Gertrude #30 – Dollars ‘R US

Gertrude's Diary

My boss said: “Gertrude. Get thyself upon that telephonic instrument, and go forth to claim a small portion of the enormous juggernaut that is the US banking system. Spread the empire of POQ Software with a mainland US$ account, and honour and glory shall be yours.” And so, arming myself with the sacred scroll bearing a list of the top 50 US banks, I began my quest.


I visited many websites that made glittering promises; one of them even pictured a drive-through bank, but I knew this to be a false temptation despite its attractive novelty. They all promised 24 hour phone service, and my heart lightened to think my object would be easily attained. Alas, the careful and polite people to whom I spoke were only able to help those shining ones who were already part of the heroic land of US$.


But the disembodied voices wanted to help me: “Ma”am, I want you to hold on the line and I”m going to try to find someone to talk with you.”

They put my call in a place where heavenly choirs played light-pop. I could imagine scantily clad people with clear skin and nice teeth cavorting beneath fountains of green paper bills.

“Ma”am? Thank you so much for holding. I”m going to put you through to Mr Hank Ring. He”s going to talk to you about opening your account..”

Then another voice began to speak, deep and authoritative. “You”re talking to Hank R. Ring. How can I help you this evening”

I explained my holy task to him, and thus began the ordeal to see if I was worthy. He tested me with questions. Incorporated in the US? Owner a US citizen? Office in the US?

I was not able to give the right answers, and my attempt was denied. He invoked the powerful glyph of the 9-1-1 to explain why the barriers were so great to the needful petitioner. A less dedicated one might have been disheartened by this news. But not I! The next time I heard the terrible three numbers mentioned, I had an answer that penetrated the unflappable wall of good manners.

“Sorry, did you say 9-1-1? What does that stand for?”

“September 11, ma”am” The terrorist attack in New York.”

Oh. I don”t think we heard about that over here””

With the charming ones thus silenced, I was able to draw the rags of dignity about myself and gird myself for further assaults.

Oh, the conversations I had. The wonders I revealed to the shining ones, who seemed strangely bereft of any knowledge of the curvature of the earth and time zones. How they marvelled at my description of an autumn day. Truly, they must live in a rare and sheltered world!

But please don”t let me give you the impression that I am untouched by my brush with the exotic ones. For I have felt an answering call within myself; a voice which is the product of my country, my countrymen and women, and my unique place among them. And so, when I made my farewells to Mr Hank R. Ring and his associates, I knew exactly what to say:

No worries mate. Cop ya later!


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