“Yes mate?” I was a bit surprised to be addressed in this way by someone who worked in a bank, but perhaps it was all part of the relaxed image they were trying to create. I told him I needed an overdraft to get me through to payday.
“Well, you’re at the wrong counter my friend, but no probs, it’s cool. I’m Dazza,” he stuck out a sovereign-ringed hand, which I shook, noticing he had a scorpion tattooed on his wrist. “Let’s get you sorted, then.” He led the way to a glass-fronted side room and tapped my account details into a computer.
“I just need to borrow about twenty pounds for a couple of weeks,” I explained. “I had to give my mum extra for a sudden increase in council tax-”
“Yep, yep,” Dazza loosened his purple tie and tapped away intently. “Right. It says you can have an £800 overdraft. I’ll load it on. You got a credit card?”
“Er, no, you see, I’m usually very careful not to spend more than I earn-”
“You gotta ‘av a credit card, mate! What if you book a holiday and the company goes bust? You won’t get any money back if you didn’t book with a credit card.”
I didn’t know that. It was a good point, although I wasn’t planning on taking a holiday anytime soon; Myra and I had gone camping in Somerset last year but after two days spent bailing buckets of rainwater out of the tent, Myra insisted we came home. She hadn’t even slept in the tent – she spent the two nights under the hand-dryer in the Ladies.
Dazza cracked his knuckles. “You got any personal accident insurance?”
“Well, I work in an insurance call centre, Perypils-”
“Cos if you walk out of ‘ere and go straight under a bus, I’d never forgive myself.”
“But, I don’t have any children or anything-”
“Don’t matter mate! What if you lost a limb? An arm, say, in a freak chain saw accident. You wouldn’t be able to work very easily then, would you?”
“But I live at home, with my mum. I don’t have a mortgage-”
“What if you lost your hearing? You couldn’t carry on working in a call centre, could you? You might never work again. You don’t want to live at home with your dear old ma for the rest of your life, do you?”
He was right, of course; I would like my own place some day and when I became a star of the theatre I’d probably have an apartment in the West End, which would cost a small fortune. What a good thing I came into the bank today! I’d been walking around completely unprotected all this time. Dazza was starting to write on some forms and I glanced at my watch. I daren’t be late back, Kate was sure to spot me. Dazza noticed my concern. “Tell you what mate, as you’re in a hurry, just sign here, here, here and here and I can fill in the rest later. Alright?”
He was very considerate and obviously cared a great deal about his customers. I suspected he was very successful in his chosen career; he must be, if he was able to afford that chunky gold identity bracelet. Perhaps I should get one. Would Lucy think it was edgy? Damn; it might just have swung the Danny Zuko audition.
Dazza took me to the till so I could take some money out. I only needed £20 but in the end I took £40 so I could take Myra to the cinema; Saw 7(3D) was being re-shown. She loved the Saw films. I found the gore too difficult
to watch and would probably spend most of the movie gazing fixedly into the popcorn box, but it was certain to cheer Myra up. I took my cash and left the bank, walking out past a long queue of angry-looking customers waiting at Dazza’s counter. Oops - he’d probably spent too long with