Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

A close shave

A Close Shave (Free for Use Photo by Nick Demou from Pexels)

Sitting in front of my computer, I needed something to cheer me up. None of the news programs would provide much cheer. There seems to be a concerted effort to cheat the coronavirus and scare us all to death before it gets its hands on us.

I decided to look at my bank account. By now, I must be a rich man, with no foreign holidays, no visits to restaurants, no evenings at the theatre. A visit to the cinema is just a distant memory. My car is still overflowing with petrol from the last time it was allowed out of its garage. And, as I explain to the grandchildren, I can’t send a chocolate bar through Zoom. Yes, my bank account must be swelling.

I quickly opened my bank’s web page. I was greeted by a series of pictures of bank staff eagerly waiting to serve me. But ….

Every one of the five men, there was just one female teller, was unshaven. Not bearded, just a two- or three-day stubble.

Are they trying to tell me something? Is this a subtle hint to customers that they are underpaid and cannot afford a razor? Or perhaps the bank wants me to believe that its staff is working so hard for me and my money that they have no time to shave.

Perhaps I should change to another bank. A few taps on my keyboard and I found myself looking at a smiling figure complete with a three-day stubble.

On to the next of Israel’s five major banks. Yes, there’s another unshaven face filling the screen.

Another try. This one is better, smiling but with a full beard – not too long but definitely not stubble. He must have run out of razors a long time ago.

And the last on the list. Again, a compulsory smile and somewhat more than stubble but not quite a full beard.

I have not named the banks, their lawyers are bigger than my lawyer. Readers are invited to look for themselves.

I look at the one bank that I can name, the Bank of Israel. They are playing it safe, as is their duty. Hoping for a clue if interest rates are going up or down I am disappointed to see that there is just one picture on their home page, a bank teller with his face turned discreetly sideways so we are not sure if he has shaved or not.

The next time I am allowed to visit my bank I will be tempted to follow the wedding guest’s cry in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner — Hold off! Unhand me, grey-beard loon.

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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