Friday, November 7, 2008

In the money

Recession? What recession?
Like everybody else in Dublin 15, the R word had invoked a sea change in my attitudes. Instead of refusing my children’s requests through sheer laziness or miserliness, there was no need for me to choose my words carefully.
“Sorry, I can’t give you a hug. There’s a recession on.”
“Sorry, I can’t give you a hand doing the washing-up. Haven’t you heard about the recession?”
In addition to this, it also provided me with the perfect opportunity to bore the pants off them with lurid tales of how we survived the last recession “way back in the eighties,” informing them in a superior and patronising way that they didn’t know that they were born. Of course, my wife raised an eyebrow when I regaled them with stories of barefooted urchins queuing outside soup kitchens on street corners, whilst portly bankers twirled their gold pocket watches and strolled merrily by, but I think they got the gist.
However, I have just received some exciting news that has totally banished the R word from the Goulding household. While the origins of the email that I received are very much shrouded in tragedy, it appears that there is a silver lining to events that will safeguard our future during the austere fiscal times ahead.
I was contacted by a Reeter Khobe from Sierra Leone, who is obviously still very distraught at the death of her husband General Khobe during the civil disturbances there. Quite how Reeter got my email address is unclear, though possibly she saw the online version of this paper and recognised me for the fine, upstanding gentleman that I am.
Apparently, the late General managed to deposit US$15.7 million with a securities company before he died. Obviously the military in Sierra Leone are paid much more than our poor impoverished soldiers, though it appears that our’s tend to survive civil disturbances better.
Anyway, poor Reeter just needed a foreign bank account to transfer these hard-earned funds into, as domestic legislation presumably precludes her from waltzing out of the country with it in a bum bag. She therefore contacted me in her hour of need, simply requesting my bank account details, pin number etc, which of course I was happy to provide. In return, she has promised me 20% of the account, which my calculator informs me works out at a cool US$3.1 million.
US$3.1 million. Yes, read it and weep, suckers. I have already put my eye on a lovely six bedroom Georgian villa in old Castleknock and am just waiting for poor Reeter to get back onto me with final details of the transfer of funds.
And if you are currently turning green with envy, you will doubtless turn bright puce on hearing that the following day, apparently, my email address was electronically selected out of more than 250,000 addresses worldwide in the Coca Cola grand lottery in conjunction with the British American Tobacco Worldwide Promotion. Yes, more than a quarter of a million email addresses from “every continent” – presumably including Antarctica – and I just happened to be one of the ten lucky ones to scoop GB£2 million.
Apparently there are a few legal niceties that have to be gone through first before my prize can be claimed. Naturally I must reply to Mrs. Joy McKenzie at her Zambian email address with details of my bank account, pin number etc, which I am only too happy to do. I have heard of Coca Cola, so I am satisfied that this is a genuine communication.
Armed with this further increase to the Goulding bank balance, I am considering buying the four bedroomed Georgian villa next door to my six bedroomed house and converting it into a kennels for the Labradors that we intend to breed.
And of course, when you’re on a roll…
Today I received notification from a Dr James Ubani of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that a special account had been set up in my name under the instruction of the International Court of Justice in the Hague. The fact that such an important letter was entrusted to someone who cannot find the lower case on a computer worried me slightly but Dr Urbani’s urgent entreaties that I only had two days to verify my account with my own bank account details, pin number etc meant I had to act quickly to safeguard the fortune contained within.
To be honest, I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out why the International Court of Justice should be favouring me in this way. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps it has something to do with Slobodan Milošević, whom I interviewed once about the shortfall of funding for the Mulhuddart CDP. Maybe he remembered me in his little cell in the Hague and willed me most of his estate before he died?
I am now thinking of buying up the rest of the street and flattening it for croquet practice. I have also contact Boeing about the provision of a private jet.
My only concern is in the ability of the banks to cope with such straightforward transfers of funds. I mean, they really seem to be a stupid lot. Why, only last week, I got notification by email from both Abbey Bank and Lloyds Bank that they feared that my account may have been accessed by an unauthorised third party.
In order to protect the security of my funds, they asked me to verify my bank account details, pin number etc, as they felt there may be some unscrupulous people out there who would actually try and defraud me. Laughable, I know, but with my new-found fortune, I can’t afford to take any chances.
The ironic thing was that I do not have an account with either of these two financial institutions and quite thankful I am too, what with all those breaches in their security. Naturally, I replied to them both to inform them of this and also furnished details of my actual bank account, pin number etc, so they could see exactly where their error had occurred.
I fear though that I am doing some disservice to Lloyds and Abbey though, for disappointingly my own bank appears to be experiencing some logistical difficulties of its own. Obviously the system cannot cope with all this money flowing in because my bank manager keeps phoning me and claiming I am overdrawn.
No wonder the banking industry is in the state its in.

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