Saturday, September 03, 2005

Cash

" Men are reputed to think about sex every twelve seconds". I don't know who came up with this statement, and I don't know where they got their evidence, but I think they were exaggerating (a bit). In the case of fluffy upper lipped adolescents it may well be perfectly true, but for those of us of a slightly older vintage, there are matters of a day to day nature which I am sure loom much larger in our conciousness.
Speaking for myself, the foremost of these is cash. By the term 'cash', I'm not referring to credit cards, bank accounts and cheque guarantee cards; I'm referring to the little bits of coloured paper commonly referred to as: readies, dough, bread, the folding stuff, nicker, notes etc.
I was once unemployed for a year and as a consequence was totally skint. I remember looking in bakery windows and seeing filled rolls and pastries which I couldn't afford to buy. Of course, not being able to afford something makes you want it even more. I was positively drooling; that fat, freshly baked roll stuffed with coronation chicken was beckoning to me like a temptress. As I fondled the twenty odd pence in my pocket, I knew that this was one love affair that was to remain unconsummated.
I think that period of penury has left a psychological scar that will remain with me for life. Of course I use bank accounts and credit cards like everyone else, but always keep about £200 in cash about me at all times. There is something real and reassuring about those crisp, rustling little pieces of paper. They are tangible; they can't say 'overdraft limit exceeded', or 'balance available to draw £0'.
Every so often we hear that the 'cashless economy' has finally arrived. That, frankly, is bollocks. Cash will always be with us because it is fluid and ultimately untraceable. I run a small business and know full well that the plumber, electrician and builder will carry an invoice and cash price in their heads: the difference between the two generally being 10% in favour of cash.
If someone comes off the road looking for accommodation and produces a wad of banknotes, I have to admit that I too show a certain flexibility in the price charged.
It's estimated that the black economy accounts for arround 15% of the total British economy. That's hardly surprising given the cumulative effects of income tax, V.A.T and national insurance contributions. The government could try and clamp down, but it would probably be counterproductive. The chattering classes in London wouldn't be able to afford their Phillipino skivvies if they couldn't pay them sub minimum wages in backhanders. We know how important these people are electorally. Let's face it, if Tarquin and Isolde didn't have a full time cleaner the fucking country would fall to wrack and ruin.
Cash is king. Upholster your mattresses with fifties I say, and tell the bankers to piss off. THINK ABOUT IT. Why should those leeching bastards get to drive around in Aston Martins at our expense.

7 comments:

becca said...

if you were in a disaster sort of situation with no electricity ie no ATM's, no Credit Cards etc..you gotta have cash for water, food, the basics. Alex and I were just having that conversation today how important it is to have cash on your person or close by. In storage for emergencies you should always have cash, cans of sterno,and candles.

garfer said...

And an xbox and a mimiature Walt Whitman. At least you would float.

MHN for short said...

I used to work at a convenience store. Nothing is as disgusting as dirty money (money that came from an old, sweaty, black lady's bra) or smells as nice as a crisp, clean brand spankin' new bill from the bank. It's a double edged sword.

pissoff said...

I seldomly carry cash. However, I notice I have a bit of US money in my wallet from the summer which I haven't purged yet.

Dirty money is dirty money no matter who it comes from.

MHN for short said...

I chose that specific example because that's how it came to me most often while working at the store.

becca said...

garf- we lived too far inland for anykind of flooding, I was talking about tornados. A miniature Walt Whitman? Does it read from "Leaves of Grass" when you press his tummy? that'd be pretty bad ass. Or is it like this..
http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pacpubserver.com/new/enter/images/minibooks-whitman1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.pacpubserver.com/new/enter/10-27-99/minibooks.html&h=330&w=350&sz=16&tbnid=_I7MqeJiIn4J:&tbnh=109&tbnw=116&hl=en&start=1&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dminiature%2Bwalt%2Bwhitman%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26hs%3DgxO%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN
does it whisper the body electric?

garfer said...

I think the reference to Whitman was made while slightly (well quire a bit) inebriated. Will check out your references.