Money for Nothing

Carelessly checking my bank account the other morning I spot a few unrecognised transactions, about fifty of them to be precise, all at £250 a throw. Alarm bells slowly rattle around my caffeine starved skull. Something is wrong. I clearly do not remember being up at 3 a.m. last night spending all this dosh. It would have been fun wouldn’t it ? I don’t do fun much any more. I’d have remembered THIS much fun.

In fact it looks like I didn’t even have time to go to bed – Click, another £250 rolls off the screen. I look for some one to call on the screen, a simple phone number I can dial up.

Now that that would be too much to ask in this Digital Age. “Contact Us” – no chance of a phone number there. I’m advised to check FAQ’s to see if there’s an answer listed.

How can there be? They don’t even know the fucking question. Bastards!!!!!

Do I want to do live chat? Press numbers on my key pad? Fuck off !!! I’m being robbed here.

I childishly consider cutting my card in half, admittedly only for a split second, in the vain hope it will all stop. As if there is some magic built-in chip with a warning beacon that knows when it’s been chopped up.

I hang up after five minutes of listening to options on the Helpline. A life belt would have been more use to me right now. Bosh, another £500 drains away.

The banking hour is approaching, lazy fuckers don’t open till 10 a.m. I decide to use Shanks and pay a visit to the NatWitless Bank just down the road from my humble emporium.

Of course there’s a queue. Mostly coffin dodgers in the wrong building for a new bus pass and some smack head who doesn’t know where he is.

To be fair they did put my name on a list right at the top of an old fashioned clip board and then saw me quite quickly – ish. Offered a seat at a desk by a charming assistant. No coffee though.

Charming wants to know if anyone else has my card – “No, you have it, I just gave it to you…” I explain. In the circumstance I think it’s best not to round off my reply with “Fuckwit”. Got to keep them on side and it goes against my charm school training.

Having just pointed out this somewhat obvious fact, another £500 rolls off the screen and out of my rapidly diminishing bank account. This conversation lasts about forty minutes along with a disappeared £3000, quite a good hourly rate I reckon.

They don’t seem unduly concerned with stopping the cash haemorrhage. Eventually my charming assistant seems satisfied it’s not actually me in Indonesia, siphoning out cash in Sterling, converting it to Euros and depositing in a Southern Ireland account via a gaming establishment in Sacremento.

Charming draws this conclusion largely because of the salient fact that I am sat right in front of her and not on the other side of the world as the debit card would have her believe. However I am required to speak to “security” on the phone in Scotland just as a double check.

Weirdly the scammer deposits £1800 back in to my account, card bites the dust and the plug is pulled, via some bank department in Edinburgh apparently. NatWitless promise to refund me several thousand pounds by 6pm. Stranger still, more money disappears the next day, off the same dead card, also to be refunded by 6pm.

So who had the money and who lost it? NatWitless didn’t really seem to care.

The plot thickens. Berkleys Bank this week. Need to withdraw £2000 to pay some rob-dog plasterer. ATM refuses to cough up but smartly debits my bank account all the same. Sends me a text confirming I’ve just withdrawn two grand. Same thing happens to the next bloke in line – he does one. I think he’s going to have a jammer.

“Don’t worry” the cashier tells me, “it happens all the time, we’ll give it you back.”

“Yea, like, right now!” says I, “I need to pay for my bleedin’ ceilings”. They cough up.

What is going on? It’s scary. Buy a bigger mattress I say.

The Government, any colour you like, I don’t care who you voted for, the Government always manages to get in, the Government are always back in power. Every bloody time. Always the same.

The Government want rid of cash. They hate it, can’t control, track it or trace it. Costs big business way too much to handle and move about.

Cashless society, don’t you just love the idea ? I had some daft twat wanted to buy one guitar string with a card the other day. At least buy a full set you tight bastard. One string. Mind you I’d find it a lot easier if I just had one string.

What’s the alternative to cash? My mate, Shoebox, recently went to work in Australia, building the infrastructure for a real gold mine. Open cast. Huge, like a small city. It was a two hour flight from Perth. Now I believe that Perth is the most remote cities in the world, so this was just fucking miles from anywhere you would ever want to be.

He had the dubious option of actually being paid in little gold bars – honestly it was the real deal. Nothing to spend it on and nowhere to go. Won’t fit in your wallet or shoe.

Gold is okay but I am reliably informed there is a problem if you want to actually hold it in your sticky little mitts. Something to do with VAT. You are supposed to leave it in the Bullion House, some bonded Customs place where it never leaves. You just get a bit of paper to shuffle. That’s no fun. – so you can learn something here after all!

Loss of cash is loss of privacy. It’s the principle. Why should those faceless Civil Serpents know what you are up to ? I bet your phone is turned on 24 / 7. Apple Pay my arse.

They know where you are, where you’ve been, what you do and what you’d like to do. Who you talk to, what you listen to, what you watch, what you spend money on.

Try spending a bit of hard cash – buy some new guitar strings, make sure it’s a full set, it’s like putting on a clean shirt and subverts the system.

Be a Rebel Without a Card.