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Cheque In To A Future Of Medieval Serfdom
The news that banks are to phase out the cheque has been anticipated for a while but is the drive to push all everyday business onto plastic or online transactions purely for reasons of efficiency. Might it no be another step in the campaign of control freakery that is pushing us towards medieval serfdom?
Chequing Into A Future Of Medieval Serfdom.
by ianrthorpe
2009-12-21
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: money, bills, cheque, banks, credit card, utility, Robbing Hoodie, cash card, humour, humor

Singing hey ho and a hey-nonny-no I was making my merry way along Cordwainers Lane, the rhythm of my steps accompanied by the jangle of credit cards and cash cards in the leather purse that hung from my belt when I came upon a hag who sat by the road and wept most sorely. “Why weepest thou so Madam,” I asked, hoping my jaunty tone did not offend her ear. The tragedy that had befallen this dame must indeed be great it was reflected in the awful wailing she made.

“Oh woe, woe,” she cried, “what is to become of me for I can no longer light my gas stove having had my supply cut off and without that I cannot boil handkerchiefs to make the hearty, nutritious soup I sell on market days.”

“Forsooth madam, what wickedness is this? Have the evil Utility Barons raised the price of fuel so much that poor folk cannot afford to boil a cauldron of soup.”

“ ‘tis worse than that,” she said, “though a fine Gentleman like your worthy self would not know of such things. I am not so poor that I cannot pay my bills, I should be able to continue making my living from selling tasty handkerchief soup were’t not for Lord Fatcat the Utility Baron having decided that my chosen method of payment is too lowly for their cashiers to accept.”

I was confused. Odd’s bodkins, what was this babbling old fool talking about?

“Madam,” I declared, “if you will permit me I will accompany you now to the house of the Utility Lord’s toll collector and will personally take care of your bill.”

She tried to stifle her sobs but the poor creature was beyond comforting.

“Oh no good sir, no. What has happened to me is beyond your understanding. I have offered payment in full but the Utility Baron’s toll collector is too haughty to accept my cheque. He sayeth the Bank no longer process cheques and I must pay with plastic or cash or sign a direct debit authority which will permit the Utility Baron’s men to take what they will from my bank account at their whim.”

Egad, this was returning honest folk to serfdom. The pittance they could earn by honest labour would not be theirs to do with as they wished. Their Utility Baron would have first claim upon it. These business people who safe in their towers in London robbed the poor with impunity were surely the most vile creatures as ever walked the earth, some said they were just good capitalist businessmen but it seemed to me they were more ruthless than the Robber Barons that had flourished in my Grandsire’s day. Surely it could not be long now until they had written into the Droit De Seignior section of their utility supply contract the Primae Noctis clause giving them the right to deflower and woman on the first night she and her family occupied a house which obtained its gas and electricity from them.

“Thou seest why I weep good sir, were a frail old woman like me to walk along Cutpurse Way or even Vagabond Turnpike carrying cash I would surely be robbed for the thieving scumbags who frequent such places are no respecters of age or gender. My old eyes are to dim for me to correctly enter a PIN number in a little machine and besides who would give me a credit or debit card when my needs are few and the bankers could make little profit from operating my account. I might as well be penniless as a poorhouse preacher sir if what little I have cannot be spent on he things I need.”

It was true, I had heard of these plans to phase out cheques and force all transactions to go online or use plastic. It seemed unfair but such things did not affect me, after all I, Sir Roger Emall, had been away many a year fighting my King’s wars in far Mesopotamia and The Hindu Kush from where the heathen threatened issue forth to subsume Merrie England in and force upon us their strange ways. Consequently I had done nothing.

What had I found on returning to my homeland but that the nobles, friends and associated of our brave and pious King were waging war on his own loyal subjects even as he led his armies against those who would deny the superiority of the western way?

I led the old woman to the house of the Utility Baron’s toll collector, paid her debt and accepted her cheque as reimbursement though I would never present it. Then bidding her good morrow I made my way to the house of Joblot the Haberdasher where I bought a Tommy Hilfiger Eccliasiatical Robe with Cowl. A pot of pain from Bodger the Doeth It Thyself shop with which I could paint over the Coat Of Arms on my shield completed my purchases.

That day my life as Sir Roger Emall, playboy Knight Adventurer would end, the morrow would see me reborn as Robbing Hoodie, the Champion Of The Common Folk.

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