Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Also To Be Filed Under Shit What Is Out Of Hand

Take a look at this little beauty. You know things are bad when a country has to release a Z$250 000 000 banknote.

Of course in the case of Zimbabwe's economy "bad" left the station quite some time ago. Back in March I described it as "buggered". Frankly, I was low-balling it; and that was back in those halcyon days when the inflation rate could still be measured in a puny six digits. Since then things have gotten worse. The note above was issued in May, but with inflation rates at 2.2 million percent (officially anyway, it's liable to actually be much higher), that sort of low numbered shit ain't going to cut it.

Thus the unveiling of the 100 billion dollar note.

Which, apparently, isn't enough.

"Nowadays, for my expenses a day, I need about Z$500 billion," one resident said.

"So Z$100 billion can't do anything because for me to go home I need Z$250 billion, so this [note] is worthless."

Z$250 000 000 000 to go home? I don't exactly know what he's referring to, but I sure as hell hope he doesn't mean his bus fare.

Anyone else remember those Alas Smith and Jones sketches in some hyper-inflation-riddled Banana Republic? Cabbies with meters a metre long to fit in all the extra digits? Darts players scoring one hundred and eighty million million million million million million? That shit is happening now (well, not the darts bit); inflation has reached such ludicrous proportions that the numbers involved are causing data handling issues. It's pretty much a cluster-fuck. Worse, even. There needs to be a phrase for the situation in which you realise you're looking back at the cluster-fucks you've been previously involved in with tearful nostalgia. Fuckpocalypse?

Alternatively, for the quick version, you could just look here.


Tiwaking said...

Excuse me, do you happen to know the name or what episode the Alas, Smith and Jones Hyperinflation sketch appeared in? I've been looking for it but cant find it anywhere

SpaceSquid said...

I'm reasonably confident it was in either the final or the penultimate season of Smith and Jones.