The CFO has been hit hard by the financial apocalypse, as I may have mentioned several times recently. It keeps him awake at night, when he spends long lonely hours listening to me grind my teeth, watching the tortoises try to wedge themselves in small wellington boots, and weighing up his options. His is a lonely furrow. I have made financial irresponsibility an art form and the swiring mass of doom that engulfs western capitalism seems to me only to vindicate my wise decision to place my 'assets' in bowls, paperbacks and shoes. Even if it weren't for that, I am all about the total fatalism in pretty much all walks of life and money is no exception. Demonstrating once more the triumph of hope over experience, he tries to engage me in fruitless discussions.
"I think we should get life insurance, sell our pensions and buy some dirahms"
"You think it's a good idea? Really? Because I wonder if we shouldn't think about squirrel futures. Or do you think book tokens might be better?"
"Do you have a clue what I'm talking about?"
"No, but I agree with you. That one you said. "
"I give up"
Sadly, I am not allowed to relinquish all financial independence due to Belgium's tiresomely enlightened rules on not defrauding your spouse through the medium of joint bank accounts. The CFO's attempts to have me made a ward of court have been thwarted at every turn, so he was forced to take me along on his bank account emptying expedition. Three banks. Five accounts. Eight million signatures, no coffee, no free pens, no nothing. Times are really hard*. If anyone tried to talk to me, I gave them my best Benny from Crossroads smile and licked the desk. Then we put it all in envelopes (no, it's not like, a really big amount. He's just really REALLY paranoid) and trotted down into two separate basement rooms in two separate banks to hide it in a little metal box. Both smelled of dust and very very old people. The process of using the damn box is despair-inducingly complicated. There are about five different wobbly movements you have to make to get the box to open, a code to remember, and a key.
Now. I don't pretend to have any sense at all, really I don't. But - a box? That locks with a KEY? Has he forgotten my kryptonite-like powers over keys? They break, disappear, throw themselves out of my hands and down the gutter. Also, locks. Mmm. Because, that would be the ideal solution for a woman who can't lock her own front door. Not to mention a code! One that isn't my birthday. Ha!
However, having abdicated the right to object by alternating between mockery and boredom in all discussions on the subject, I sucked it up and amused myself in other ways, chiefly by picking up all the pension, savings and investment leaflets with amusing pictures on the front of happy families and relaxed retired couples frolicking on endless holidays unaware of their impending DOOM. Amalah did a funny riff on something similar recently, and the Belgian ones are equally good. Seriously, they cry out for captions. Sadly, I am stupid and low tech, so I did them with cutting and sticking. Yes! It's Sunday evening craft satire time! We didn't bake this weekend but why should I spare you my total ineptitude.
These photos are terrible. But you expect nothing less from me by now, right?
People, go to your banks and take their leaflets, and you will see what I mean. the subtext is just crying out to be retold by us, the people. Go forth!
Now you should go and read about Katyboo's cousin Tom because it made my stomach hurt laughing today.
*I had managed to grasp this finally, when BMF told me, horrified, that his work Christmas party is at a bowling alley ("not one of those ironic posh bowling-fabulous ones" he emphasised) with two games and a "one course hot meal in a basket". This is a city law firm - our last one was Claridges. You get the picture.