Live it up with your Lamontcard

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The Independent Online
CONGRATULATIONS] You have been selected from many potential candidates to be a proud holder of the new Lamontcard]

What do I have to do to become a proud holder of the new Lamontcard?

You don't have to do anything to become a proud holder of the new Lamontcard. Just wait to get another letter from us.

Will this be a letter to confirm that I am now a proud holder of a Lamontcard?

No. It will be a stern reminder that you are well over the

borrowing limit for your Lamontcard.

But I haven't borrowed any money on my Lamontcard yet]

You don't have to borrow money with your Lamontcard to be over the limit. That's how special it is. Because a Lamontcard is for very special people.

What kind of special privileges will I get in airports and hotels round the world, as a holder of a Lamontcard?

No, no, that is not the next question. The next question is: What kind of special people

are lucky enough to become

Lamontcardholders?

Sorry. What kind of special people are lucky enough to become Lamontcardholders?

We are looking to the younger, white-haired person who is upwardly mobile, and downwardly mobile as well, and who earns a good salary that never seems quite enough. Typically, he or she may have recently evicted a tenant from his or her property, the money for which procedure will have been raised through a Lamontcard. He or she will be a highly paid functionary in one of today's bigger busi-

nesses, and be an optimistic sort who is always predicting better times around the corner, whether there is any evidence for this or not - in fact, the less evidence, the more cheerful.

Here's how the card works. You run up a bill for, say, evicting a tenant. You send us the bill.

And you pay?

No, no. We pass the bill to HM Treasury.

And they pay?

Sometimes, sometimes not. You never can tell. But it's always worth trying.

What is the advantage of getting the Treasury to pay rather than, say, a bank like NatWest?

Unlike the NatWest, there is nobody at the Treasury who will get in touch with the Sun newspaper and tell them that you are over the limit.

I see. Oh, by the way, what kind of special privileges will I get in airports and hotels round the world, as a holder of a Lamontcard?

You will be recognised everywhere. Limousines will be waiting for you. People will call you Sir. They will say to you things like, 'We're already a bit late for the meeting, sir, so better hurry - incidentally, the French are going to lower their interest rates tomorrow and the Germans are going to ask for Thatcher's rebate back, so it's going to be a really tricky meeting, just thought I'd let you know . . .'

My God. Am I expected to understand stuff like that?

No. You are just expected to look as if you understand.

And what if I don't want to? What if all I want to do is buy a bottle of champagne and a pack of cigarettes, and return to my hotel bedroom?

They may notice your absence at the meeting.

I don't mean that. I mean, can I get fags and booze in a foreign airport on my Lamontcard?

No problem. With a Lamontcard you just show it to them, smile and say, 'I cannot think of any circumstances under which I would resign.'

Why do I say that?

Because if you resigned, you would lose your Lamontcard.

Oh. Oh, dear. And what would happen then?

The Treasury wouldn't pay for your court cases any more. You wouldn't get any credit any more. And it would be much harder to get champagne and cigarettes on tick.

But why would anyone want me to resign?

Because they are jealous.

Good Lord. Why would they be jealous of me?

Not jealous of you. Of your Lamontcard.

So they want my job, do they?

No, just your card. They don't want your job.

Why not?

Because they want you to get the blame. And if they took the job, they might get the blame . . .

Blame for what?

Look, I'm only a credit card ad, not a bloody business consultant. Do you want your Lamontcard or not?

No.

Fair enough.

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