Friday, 9 December 2011

A (seasonal) letter to the bank

Dear Sir,

I am writing to request an extension to my company’s loan.

As a family-owned business with a global distribution network, I hope that an explanation of the unfortunate set of circumstances necessitating this request shall elicit a sympathetic response. The root of the problem is twofold; with the London Riots of August, the actions of the journalists of News International, and the conduct of Jeremy Clarkson, this December I am expected to deliver coal to a record number of clients. Additionally, the price of coal has increased from USD$30 in 2000 to over USD$150 in 2011.

I feel it is important that you are aware that my company has already taken significant cost-cutting measures. My workshops are manned by a largely foreign, non-unionised workforce; they are given no pensions, no sick leave, no tea-breaks, no uniform, and no respite. If the temperature weren’t minus fifty degrees, one might refer to it as a sweat shop.

Despite having clients in over one hundred and ninety countries, we charter no airplanes and ship no containerised freight. Instead, we have been reduced to delivering our goods from the back of a single sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer. There were originally nine, but at this time of the year Comet is engaged in a price war with Currys and Dixons.

I have already asked my friends and family for contributions. I dispatched more than sixty missives, and after receiving a large number of disheartening responses, saying that my intended recipient was fictional, and could I please stop writing to this address, I got a rather promising response from the Tooth Fairy. She explained that she was in the possession of significant sums of money, but a dental sacrifice would be requisite to access the funds. I saw what needed to be done, and I didn’t hesitate. I promptly assembled the elves, explained the predicament, and ordered them to craft me a set of pliers. I asked Mrs Claus if I could borrow some of her methadone. Several hours later, the grisly exchange had been made. For my trouble, we were given the princely sum of £32.

There must have been a clerical error! I may not be a qualified dentist, but Mrs. Claus and I once had the bathroom redecorated, and I suspect that the amount of enamel must surely fetch a higher price. The methadone was starting to wear off, and I was incandescent with rage. I rang the Tooth Fairy up immediately.
“Ooo oo oo-oo ooo!” I exclaimed.
“I can’t understand you, pet.” she replied, and hung up.

I had reached a nadir. My mouth was in agony, and my solicitor, Sue Indiscriminately, informed me that it was inadvisable to claim for an ‘accident at work’ since I was self-employed. “The elation of winning a large financial settlement,” she said, “might be tempered by the fact that you would have to pay it to yourself”.

Opening the paper, I read about Bell Pottinger and the conduct of exam board officials. We were going to need yet more coal!

Due to my dental deficiency, I began to conduct business via email. It seemed pointless to continue answering the phone, when my only option was to regale the caller with an inappropriate, albeit now rather accurate, clanger impression.

I was on the cusp of giving up the business completely when I discovered, sitting in my inbox, an email headed “Request for Urgent Business Relationship.” I had received an email from a Nigerian Prince! What luck! Not only did he “trust my ability and reliability to conduct a transaction of great magnitude”, but he thought I would be an idea “overseas partner into whose account funds would be transferred”. This would be the answer to my financial woes. With the twenty-one million pounds he was offering me, I could afford to buy coal for every participant in the London Riots, every crooked exam board official and still have enough left to furnish the Murdochs! Curiosly, despite sending Mr. Okon the five thousand pounds needed to cover the transfer charges, the money still hasn’t arrived in my account....

And so I turn to you, and the financial institution you represent, to request financial aid.
I strongly advise you to approve my application for credit, lest you wake up this Christmas to a piece of coal.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. S. Claus

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