2. I remember back in the day when getting a credit card was a big deal! I also had a friend who thought blank checks meant there was money in the checking account…;)

    This was a great take on the prompt!

  3. This is funny! I have a credit card, but I pay for our weekly expenses with cash so I’m forced to stay within my budget. (I tend to overspend on groceries/household stuff.)

    This made me think of a conversation I had with my older son (I think he was nine at the time.) He wanted to go to a restaurant to eat and I told him we didn’t have the money. Later that day, I bought food for the week. He said, “You lied. You said we didn’t have the money.” I explained that the $50 I spent on groceries would feed us for a week…that same amount would treat the family to one dinner in a restaurant. So I asked him if he’d rather eat one meal that week or dinner every night. His silence told me he “got it” 🙂

    • unfortunately, our system places credit cards (as food vouchers) into the hands of some people where no one has taken the time to assure that explanation has been made & understood – & then find they’ve “spent” their entire allotment during the 1st week & don’t have anything left with which to feed their family for the rest of the month. Though, admittedly, the amounts aren’t substantial, we all need to learn the lesson of living within our means, whatever those are. Good lesson with your son.

  4. Lol Jody!What a wonderfully unique way to use the prompt:-)Yes,the present generation thinks everything can be charged where as we grew up learning that debt trap is to be avoided at all costs!

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