14 February, 2011


Logan's zimmer frame?

I have just received the latest issue of a periodical I subscribe to. Like many periodicals, particularly those dispatched through the post, it is stuffed with a selection of third-party leaflets. Inserted into the current issue are eight assorted brochures, of which four are targeted explicitly at the elderly. Well, more precisely at the elderly and infirm.

Why this emphasis? Well it happens that, for perfectly justifiable reasons, the publisher knows my age. For the last nearly three years, since I turned sixty, most communications from organizations which for one reason or another happen to know my date of birth have included "magazine stuffers" or "bill stuffers" for stairlifts, step-in bathtubs, hearing-aids, burial plans and insurance offers illustrated with photographs of that smiling, fit, pullover-clad grey-haired middle-class couple sitting in their charming, expensively-furnished, oversized living room contemplating the difficult decision of whether to set off on a round-the-world cruise or just pop down the golf course for the afternoon.

I suppose I ought to be mildly grateful that my new copy of Cod Batterer's Quarterly was for once mercifully free of a Stannah Stairlift advert telling me just how much fun my cat will have riding up and downstairs on the contraption, available under the company's exclusive "Buy now, die later" finance facilities.

Sod this. I'm off out and find some teenager to give a bloody good kicking to.

Haven't quite reached that Age of Man yet, but whenever I check my email I get some shark trying to interest me in a 3000% APR credit card for paupers. Does everyone get this? If not, why do they think they know what they think they know about me? Do I just not do enough shopping online?

Thankfully, the daily deluge of credit card offers seems largely to have dried up for me. Though I do get regular offers from one of my banks (that Espanish one that snapped up all the distressed ex-building societies) inviting me to take out a loan they know I can pay back and therefore don't need.

I do most of my banking with The Co-op / Smile these days, which I have to say has proved to be a refreshingly bollocks-free experience.

Most of my unsolicited financial email comes from that nice gent in Nigeria who regrettably seems to be having continuing difficulty in transferring orphaned funds out of the country.

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