IT was, I thought, a simple task. All I had to do was open a business account with the Co- operative Bank. It would immediately have a sizeable sum deposited in it. Indeed, the account was required most swiftly, invoices were pending, so even more money would be snuggled into their welcoming arms.
So I looked on its website and found what it described as its Easy To Apply Application, then spoke to a lady who was Northern charm personified who explained that the Co-operative Bank was incredibly ethical and would have nothing to do with the sort of persons who pay their plumbers cash in hand or engage in activities that might disturb the habitat of the silverback gorilla. She’d have to make sure we fitted the bank’s rigorous customer profile.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Especially if you’re just trying to open a bank account.
Have we ever manufactured or traded equipment for military purposes? I thought best to keep quiet about the night I came home and put in a bid on eBay for HMS Ark Royal. In my own defence, I was completely plastered after a Fair Trade wine tasting and, in any case, the MoD wasn’t impressed by my bid of £35.50.
Do you manufacture tobacco products? Um, no. I sort of glossed over my consumption of them.
Have you ever contravened any environmental legislation or regulations? Not a good time to raise hubby’s enthusiastic Cillit Bang habit.
Are you involved in animal testing? Well, we sometimes spin one of the toys belonging to our little black cat Gertie around in a circle. She chases it, you see, and gets really dizzy and falls over. Seriously, the whole family nearly bust a gut laughing. She doesn’t chase it now, incidentally. I think she’s learning. Is that testing?
Finally I emerged from this intense examination of my soul to be told that I am beyond reproach and may join the pure of heart at the round table and may open an account with the Co-operative Bank. It is, she said, an easy-to-open account. Gosh, yes, you just wait.
And so I am still waiting. I’ve been waiting since June 6.
Y’know, you can say what you like about the banks that launder the money for the drugs cartels and the arms dealers, but I get the distinct impression that if you rocked up with a sizeable cheque and a need for a bank account, I bet they could sort you out PDQ without asking if you have ever been involved in the production of fossil fuels, nuclear power or biotechnology. I notice the Co-op didn’t ask about crack cocaine.
Silly swimmers leave me shivering
Heavens above – we can see the sky. The sun is drying puddles so big that the RNLI had to set up stations to rescue unwary pedestrians who had strayed into unexpected lochs on the way to Tesco. Scots are wandering about blinking like moles in daylight.
You could practically feel the city tilt as cabin fever mums stampeded to Porty to unleash their kids on the sand like tiny savages, screaming and whooping.
And I tell you this, now, readers of this mighty organ, though you may not believe me and you may say, she’s been hitting Fair Trade Cab Sauv again, but on Wednesday I saw people swimming – in the sea. Yes I did.
Admittedly they were a strange blue colour and much given to shivering, but by jingo, there is much to love in a nation that will enjoy itself even if it means second-stage exposure.
A fair trade-off
Oh all right, so the Co-Op is good
with food. They do a lot of Fair Trade stuff, and I like that sort of thing.
It means if you down an entire bottle of rather cheeky but very refreshing Chilean Chenin Blanc you will still get a stonking hangover, but you can comfort
yourself with the knowledge that
the wine producer’s kids
will get new trainers.
We’ll swing for BBQ badness
Of course, now that the sun has appeared, the man of the house immediately thinks of burning food outside. Why he feels this need to cook dinner outdoors when we have a perfectly respectable kitchen indoors is a mystery to me.
Is it the inner caveman he’s channelling? Why can the fire not just be left to do its thing, ie just burn? Why must it be poked and prodded relentlessly with special tools? And why, if a woman so much as veers near the flame, must she be batted away like an errant wasp?
Oh lor’, I’ve just thought. That smoke is bound to be full of just the sort of chemicals that probably mess up the atmosphere. Somewhere a silverback gorilla is plummeting off a branch and the Co-op bank is watching. That’s why the account hasn’t been opened yet . . .