Check under the bed.

I have no £50 notes and have never had one because I live in a place where it would be a right bugger to get change when you wanted to spend one. Imagine going into Farmfoods or Poundland with one of those! Heck, if I spend £50 in Lidl I can barely get the stuff home.

Even £20 notes can be a nuisance unless I’m buying whisky. Then I never seem to have enough of them – although £20 does get Glen Moray or Ledaig in Morrisons and gets you a 12-year-old single malt called Ben Bracken in Lidl. In Poundland, they look at you as if you’d presented a slab of gold if you try to pay a £2 bill with a £20 note.

There was a company recently (I think it was Swiss which seems likely) that produced gold in a credit card sized slice, divided into one-gram squares. A brilliant idea for a new form of money. If something costs five grams and you have a fifty-gram card, you just break off five squares. When there are too many single squares floating around you just melt fifty of them and cast a new fifty-gram card of squares.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just cut 10% off a £20 note and call it £2? It’s not possible of course. Counterfeiters already produce fakes of entire £20 notes. It would be so much easier just to make a load of strips.

Did you know that there are a great many fake £1 coins in circulation? I wouldn’t have thought it worth the bother but I suppose, once you have made the stamping die and have the metal colour right, you can churn them out all day. Everyone is checking large denomination notes. Nobody is checking one-pound coins. I am, now.

Anyway, the £50 note has been faked so often that it is to be replaced with a new one. Should you be lucky enough to have a stash of £50 notes under your bed, check them now.

The old ones won’t be legal tender after 30th April. Some banks will still change it after that, or you can go to the Bank of England to get it changed but if you want to avoid the hassle, check now.

The problem you have here is that hardly anyone has a large and legally acquired stash of £50 notes. So if you do have such a stash and it has nothing to do with drugs, guns, tobacco or hallucinogenic radishes, prepare to be asked some very searching questions.

So have a quick look at your carefully stored pension fund but don’t do it right now.

It’s dark. Underbed Monster is active…

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9 thoughts on “Check under the bed.

  1. Me and my mate were paid out (Twice) with old £20 notes. Had a pocket full of cash but couldn’t spend it anywhere. Yes the bank will exchange them, but only by paying them into a bank account and writing the account number on each banknote. You then can’t withdraw the money straight away, it’s like paying in a cheque and waiting for it to clear.

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  2. For a cyber punk story I was writing I looked into using tobacco as an alternative currency…or should that be ‘re-use’ because there were times when it was a currency already.

    I can just imagine the Post Nuclear Holocaust fASHists proclaiming that smoking around our irradiated CHeeeldreen would give the poor little mites cancer.

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  3. It’s funny, I view £20 and £50 notes as fairly high denomination notes, but here a €50 note (which is not far short of the value of £50) is no big deal. Any smaller denominations – 20, 10 and 5 – are just loose change. In fact I get pissed off if someone pays me with a bunch of twenties. I think it’s because this is much more a cash economy than UK, and I quite regularly have several hundred Euros in my pocket (in fact I’ve got about €700 in my back pocket now, as I’ll be going out to get some materials later). It’s not even unusual for people to pay cash for property here. I’ve done so myself when I bought a bar here 13 years ago. The bank counted it out and gave it to me in a plastic supermarket bag, and then at the notary’s office, the seller spent twenty minutes counting it. It’s a bit strange walking through town with 100k cash in a carrier bag, but it’s an entirely different culture. People just don’t get mugged here. And if anyone attempted it, twenty passers-by would immediately jump on him. That’s the way it is.

    I’ve been paid several times with €500 notes, and they can be a problem. The last time, I didn’t have any other smaller money, and I went to the garage for diesel and to a few shops to buy stuff, and they all served me with what I wanted, but told me to come back and pay when I had smaller money, as they couldn’t change a 500. There’s a lot of trust here. But it was a pain, because it meant I had to return to all those places the next day to pay them.

    I prefer a cash based system. Being someone who is thoroughly suspicious of government, I prefer not to leave a paper trail of card payments in my wake. I may have nothing to hide, but I think I have a lot to fear.

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    • That last comment may have flown into my mind via your passing thoughts, yet it is something like uncovering the Holy Grail. Thankyou, nisakiman.

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  4. I do not have a local bank account, using the same out-of-state institution since 1981. Since the closest branch bank is about 1200 miles away, I tend to keep a bit of cash around the house. I was glad to see the the local ATM has started stocking $50 bills, instead of $20 bills.

    As to cash carried, now that a tank of gasoline will run over $60, I keep a couple of hundred bucks in pocket rather than the former $40. Think on it, were you to be caught overnight out of town and have to rely on cash for food, lodging, and transportation you had best have a bit of the ready on hand.

    Using plastic instead of cash has at least one upside; my wife can track my progress homeward by looking to see where I last spent money, and how far away that place is.

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