One of our regular customers down at the pub pays his bills at the end of each evening with his mobile phone. In a rather disconcerting digital coupling, phone and credit card machine screens are brought together for a fleetingly chaste kiss and Bingo! the ice-cold transaction is completed in the blink of an eye. They say that this kind of nonsense will one day become the norm and that cash will become a thing of the past. Mind you ‘they’ say a lot of things which prove to be a load of old tosh, don’t ‘they’. Diesel cars, anyone?
Anyway, I suppose it is quite possible that future generations will visit history museums to gawp at displays of crinkled fivers in glass cases, before walking away shaking their heads chortling to themselves, no doubt heading off to enjoy a game of tennis with a hologram of the latest Wimbledon Champion - who still won’t be English, obviously.
This would be a shame. Cash is a comforting commodity.
It’s well-documented that drug dealers would be adversely affected if they can’t do cash deals but drug takers wouldn’t be too happy either; after all, you can’t roll your mobile phone into a tube and stick it up your nose. Miserly people, by contrast, would be delighted because they could easily avoid tipping in bars and restaurants with the minimum of embarrassment safe in the knowledge that phrase “Keep the change, love” would, by then, be classified as ancient dialect.
Another thing. What would happen to children’s pocket money? Any parent worth their salt knows that the little blighters shouldn’t be allowed to a have a mobile phone until they’re at least twenty-six years old and so the gobstopper and lollipop industries would bite the dust overnight. Actually, anything that costs less then 20 cents would become extinct because electronic transactions wouldn’t be worthwhile and, consequently, all of those brilliant Spanish kiosks which, as far as I can tell, only sell stuff that costs less than 20 cents would die out slowly like neglected dinosaurs.
Gambling dens would just look ridiculous. Nobody would be smoking because Big Len’s wife doesn’t allow it and now there’d be no cash on the table to gather up in triumphant heaps. Big Len and his chums would just be left staring inanely at their screens trying to work out their winnings and why they’re even there. Similarly, Monopoly would become even more boring than it already is and that’s saying something.
No, for the sake of the criminal fraternity, the Spanish kiosk industry and schoolchildren everywhere we simply can’t afford to let cash become obsolete.
Anyway, I’m partial to the odd gobstopper myself from time to time.