No cash here

Say what you want about drug dealers but you're never going to get stuck behind one at the EFTPOS terminal in the supermarket as they fumble with maxed-out credit cards - those dudes always have cash.

I'm a relatively tolerant person but, when I'm at the pub and some muppet wearing dress shoes with no socks whips out his charge card to pay for two imported beers, I want to see him chained by the neck to a seawall and fed hot snot.


Because what should be a simple transaction - $20 bucks from pocket, collect change, walk away - becomes a song and dance of "cheque or savings, Sir?", "Cash out?", "PIN" repeated three times when Mr Plastic Fantastic forgets his password, uses the wrong account, gets declined or the friggin' network goes down.

I've been at bars and gotten hangovers in the time I've spent waiting for some of these e-diots to squint and shuffle through their cards like out-of-work blackjack dealers.

You're so in love with your card? Start a tab, leave it behind the bar so the staff can double charge you when you get too blind to notice.

I'm not a massive fan of banks, mainly because they extort people to use their own money and will happily force your family to live out of the backseat of a Commodore if  you're half a minute late with a mortgage payment.

And, hypothetically-speaking, if I ever wanted to do something slightly subversive with my spare time, banks are the first organisation to give you up to the awforities via pages of documentation of your financial activities.

For these reasons - cash is king in my books - because it gets the banks out of your hair and it's no-one's business if I want to buy three bottles of Lagavulin, a scat box or that Cliff Richards in Concert DVD.

A couple of weeks ago, however, we heard former Reserve Bank official, Peter Mair, accuse our high-living, sybarite pensioners of "beating the system" by hording income and savings in $100 bills, so they're still eligible for welfare.

Mair seemed to suggest this was a bad thing, so I'd like to offer a counterpoint by saying:

1. You don't get old being dumb and, 

2. Right on, grandma!

Apart from giving thousands of dirtbags a reason to continue doing home invasions ("There's no cash here. Here there's no cash, alright? Cash, no.") I reckon this is one of those quaint, old-fashioned traditions we're in too much of a hurry to get rid of.

And it's happening.

e-wallets, i-wallets and Google wallets are all heading our way, while the Reserve Bank has portentously announced that in June this year, $12.4 billion in notes was dispensed by ATMs, beaten out soundly by the more than $15 billion in total purchases made via EFTPOS.

According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association we also "saw our first major downturn" in the actual number of ATMs nationwide "dropping from 30,841 in December to 30,511 in June", reports The Sydney Morning Herald's Eric Johnston.

What is wrong with these EFTPOSters?

Do they not enjoy the almost sexual thrill of thumbing through a chunky billfold in their pocket? Or are they all so dopey and scatterbrained they're scared of losing said billfold, wallet or purse ... so "it's just safer to use a card"?

Maybe they just like paying full price for stuff?

I don't care whether you're buying a second-hand car, vast quantities of fertiliser and diesel fuel or, the tiling for your ensuite dunny - a fistful of dollars proffered to the vendor or tradesman will always see you score a discount.

Ironically, about the only exception to this is drug dealers, who never give you discounts for cash (unless you have a briefcase full of used notes), which just goes to show they appreciate its true worth.

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