Thursday, August 21, 2008

Credit Control

To: The BBC

The Bedford Hotel
Bognor Regis

Dear Sir,

In reply to yours of 17th January.

It seems to me that a considerable mistake, to put it politely, has been made. It was "mistakes" of this sort that caused me to tell Mr David Thomson when he first approached me to write a radio-play about Captain Kidd, that I was unwilling to undertake further work for the BBC owing to their slipshod methods of payment.

This script was only undertaken on the understanding that payment for my work would be prompt and expeditious. I returned your form to you only on completion and delivery of the script. No money was forthcoming under the terms of the contract.

On Friday last I made a special journey to Rothwell House to see the producer, who wanted some alterations made and one scene added. He assured me that if this was done the play would be definitely accepted. Mr David Thomson was present throughout the interview and will corroborate my statement.

But in view of the manner in which the matter of payment has been handled, I must be firm in requesting full payment (30 guineas) by Thursday next, or my permission to broadcast will be withheld. Of course half the fee will be forthcoming as repayment for my time and trouble. Please do not worry me with further correspondence – except a cheque for the sum stated as I'm a busy man* and detest writing letters.

Why, by the way, was your letter addressed to Bayswater Road when my telegram explicitly specified above address? Please rectify this additional error when replying to me, by cheque, this time.

Yours very truly,

J Maclaren-Ross

Some people just can't manage money. This may be due to sheer financial ineptitude, pie-in-the-sky insouciance, or an inability to recognize that a minus figure at the bottom of a bank statement is a very bad thing indeed. I can't claim to be a paragon myself in this respect, but having experienced financial misery on a number of occasions am rather more careful with my hard earned these days.

There is another class of person that spends all their money as soon as they get it, but does not allow their temporary embarrassment to compromise their lifestyle in the slightest. Friends are sponged off of, bouncing cheques are issued, and various creditors are led a merry dance in pursuit of what is rightfully theirs.

Julian Maclaren Ross was an exemplar in this field, not slow to take umbrage when payment that he felt was his due was not dispatched swiftly, but a total amnesiac when it came to paying hotel bills, boarding house landladies, or publicans who were foolish enough to allow him a bar tab.

You have to admire his style.

*in the pub.


EmmaK said...

I spend all my money as soon as I get it but I never go into debt and I rarely borrow money off friends and if I do I pay it back. I am a bit of a sponger at the pub though and never buy my own fags.

garfer said...

Fag scroungers are the devil incarnate, as are people who never buy their round.

You clearly know little of public house etiquette.

Then again, you are a girly. They can get away with that kind of disgraceful behaviour if they are sufficiently toothsome.

MJ said...

I believe it's your round, Garfy.

garfer said...

Yes, but you didn't get yours in yesterday so I'm not buying you a drink.

The cheek.


FirstNations said...


what; did i misread your quaint UK slang or are you bent at the wrist again with johnny whiskey? i need your email if you want the invite. if you don't want the invite and in fact never did want the invite then *snif* fine. just fine. be that way.


garfer said...

Tis the Queens English you oik.

Begone with your backwoods hickness. I have not supped of the fruit of the grain.

KAZ said...

Perhaps old Julian couldn't 'manage money' because it was all in guineas.
And that's old guineas not 'new guineas'.

garfer said...

You must remember 'the old money' Kaz.

Any chance you could lend me a white fiver?