My bank account is stressed out. It can’t understand why I don’t give it money, and why I keep taking money out of it. It feels that we have a very one-sided relationship. I have just applied for funding from a private organization based in Northern Ireland to try and get some money to go to Prague, thus showing my bank account that I really do care about it. Here is the conversation between me and my bank account. It’s a little surreal, so please try to keep up. In order to make it as easy as possible for everyone, I have put it into a format most of us should be familiar with – that of a play:
A room with a computer, a mac mini with an old Dell monitor, with no base so that it wobbles from side to side, and a cheap office chair from Argos. Enter Will, a theatre designer in his late twenties. He is tired, and slumps down in the chair. His shoulders are hunched more than they should be. He switches on the computer, and it loads with a triumphant dong.
WILL: Okay, Abbey business banking. Username, password, enter.
BANK ACCOUNT: Hi Will!
WILL: Hi Bank Account. How’s things?
BANK ACCOUNT: Not too bad, considering you never give me any money, you useless waste of space.
Will is hurt by this remark.
WILL: Hey! Why did you say that? There’s no need to insult me.
BANK ACCOUNT: Sorry Will. It’s just my instincts. Being part of a large multi-national banking corporation I feel it’s my duty to demean you at every possible opportunity.
WILL: That’s okay.
BANK ACCOUNT: By the way, while you were logging in, I stole the cash out of your wallet.
WILL: Oh. Can I have it back?
BANK ACCOUNT: No. It’s already gone into administration costs. Anyway, what do you want?
WILL: I need some money.
BANK ACCOUNT: Oh here we go. You only ever get in touch when you want money. Yet you never actually give me any. Why the hell not? What do you do, anyway? Everyone else in the world has a job, but you just seem to lay about the house all day.
WILL: I work in theatre, Bank Account. I’m a designer.
Bank Account is impressed, but tries to hide it.
BANK ACCOUNT: Well that must mean that you make a whole pile of money. Designers are always rolling in it. And theatre people too, they’re always partying like there’s no tomorrow.
Will begins to laugh hysterically. Bank Account doesn’t know what the joke is, and is annoyed.
WILL: Nothing could be further from the truth. Very few people in theatre actually make any real money, most just get by.
BANK ACCOUNT: Fine, whatever. What do you want the money for?
WILL: I want to go to Prague, to the Prague Quadrennial.
BANK ACCOUNT (outraged): Prague!! I can barely afford to pay for my weekly lobster and champagne, and you want to go to fucking Prague?
WILL: Bank Account, please watch your language. This is going on a public blog and we don’t know if kids read it or not.
BANK ACCOUNT: Sorry Will, you’re quite right. If kids were to read this they would laugh at our out-dated use of swear words.
WILL: Exactly. Also, they may become angry and retaliate by mugging an old person in the street. Lobster and champagne?
BANK ACCOUNT: I already told you that I’m part of a large multi-national banking corporation, and you’re still surprised that I rip you off?
WILL: Oh yeah. Sorry, I forgot.
BANK ACCOUNT: That’s okay. Hey, is that Tom Hanks walking past the house?
While Will looks to see, Bank Account steals Will’s mobile phone.
WILL: No, it was an old lady with a walking stick.
BANK ACCOUNT: Ah well, easy mistake to make. Here’s the deal, chump: I could give you the money, but that’s all you get. There’s no more after that. Kapish?
WILL: Okay. What are my alternatives?
BANK ACCOUNT: You could go get a real job like everyone else, but something tells me you couldn’t hack it. The real world is unkind to your people.
WILL: My people? Who are my people?
BANK ACCOUNT: Homosexuals. Everyone knows the theatre world is full of queers. That’s a fact. Look it up.
WILL (astounded): But I’m not gay!!
BANK ACCOUNT: When was the last time you had sex with a woman?
WILL: I’m not answering that.
BANK ACCOUNT: Can’t remember, eh? Maybe you’re not a poof. Maybe you’re asexual.
WILL: I find this conversation demeaning and demoralizing.
BANK ACCOUNT: Thank you very much. I do try.
WILL: Can we get back to the topic at hand? I’m not getting another job, and I need money, so what can I do?
BANK ACCOUNT: You need to find someone else to give you money. Find some gullible fool who doesn’t know the value of money, and extort the pennies out of him. Kind of like the way I found you.
WILL: I can’t do that. I’m too nice.
BANK ACCOUNT: Damn right, the nice ones are the easiest to fool. Your other option is to apply to the Bank Account Large Loan Society, or BALLS for short. The BALLS are big, and they provide big loans, with big interest tagged on. Oh wait, even though you’re sucker enough to fall for that scam, you still don’t have any money to pay them back. Okay, your final option is this, the Drama Circle Theatre Trust.
WILL: Drama Circle Theatre Trust?
BANK ACCOUNT: Yep, they give money to meatheads like you for sitting on your arse doing theatre related stuff.
WILL: Wow. Bank Account, why would you help me out like this?
BANK ACCOUNT: Because if you run out of money completely, I’ll have to dump your arse. Banks operate on a parasitical basis, which means that we can’t bleed you dry, or else our supplies will run out too.
WILL: Thanks alot. I’m going to find out about them. See you later, Bank Account.
BANK ACCOUNT: Get lost, moron.
Will looks up the Drama Circle Theatre Trust’s website, and gets excited. He immediately fills out the online application form, and sits back, pleased with himself. While he was doing this, Bank Account tranferred all of his money into a private bank account, to earn interest for itself. When Will wants his money back, Bank Account may or may not comply.