It was sitting in the gutter, damp from overnight dew. Being incurably curious, I picked it up – the bound stubs of a finished cheque book. BP McNamara was listed as drawer, and the bank was the National Bank of Australia. The garbage collectors had left wobbly lines of emptied wheelie bins along both sides of the street.
How much can you learn about an unknown person from the stubs of their chequebook? Paper cheques seem so antiquated these days when the contemporary world offers so many convenient alternatives for transacting money, including internet banking transfers, EFTPOS, credit cards, PayPal etc. Still, I found myself drawn to the hand-written dates, payee details and amounts tendered. The script was cursive, like an elderly person’s whose handwriting was learned in the schools of the early to middle twentieth century. There was something personal and sad inscribed on these tiny wedges of damp paper.
At first I was flattered. I launched my website, posted a couple blog pieces and started getting comments from people I’d never heard of. Boy I must be great because everyone agrees with me. Among the tributes were these:
‘I stumbled onto this blog from a bookmark in delicious. Interesting topic with many great points,’ said Earn Money From Home.
‘Just keep up the good job,’ said 8ft Trampoline Enclosure.
‘Terrific site complete of rather helpful details and products and services,’ Personal Trainer Houston Texas.
Hausfrauen Sex suggested ‘Nunja, das war ja klar, dass das nicht klappt! Ich hab’s leider vorausgesehen!’ I copied it lasciviously into Babelfish: ‘Nunja, that was clear that does not fold! I hab’ s unfortunately foreseen!’