call screening and silver lining

I don't know anyone named 'Witheld'. It sounds vaguely Saxon, bordering on old English. Witheld could well have been Egbert's brother. Egbert was a dark age king of England, by the way. I could imagine Witheld and Egbert drinking mead into the night, reminiscing about slaughtered vikings and goosing a few wenches.

Witheld: Dude, that was awesome how totally took Beowulf out, man - you kicked his Mercian mutha-fuckin' ass!
Egbert: Totally bro! punk didn't know what hit him. I told him, that is the way shit goes down in Wessex beeeyooootch! And now who's the Bretwalda? I'm the fuckin' Bretwalda! What the fuck is a Bretwalda? Pass the mead bro!
*Egbert makes a wild slicing motion and falls over in a drunken heap*
Witheld: Hardy couldn't have said it better bro.
Egbert (from his drunken heap): Who the fuck is Hardy?

So with this sort of mental image, it's unsurprising that I'm not keen to answer the phone when the name 'Witheld' appears on the caller ID. Remarkably, the reality of Witheld was far more terrifying than the dark age product of my imagination. It was my bank.

Part of me kind of knew it was my bank.

I'll be honest, I haven't listened to the message in full yet. Partly because I'm a coward when it comes to certain things (the dire reality of my finances being one of those certain things) but mostly because I knew what it was going to about. I mean, when was the last time your bank just phoned to say hi? Or to let you know you had buckets of cash? There's a bit of a bright side; would you want your local branch phoning for a natter? Me neither.

So I know that I should phone them back, because in phoning them back I not only show that I care about my finances but also have a slim chance of getting the substancial charges for going overdrawn reversed by pleading all sorts of mitigating circumstances. That's £70 worth of charges. I'll phone them tomorrow. Let them wait. It's only the Clydesdale after all. If I banked with a bank that I like, I'd care. But I don't, so I don't.

Of course I do care about having money, and on that front I've received some good news. From an accountant, no less, which is enough to make me look skywards for passing pigs. Anyway, you remember that National Insurance chat I posted yesterday? Well, it turns out that I paid "emergency tax" the entirety of my 4 years working at Luvians. My inherent distrust of government and bureaucracy led me to think that never would I see that money again, but no - it turns out you have SIX YEARS to claim back emergency tax. Of course, I have no idea how much I'm due. I didn't really earn very much in the first place, but a cumulative tax rebate is not something I'm going to pass up at this point.

Especially as those utter bastards at Apple have just released this, and I need one. Need in the want sense, really, but want quite a lot. The black one. Which is, of course, the most expensive one. And in this compulsive consumer society, want and need get a bit blurred, so blurred that t-shirts are required to point out the balance. That pie chart is an accurate representation of my want for a new MacBook compared to my need for a new MacBook.

It's also a pretty cool t-shirt. I kind of want that as well. As a kind of conscience/reminder of what's important in life, you know? Like cool t-shirts and new laptops.

I've a long way to go on my road to enlightenment, I know.