When I started college in a small town in 99 not many places were setup for card payments. However you could write a check anywhere in town. Fast food, the bar, movie theater and anywhere you could imagine took check.
So, in my world there would have been three adults missing and presumed eaten by sharks, three children spanked, all screens removed from private viewing and grounded until I felt better about it. Oh, and one child who earned a person servant at school, anytime and all the time.