2005-06-07 : Financial bear trap
Still putting off writing about Wales. If I leave it long enough, I'll completely forget what we did and where we went! In the meantime, feast on this nugget of a happening…
Every now and again, apart from the seemingly ceaseless parade of bills, I get a letter through the front door. Sometimes it's a personal letter, sometimes it's information I've requested, but more often than not it's some sales-related pitch where somebody I don't know tries to convince me that something I didn't previously know existed is something that in fact I can't live without, usually to no avail. In point of fact, the only compelling reason I can usually find to respond positively to any of these malicious tendrils of economic malevolence is that to merely throw the letter away makes the whole experience nothing other than an environmentally damaging moment – that letter could've once been a squirrel's house!
So on this one occasion, an offer turned up from a credit card issuing company, explaining how I'd been pre-approved for a £2,000 line of credit and all I needed to do was apply (strange really, given that they already seem to know who I am, and have decided that I'm good for 2 grand – they might as well just post it over and save me the paperwork !). Skim-reading the letter, I spotted all the usual inferences and insinuations by these companies – essentially all they do is prey on people who can't afford their current position, and send them somewhere they want to be even *less*. When I saw the listed APR (Annual Percentage Rate) though, my body let out an involuntary shout – I believe it rhymed with “clucking bell”, which piqued Dan's interest and he requested to see what I was reading.
I passed the letter over and could see him skim-reading – then his eyes paused on something, widened, and again the phrase coloured the air in the room.
Charlie, having heard the two of us shout the exact same thing, wandered in and asked what all the fuss was about. Her eyes danced over the page, deftly absorbing and ignoring selectively – it was truly the technique of someone who gets passed too much stuff to read during the day and has learned how to squeeze the maximum amount of meaning from a cursory glance. Suddenly she stopped, eyes widened, and for a third time the same expression rang out across our living room – “F*cking Hell !”.
I can tell you're dying to know what it was now… and in writing this I've probably built it up more than absolutely necessary. Life's like that – what can you do ?
The dot point on the brochure which had the three of us (all reasonably intelligent and articulate people) sitting there with jaws against the floor and unable to form a sentence in answer, was this:
Go on, say it… 1… 2… 3… “F______ H___ !!!”.