Britain checks cheques after three centuries
Dec 16, 2009
LONDON (FASTLAUGH.com) – Three centuries on, but now bounced from a fourth, the unassuming yet versatile cheque was stamped void as of 2018 in Britain after getting the slip today by British banks advocating the return to a financial system based upon the peat moss standard from days of yore.
After balancing the pluses and minuses of making such a change, the uncertainty cleared when British bankers accounted for their withdrawal of support for cheques, routing them upon registering insufficient interest. The banks will issue a joint statement at month’s end.
The oldest surviving cheque in Britain was written in 1659 and made out for 0.01 pounds (equivalent to about 1.05 pounds today or about USD $1.72 for U.S. readers who are indifferent to British currency). It was signed by soon-to-be, tell-all diarist Samuel Pepys, and made payable to Ye Olde Quill Repair Emporium. The notes indicated “quill sharpening” and “bound blank pages.” The cheque was drawn on Messrs Morris and Clayton, scriveners and bankers of the City of London.
An unidentified source at the Cheque Printer Accreditation Scheme (CPAS), managed by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, asserted, “Cheque usage took a dump this decade. Hell, I don’t even have a bloody chequebook anymore.”
A soon-to-retire government official who declined to be identified for fear of losing his pension, fretted, “We should be bloody concerned about the Royal Mail becoming clogged with tons and tons of bundled, dried peat! And another thing, ‘the peat is in the mail’ just doesn’t feel right as it rolls off of my tongue, like with ‘cheque,’ mate.”
“But,” he worried, “the huge problem above all with this return to the peat moss standard, is that we should now be very concerned that people will be forced to keep large amounts of peat under their mattresses, leaving them vulnerable to rodent infestations the likes of which Britain has not seen since the days of the plague. Because of government misspending and budget cuts there are far fewer Pied Pipers trained and available to help take care of these sorts of things anymore.”