Think I’ll Just Drop Out and Live in the Woods

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

                  After a lovely two-week jaunt to USA where I had fantastic gigs and got to hang with a lot of people I’ve known and loved forever, the reality of life as a human and functional citizen of the world came back to manifest itself as my holiday came to a close. I was smacked in the face by the car rental as I returned a Ford Mustang that I didn’t ask for, but was given as the rental agent two weeks prior seemed interested in my whole story, and seemed to know a bit about my past and seemed intrigued. WRONG! His story was convincing as he said, “My parents used to hire baby-sitters so they could go see you guys.” (Referring to Rick & Ruby, and this is late 70’s we’re talking about) As he discovered who I was, (and maybe that meant something, I dunno) his vibe said, “Let’s do something for you because you’re special,” but it also meant “You can afford an upgrade.” I heard his shpiel and I’m positive (though I was jet-lagged and may have misheard) he said it would only be an extra dollar a day. The good news is the Mustang got a lot better mileage than I anticipated. The bad news is it was TEN extra dollars a day. Whoops, Strike One! (Speaking of baseball, Giants sucked for most of the time I was there.)

                    The extra charges on the rental car amounted to $140, about £93 with current exchange, and it’s nice to have a keyboard that accommodates both currency signs. I can handle that charge much as I disagree, I said, as I soldiered on through my flight from San Francisco to Newark coupled with my one hour layover before connecting with a flight to Heathrow, followed by two hours on the tube and a 20-minute walk back to my Dagenham house (which, dear reader, is not mine for much longer). It was when I reached my house that all the uncertainties I have about life in UK started to hit home and make me realize that for all the dumb shit I deal with in America, not much is different over here.

                         In early June, my agent had been a bit lax on paying me for gigs I’d done in March that he claimed he still hadn’t received checks for. I won’t go too ballistic on him at this juncture, even if he may well have been using my paychecks to ward off any number of creditors or family that were pressuring him. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just….. an agent, nuff said. Anyway, I needed money then and there, and he was lax on sending me the money I was owed, so I took a cash advance on my Brand New credit card, which I received after opening a new bank checking account which allowed for overdraft. That transaction was in early June, for £500. By late June, I paid it off in full, but not soon enough apparently, as enough time elapsed to add interest to that advance, a total of £7.67. OK, guilty as charged, I’ll pay that, too. But I guess that still wasn’t enough, because I got notice from the bank (Halifax, so the guilty parties are exposed!) accepting that payment, but hinting that there would be interest on the 10 or 11 days that I hadn’t paid, with the maximum interest amounting to a whopping 10 pence. I brought that statement to the bank, and the tellers were amused by the situation, but said little to indicate that my “debt” would be ignored.

                          Well, guess what was greeting me as I returned to Dagenham on Tuesday? A bill for the total of £0.01 for interest!!! Trees died and a good 37+ pence was spent sending this notice to me. And what was I supposed to do? Mail them a check for 1 pence? Theoretically that’s what I was supposed to do. I did the humane thing, though maybe not the perfect radical leftist thing that I should have done. No, I fucking went to the bank, waited in the queue (LINE to you Americans, though I love that word; it looks like it should read “Kyu-ey-oo-ey”), and presented my bill to the teller, who once again found it as amusing and silly as I did. 

I still had to lay out my simple piece of copper and it was recorded as paid, with the notice on the bill allowing that accumulated interest on that 0.01 was going to be 0.00. I think I’m now straight with these fuckfaces, but I was truly worried that if I didn’t pay that pence, I’d get socked with late charges and/or interest on the whole shebang. I hate to arrive at such a simple and biased assessment, but I think it’s safe to say banks are CUNTS! No matter WHAT country!


                             So what do I do? Bottom line is laugh it off and move on. The 60’s/70’s  me would have said “Fuck the pigs, let’s just take lots of acid and drop out and live in the woods and fuck the system,” but the practical me from any era would say, “No I need the corner convenience store.” Am I getting softer in my advanced age? Maybe, but I keep inquiring about the woods.  








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