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Beggars Beleaf


“Zhere are many singz zhat beggars beleaf”

It was Monsieur Lellouche,  voicing his frustration in idiomatic English partway through a yawn.  He was in a contemplative mood today Lellouche, all idealist and theoretical and hadn’t spoken about much else other than minor comments regarding Channel’s graffiti and Sarkozy’s latest troubles over the Roma scandal, and what it meant for Europe.

“You mean belief” lazily interrupted the master, his elbows placed on the dinning table in a curious position where his head was partly supported between his hands.  They were seated around the table reading newspapers and drinking coffee, and they both looked clobbered, with resigned expressions over their faces, as if they were on death row.

“Beleaf, yes beleaf” retorted Lellouche reassuringly.  The master managed a chuckle, but only just as Lellouche continued. “I got a call today from the bank, err.. Santander. Computerised telephone, you know. They telling me, that my credit card account in arrearz, by, zero pounds, and zero pence”.  He looked up to the master mischievously, eyes widened with a smug look overcoming what appeared now to be an expression of incredulity.

“So the bank rang you to tell you that you owe them something to the value of nothing?” responded the master, smiling at this satiric joke. “Mathematically, it makes sense you know, you could send someone a cheque for zero pounds, and the banks, for all the havoc they’ve caused lately will probably clear it.”

It seems it is widespread practice these days for some banks  to contact customers whose accounts are in arrears by use of Computerized Telephone systems, and if you are to believe some of those aggrieved , the manner of those calls is somewhat questionable.

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