After reading that startling news report on page 5 of this very paper, last Thursday, which stated that €72,000 of Department cheques to farmers remained uncashed, I leaped into action.
Faster than a champion greyhound leaves the traps at Curraheen Park, I made for my drawers. I’ve always believed I should be a far wealthier man than I actually am. This business of being eternally broke just doesn’t add up.
And this news story, I figured, was nothing short of the explanation behind the mystery of a riddle. So I ran to my drawers, opening one after another, until I discovered the mother-lode.
A drawer seldom used by myself, down at the bottom, where a few odds and ends are kept, was jam packed with uncashed Department of Agriculture cheques of every variety.
With the height of farming, stress, work, and to be honest, worrying about money, hadn’t I forgotten to cash the blasted things.
A perfect fool I am, for sure. My blunder was costing me a fortune. Anyhow, with great swiftness, I gathered all the cheques and totted them up. And yep, sure enough, it came to €72,000 exactly. It was hard to believe.
With little time to spare, for I knew the bank was gasping for my money (while at the same time closing its doors at 4pm), I stuffed all my uncashed Department cheques into a tattered old suitcase.
Tossing the suitcase into the back of my jeep, I made for the town of Macroom faster than the Bold Thady Quill himself. Alas and alack, due to money being so scarce of late, hadn’t I neglected to fill the fuel tank.
And sure enough, as soon as I hit the Cork-Macroom road, my old jeep started to sputter and stall, eventually coming to a halt alongside that cursed speed van which is forever stationed there.
Left with little alternative, I grabbed my old suitcase of uncashed cheques and stuck out my thumb, hoped a sympathetic traveller would give a very desperate man a lift. Sure enough, within five minutes, two ladies in a convertible stopped. They were heading for Killarney, so I leaped into the back. Soon we were in Macroom. I leaped out at The Square.
And due to all the kissing, hugging and waving goodbye as the ladies parted, didn’t I forget my cheque-filled suitcase. I had left it in the back of their car.
And before I knew it, the girls were gone, taking my €72,000 of uncashed Department cheques with them. The chances of them returning my cheques, I dare say, are nil.
That is why, today, I am writing to the Department, ith the request that, if at all possible, they could rewrite a few of those forgotten cheques for myself.
Any couple of thousand will do to get the show going. And there is no panic, this week or next is all the same to me. And I promised that, from now on, as soon as such valuable items arrive, they will be directed straight for the bank, and not tossed into a drawer with my underwear.
That practice, I now understand, was damn foolish, and I promise it will never ever happen again.