Friday, 31 October 2014

Things I didn't know at eighteen: part three



In the student revue sketch, the accidental 1980s banking career of Yours Truly goes from strength to unlikely strength. Stage set as last week: two desks, on one of which there lives a cardboard cut-out computer.

Shopping

Yours Truly is sitting in the swivel chair, working at the computer

Yours Truly: morning all! Here we are: this week’s new clients! (reads from computer screen) A.B.C., they design telecomms systems for share dealerships. These 3-letter acronyms are getting very popular aren’t they?
D.E.F., they’ve just landed the government contract to promote relocating to the North of England. G.H.I., they have the government contract to run the programme that promotes relocating to the South of England. J.K.L., they specialise in Reputation Management for the oil and gas industries. M.N.O. are a charitable foundation formed to raise awareness of “Climate Change”, whatever that is. Then there’s Personnel Quality Recruitment, who advise on hiring staff, and Streamlining To Upgrade, who advise on downsizing labour costs. And, V.W.X., they’re specialists on helping charities secure funding, you know, helping them through the funding maze, making the bids look professional, and finally Y.Z., they evaluate the bids with a view to selecting the ones whose writing hasn’t been outsourced.  
  
And last week there was Mr Van de Graf Generator, a Dutch property dealer who appeared to have bought every house in Brighton. He wanted re-finance on his entire property empire. Then he disappeared with all the money, which seems to have left me with, hmm, every house in Brighton. I’ve put them in a special Trust, just in case he ever comes back: I don’t want him taking the entire Bank of Yours Truly with him if he does!

Rawls (the Chauffeur) wheels in a trolley laden with bundles of notes

Y.T.: Oooh, here comes the first year’s rent!

Rawls: and the morning papers, ma’am.

Y.T.: Thank you Rawls. (opens the Financial Times) Good heavens, have you ever seen anything like it? They’re selling off the entire national telecommunications, electricity and gas industries, and the ordnance survey! Hmm, I always loved gadgets...

Y.T. writes on computer 'screen' BUY BRITISH TELECOM. She turns over a sheet of the 'screen' (which is still just a flip-chart) and the next one says 'Your offer has been accepted' A stage hand brings on a brick wrapped to look like a 1980s mobile phone.






Y.T.: (picks up brick and punches in a number) Electricity and Gas? Oh great. About the share issue: I’ll buy the lot....

Stage hand brings on an anglepoise lamp and a mug with a “nuclear” sign on it, brimming over with dry ice vapour.






Y.T.: ooh except the nuclear part, that looks a bit dangerous! (pause) What? I have to take it? Oh all right but my Auditor will call you tomorrow. 

Y.T.: how d’you hang up one of these things? Oh 'end call', right. (dials another number) Hello Ordnance Survey? Yes, I’m another inquiry about the shares, have there been a lot? (pause) Oh right, lots of retired geography teachers and fellwalking enthusiasts but no-one actually bought any yet...great, I’ll buy it all please if I may? (pause) What, don’t you have to vet me or something? Isn’t it part of the M.O.D. though? (pause) oh well. 

Stage hand brings on large Globe and puts it on desk. Y.T. puts down phone and looks at globe and can be seen thinking, hmm, The World...I wonder if it’s possible to buy it?

Bondage

Fade down and up. Y.T. is still looking at the globe. Smartly-dressed gent carrying attaché case walks in. It's Mr Bond.

Bond: the name’s Bond

Y.T.: Ah, I’ve been expecting you.

Bond: I have papers from the following countries who wish to raise money on the Markets (opens attaché case and takes out smart brown envelopes one at a time as he lists them): Angola , Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium...

(fade down and up with a bit of 1980s music. There is now a large pile of envelopes on the desk)

Bond: ...United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 

Y.T.: I’ll see what I can do.

Bond: Of course.

Y.T.:  The pleasure is all mine. (Bond exits. Y.T. goes to the computer and starts writing country names and columns of numbers on the screen)

Y.T.: this is brilliant! The Bank of Yours Truly could buy bonds from every country ...it actually is possible to buy the world! (draws line under numbers as if to add them up) All two hundred and forty trillion dollars of it! (writes and adds a few more numbers) It even looks as if we can afford it. We’ll end up collecting all the interest, of all the money, issued all over the world! Aren’t the 1980s just fantastic??