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No cash here

From whence comes hot snot.

From whence comes hot snot.

Say what you want about drug dealers but you're never going to get stuck behind one at the EFTPOS terminal in the supermarket as they fumble with maxed-out credit cards - those dudes always have cash.

I'm a relatively tolerant person but, when I'm at the pub and some muppet wearing dress shoes with no socks whips out his charge card to pay for two imported beers, I want to see him chained by the neck to a seawall and fed hot snot.


Because what should be a simple transaction - $20 bucks from pocket, collect change, walk away - becomes a song and dance of "cheque or savings, Sir?", "Cash out?", "PIN" repeated three times when Mr Plastic Fantastic forgets his password, uses the wrong account, gets declined or the friggin' network goes down.

I've been at bars and gotten hangovers in the time I've spent waiting for some of these e-diots to squint and shuffle through their cards like out-of-work blackjack dealers.

You're so in love with your card? Start a tab, leave it behind the bar so the staff can double charge you when you get too blind to notice.

I'm not a massive fan of banks, mainly because they extort people to use their own money and will happily force your family to live out of the backseat of a Commodore if  you're half a minute late with a mortgage payment.

And, hypothetically-speaking, if I ever wanted to do something slightly subversive with my spare time, banks are the first organisation to give you up to the awforities via pages of documentation of your financial activities.

For these reasons - cash is king in my books - because it gets the banks out of your hair and it's no-one's business if I want to buy three bottles of Lagavulin, a scat box or that Cliff Richards in Concert DVD.

A couple of weeks ago, however, we heard former Reserve Bank official, Peter Mair, accuse our high-living, sybarite pensioners of "beating the system" by hording income and savings in $100 bills, so they're still eligible for welfare.

Mair seemed to suggest this was a bad thing, so I'd like to offer a counterpoint by saying:

1. You don't get old being dumb and, 

2. Right on, grandma!

Apart from giving thousands of dirtbags a reason to continue doing home invasions ("There's no cash here. Here there's no cash, alright? Cash, no.") I reckon this is one of those quaint, old-fashioned traditions we're in too much of a hurry to get rid of.

And it's happening.

e-wallets, i-wallets and Google wallets are all heading our way, while the Reserve Bank has portentously announced that in June this year, $12.4 billion in notes was dispensed by ATMs, beaten out soundly by the more than $15 billion in total purchases made via EFTPOS.

According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association we also "saw our first major downturn" in the actual number of ATMs nationwide "dropping from 30,841 in December to 30,511 in June", reports The Sydney Morning Herald's Eric Johnston.

What is wrong with these EFTPOSters?

Do they not enjoy the almost sexual thrill of thumbing through a chunky billfold in their pocket? Or are they all so dopey and scatterbrained they're scared of losing said billfold, wallet or purse ... so "it's just safer to use a card"?

Maybe they just like paying full price for stuff?

I don't care whether you're buying a second-hand car, vast quantities of fertiliser and diesel fuel or, the tiling for your ensuite dunny - a fistful of dollars proffered to the vendor or tradesman will always see you score a discount.

Ironically, about the only exception to this is drug dealers, who never give you discounts for cash (unless you have a briefcase full of used notes), which just goes to show they appreciate its true worth.

You can follow Sam on Twitter here. His email address is here.

130 comments so far

  • Definitely agree about the guy at the bar. Transactions like that should be in cash until tap 'n' pay becomes more widespread. By then it will be even quicker than cash. I like speed and convenience almost as much as I like being able to get discounts or avoid tax.

    Date and time
    October 03, 2012, 7:21PM
    • Good on those oldies.

      I'm a wog so... cash rules. I hate it when my wallet is cash light.

      But I'm also a mad pessimist, so while cash rules, it only rules for now.

      It's valuable for as long as it has a value. The mega-wealthy hoard the stuff that says "1000 Fr" on it into safety deposit boxes in Geneva, the unemployed in Harare wipe their arses with it the stuff that says "$100,000,000,000" on it. It's a funny old world.

      Also, any man who pays for two beers with a card should be forced to drink his beer through a straw coated in glitter with a giant photo of Justin Bieber attached.

      hired goon
      Date and time
      October 03, 2012, 7:36PM
      • hahaha thanks for the glitter straw/Bieber visual.

        I paid for my 2 beers at the pub last night with card though as I foolishly used all my cash on food.

        I am one of those you hate Sam

        Date and time
        October 04, 2012, 9:54AM
    • One of the funniest news articles I've read for a while. Loved it.

      Date and time
      October 03, 2012, 11:16PM
      • This is a subset of a larger overall problem which affects about 50-60% of the population to some degree or other. It's called being an inconsiderate d___head.
        Get in the 8 items or less lane at the supermarket with a trolley load? You have it.
        Ding someone's car as you pull out of a parking spot - then drive off without leaving details? You have it.
        Bypass a bunch of wide open spaces travelling on the freeway, then dive in front of someone and fill a tiny gap between them and the next car, so you can get one spot ahead? Guess what...
        Check your messages or take a call when you're on a date? Another symptom.
        Sit on the bus while elderly or needier people are standing? Same.
        Go to a sporting event and use filthy language around nearby small kids and families. Ditto.
        Australia is a petrie dish for endless new strains of ignorant disrespect.

        El Rey
        Date and time
        October 04, 2012, 12:28AM
        • haha, I am hearing you buddy. Dennis Leary sort of covered this topic...

          Date and time
          October 04, 2012, 8:18AM
        • One of the beautiful things about being a woman on the wrong side of 35 is that I feel quite entitled to rearrange passengers on the bus to enable the elderly and people with prams to be able to sit down. It seems to happen almost every day.

          Date and time
          October 04, 2012, 9:20AM
        • Spot on
          I'll add to the list those who run for the bus, are miraculously waited for and let on - and say NOTHING to the driver.

          While I totally agree, I've also been totally skint, and really wanted a drink, so put it on a card -then I guess I'm that person - but at least I have the decency to look embarrassed.

          The best thing about that post was the link to chopper - when will Eric Bana be given another suitable role? He was scarily brilliant.

          Date and time
          October 04, 2012, 11:41AM
        • M, what you do in helping others find seats is awesome and very kind. Please also be aware that some people have hidden disabilities, and may be in extreme pain. I am, and am also determined to live as normal a life as possible. I wear makeup, nice clothes and put my fold up walking stick in my bag. I have had disability parking for thirty years. What you and others may not realise is that older people can get quite feral if they see a younger person using a disability permit. I have had fifteen neurosurgergies to my neck, shoulder and back. Learned how to walk again. Recently a woman who looked 80, came up and poed me hard in my bad shoulder, telling me it was reserved for disabled parkers. I answered I did. Asked she refrain from touching me, invited her to look at my permit. Spent two weeks in bed recovering from her vicious poking. Apparently I looked too nice to be disabled.

          Date and time
          October 04, 2012, 1:52PM
        • @katea
          Right on with the cool link to chopper, but I think you'll find it was vince colosimo's character 'neville bartos' that utters that immortal line, not eric bana's chopper.
          And "chained to a seawall and fed hot snot"...couldnt have said it better myself.

          Date and time
          October 04, 2012, 2:31PM

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