Sunday, August 06, 2006

"That'll be cash on the barrelhead, son..."

Several things worry me intensely.
Rats, for one.
Nogbad The Bad, for another.
Witchy Fiona Phillips, above all.

But perhaps the most anxious experience of the last few days was the 100-yard, two-minute stride down Kensington High Street with a couple of thousand pounds clutched tightly to my thigh like a war wound. It was a simple transaction, literally from one bank to another, to hopefully help finally finalise my long-delayed first flat (half-)purchase. After all, a sudden hefty cash injection should, surely, be enough to inspire my solicitors into showing slightly more than the merest smattering of a scintilla of a sprinkling of an inkling of interest in the deal...

Well, anyway, I reached the second cashier without being mugged, run over, blown up or blown away, and having handed over the relevant readies, that’s me flushed out for the foreseeable, and condemned to a schedule of at least six-day weeks here, there and wherever’ll take (and pay) me.

But there are other money-making means – and, yes, thy name is eBay. Can’t quite see myself matching in Machiavellian entrepreneurship the friend who leapt early onto the charity-wristband bandwagon, by buying up batches and selling at (marginally) higher prices than the often-out-of-stock charities – before realising the buyers’ desperation was such, he could simply sell them a link to the relevant website for the same cost, only occasionally receiving angry feedback from the few who felt duped and not abashed enough to keep quiet.

No,, my more modest eBay exploits extend simply to flogging my used tickets from some recent kickabout in Germany. Quite why so many people want to clamour for souvenirs of an experience they didn’t actually, er, experience remains beyond me. Yet there were always armies of ticket-collectors crowding the exits at the end of each match, and still they keep coming, this time online instead of in-yer-face. Perhaps even more baffling was the person, hours after the final whistle and Italy’s departure with the trophy perched precariously in hand, hanging around at the media exit of Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and begging for each departing hack’s Press accreditation badge. With which to do what, to impress whom? After all, the pass he wanted bore not only my name, but my (predictably-vacant-looking) photo, for Zizou’s sake... I’m not sure who he’d have been fooling... Besides, I needed it to wangle the following day’s final few hours of free train travel.

That souvenir I will keep. But the used tickets now can go to a more appreciative anorak, especially since I no longer need post-match proof of attendance should there be a summons from one of Fifa’s over-cautious and actually-incorrect ticket inspectors.

Even more oddly, some of the higher bids at the moment seem devoted to the France-Switzerland game, one game best-avoided by any stretch of the imagination. Unless the ticket will be brandished as a symbol of heroic endurance...

Still, eBay – its Press officers may be among the most unnecessarily eager and persistent PR people on the planet. But it is indeed addictive.

Did you know Jarvis Cocker is a keen eBayer?
He will, of course, only carry out transactions using common Paypal.
Ask nicely, though, and you might just find him sorted for Visa and Switch.


prolix said...

Ouch! Those puns really smart!

The Badger said...

Wicked whisper... which smug Danish lesbian panellist and broadcaster, and former star of 80s children's show No 73, recently bought a number of cigarette cards from my father via E-bay?
No bluff.

Aidan said...

Lovely stuff.

Give up the day job... ;)