I was chatting with Spanner down the pub last night.
Nothing unusual in that, and the subject matter as usual ranged far and wide.
Somehow we got onto the subject of the Inland Revenue.
“Don’t talk to me about that shower of cunts” was his opening contribution.
Now Spanner usually isn’t quite so steamed up about tax, mainly because he pays little or none.
“Sounds like you’ve crossed swords with them?” says I.
“I was trying to pay them a bill today” he said, “and you wouldn’t believe it”.
He was right. I found it very hard to believe he was trying to pay them anything, let alone a bill. “Believe what?”
“They give me a few ways of paying. I could have posted off one of those direct divot things but there’s no way I’m giving them my fucking bank details.”
I agreed that could be risky knowing some of Spanners dealings, though I was mainly wondering why Spanner should be trying to pay tax in the first place.
“They said I could do it on the Intermesh if I wanted but that would have given them too much too. All I wanted to do was pay by credit card.”
“One of the hot ones, I hope?” I interjected.
“Of course! Whadya take me for? Anyway you won’t believe this…”
“For a start I tried ringing them and an annoying cunt kept telling me to ring again as they were busy, and then he’d hang up on me! Eighteen fucking times I had to ring that fucking number!”
I ordered another round. I could see he needed it.
“And then when I told the Yang Wan who finally answered that I wanted to pay ten grand, you’ll never guess what she told me?”
I was more than a little bit taken aback at the ten grand bit. “What?” I said.
“She had the fucking nerve to tell me that I have to pay to use a credit card. One point seven fucking per cent if you don’t fucking mind! They want me to pay them seventeen fucking Euro to take my fucking money off me. [I didn’t dare tell him that that should be one hundred and seventy]. That is fucking ubiquitous!”
I presumed he meant ‘iniquitous’, but one doesn’t argue with Spanner in full spate. As it was, he had punctuated his rant by thumping his fist on the counter and half my pint had slopped out.
“So what did you do?”
“Told her to stuff her fucking tax bill. And I hope they use that when they use the call for training purposes.”
“But what difference does it make if it’s not coming out of your account?” I asked.
“Fuck! Didn’t think of that. Anyway, it’s the principle of the thing” he fumed.
“It’s fucking immortal”.
He go that right.
And I never did find out why he was trying not to pay.