Derring Dos & Don'ts: Currency - Mustard comedy magazine
Colonel Mustard

Derring Dos & Don'ts
An instructive guide for the English adventurer

Part Eight: Currency

Ah, money. Like most of us, I am 100%, totally, completely and without the merest hint of uncertainty in favour of having loads of the bloody stuff.

Enough to make Croesus seem a pauper; enough that I can light cigars the size of zeppelins with inch-thick wads of bank notes; enough to buy small countries on my expense account. You get the general idea.

In my varied efforts to inordinately swell the old coffers, no sin has been too great, no orifice too small. I have debased myself and others; maligned and murdered; fiddled and fornicated with men, women and men-women. I have even sunk to playing charades.

I've spent much of my life pursuing money. I have tracked it across continents, through boudoirs and over dead bodies of friends and relatives. But – and, like Queen Victoria's, it's a big but – I have never given two half-quarters of a toss what it is called.

Name them drachmas, zlotis, pounds, dollars, semolians or Uzbeki umlauts for all I care. As long as I have them in sufficient quantity to buy the essentials – a well-stocked cellar, larder and bed, sycophancy from male peers, a compliant attitude from ladies of one's own station and full access to those of the lowlier – then I'm happy.

Yet people seem to think the name they give to the pieces of paper in their hand is an issue of 'sovereignty', even though they don't really know what it means.

You can print anything you like on the banknotes: your pet cat, a favourite aunt or Whistler's mother or the aforementioned Queen Victoria's arse: if they are negotiable tender, no-one will treat them with more respect than I.

Yet these fools get all obsessed about 'staying on the Gold Standard' – another phrase they don't understand. We must remember the lesson hard-learned from our dealings in South Africa: never base your currency on something that you need to buy, but other people can dig up.

Bank of the Colonel

So, in times of austerity, what is the solution? Well, I've always walked my own path through life – paying others to clear and maintain it, of course, but choosing the direction.

Accordingly, I am launching my own currency, called the 'Great British Colonel' (GBC). One Colonel is worth six pounds sterling, five British guineas or an arbitrary bucketful of any foreign cash.

The GBC will always purchase the same weight of GBS (Great British Sausages) tomorrow as it does today. It will stand firm against financial assaults from the continent, refusing to appear alongside lesser tender on so called 'currency markets' or la-di-da 'exchange rate mechanisms'.

The Colonel will not be sullied through association with anything foreign, providing a reserve that foreigners have no access to and remain unaware of. A 'British Ignorance Reserve', if you will; something I have hugely benefited from tapping into over the years.

So, I strongly urge all British patriots to convert their assets into Colonels at the current rate of exchange, which I can maintain only until no one else is expressing any interest.

Early adopters of the Colonel, subject to a minimum of 2,000 GBC (which must remain untouched), will be entitled to sit alongside myself in the front row at the Bank of the Colonel's annual convention: the "Me row". Those adopting later, or making a smaller financial commitment, will have to sit behind in the "You rows", with all the stigma this implies.

Please send cheques, bullion, stolen artefacts or huge wodges of cash to:

Col D. John Coleman
c/o Mustard magazine
(literary periodical in a comedic vein and towering financial edifice)

I will then undertake to remit the requisite amount of Colonels by return. Please also enclose an SAE – size irrelevant, as I will customize currency to suit.

~ R.A.

Illo: S.C.


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