Wednesday May 11, 2005
To Boston, to hand in the draft house details, duly proofread and approved.
“That’s good,” the nice lady said. “We’ll have them printed tomorrow and out in the mail by Saturday. And we’ll send you a couple of copies, too.”
“Thanks,” I said. “And now the snag.”
“Yup. The snag. It’s this anti-money laundering declaration thingy. I can provide evidence of identity, but Graham’s away this week and even if he were here he couldn’t give you any of the identity documents.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem. May I ask why?”
“Sure. He doesn’t drive, so he has no driving licence. He won’t go abroad, so he has no passport. And I pay the utility bills, so he doesn’t have them either. We could provide you with a solicitor’s letter?”
“Just the offer is more than enough. Don’t worry about it.”
“Good. Thanks. I don’t like worrying. That’s your job in this deal.”
“Yes, you’re right. You just sit back and we’ll do the worrying. That’s what you pay us to do.”
“My thought exactly.”
And off I trolled into the bright Bostonian sunshine, to the post office to buy postage stamps. There I suffered a minor disaster, opening my bag the wrong way up and showering Tesco’s Computers for Kids vouchers all over the floor. I struggled down to pick them up, to a growing mutter of impatience from the people in the queue behind me. I tell ya. You’d think that instead of watching a creaky old geezer with a walking stick trying to pick things up they’d at least offer to help. Nope. Just the muttering.
So I took my time finishing the job, heaved myself upright and turned to face the source of the muttering.
“Thanks so much for your help,” I said, smiling sweetly.
I felt better for it but, judging by the stony faces, I had just done the old pearls before swine thing, and need not have bothered.
Ah well. That’s people for you.