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.