I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, provided I die by four o’clock this afternoon. I wish I’d said that. Actually it’s a old joke told by comedian Henny Youngman, but I know exactly what he meant. I’ve always been skint. It doesn’t matter how much I’m earning, what the economic climate is, or how good I’ve been in any given month, I’ve always been skint. Like most of us, I drink and eat my way through 10% more money each month than goes into my bank account. Towards the end of every month I start making plans and forming strategies on either how I’m gonna make it til next payday, which card I’m gonna use to pay for that meal/trip/suit/beer and/or what lie I’m gonna tell the bank manager when he makes his regular threatening call.
All of these plans are, of course, bollox and never work, so inevitably I drift ever-further into debt month-by-month as I ply my King Cnut-like efforts to ward off the bailiffs until “that christmas bonus” (that’s one for our older readers) comes along and saves me. What a silly cnut! The age of bonuses and proper pay-rises (at least in this neck-of-the-woods) is long-gone, and just like a Labour election victory or an exciting Grand Prix, I doubt if I’ll see another one in my lifetime.
As I head towards my last pay-cheque from my current employer (we’re paid in advance) and await the first from my next (they pay in arrears) I dawns on me that next month could be a disaster, even by my fiscal fuck-up standards. There’s a voice in the back of my head telling me that I might get away with not getting the traditional bollocking from NatWest because everyone is feeling the pinch and they’ll take pity on me. The UK economy shrank by its worst rate in half a century. So did mine !! Will the bank manager excuse my ever-increasing overdraft? Fat chance. There’s another voice telling me to drink myself into oblivion and forget how potless I am. Hmmmm…. tempting.
But it’s true: everyone is feeling the pinch. I read with interest this morning that HRH Queenie is in such dire a financial mess that she’ll be forced to eat the corgis by 2012. The government too, we’re told, can’t afford to build aircraft carriers (but they’re going to anyway) or buy the new Trident nuclear missile system (ditto). One thing’s for sure, the way that Brown and Cameron are swinging at each other over cuts, cum the next election we are all of us going to be worse off, as will be our schools, hospitals and local services— whoever gets in— but at least we can enjoy our shiny new weapons which they’ve bought with our money.
If you were feeling a bit flush earlier on in the year, doubtless you would have invested a couple of quid in Michael Jackson tickets. That was a waste of time, wasn’t it? However all is not lost: The promoters have come up with a brilliant idea: They can either give you your money back , or you don’t get your money back and they will send you the tickets you would have got— as a sort of momento ! They’ll look nice on your wall, even nicer on eBay. If all 800,000 of those who bought tickets take up this offer, the promoters AEG save paying out around £50m. Jacko is said to have owed around £100m and I’m not sure how much of the gate would go back to his estate, but the gold rush certainly seems to be well under way, thanks to his untimely demise. Ipod downloads of his back catalogue are at biblical proportions. It’s baffling.
I’m not sure what the score is for those trying to recoup the money which they lost to Bernie Madoff, but yesterday he went down for 150 years. Is that fair? I dunno. Seems a bit steep and a tad unrealistic, but I’m sure those poor sods who he swindled will not give a toss. I suspect my bank manager is considering similar penalties for me if I don’t sort my act out . It’s alright for him, he hasn’t got to buy a round of sandwiches and several halves of lager for his leaving do. Who in their right mind holds a piss-up in the week before they get paid? I might offer to pay back my debt at £1 per-month for the next 150 years. I’m in a little recession all of my own. My GDP is in a slump. I have revised my figures and they still look bloody awful. There is still hope, however: the Royal Mint announced yesterday that there’s some 20p pieces out there without dates on them. If you find one, they’ll pay 50 quid for it. No great shakes, you might think, but someone on eBay has just sold one for over £5000 ! I just need to find ten of the buggers and I’m laughing!
But until I do, it’s my round. So what are you having? I’ve got 20 pence.