by Josh Gardner, who will never own a home but does own The Chronic on green translucent 180gm vinyl
CASH is dated, which means it’s problematic. Hitler, Stalin and JK Rowling all paid for things with physical money, so it’s a dangerous road to go down.
Buying my Shein hauls with my iPhone is much more ethical and doesn’t feel like I’m spending money at all. That’s girl maths, which I use because boy maths is sexist.
Plus money has a picture of the King’s face on it, or it should have by now, she’s been dead for three years. I’d rather not passively endorse colonialism when I buy my Boots meal deals. Contactless lets me maintain a clean conscience.
Not everyone’s caught up, though. I tried to give some money to a fundraiser on the highstreet and he looked baffled as I pressed my card to his donation box.
‘Sorry mate, I only take cash,’ he mansplained, before directing me to an ATM. After quickly Googling ‘ATM’, I set off for a new experience.
‘So that’s what these things are,’ I murmur, on discovering it. Pausing only to shoot a selfie, I enter my PIN and get my card and the plastic notes that are so handy to snort a line though.
Armed with half my life savings of 40 quid, I set off back to the fundraiser. But then I realised I only wanted to donate a quid, which means ‘breaking’ my note as people used to say in the 20th century.
I swung into the nearest Greggs for a vegan sausage roll. The cashier rang up my order, then the bizarre process of a physical transaction took place. I awkwardly presented the note in my shaking, clammy hand, hoping I wasn’t doing this wrong.
‘Got anything smaller mate?’ he asked, triggeringly, before snatching it and huffily counting out metal discs. They weighed loads and rattled in my pocket. Is this really how everyone used to pay for things? No wonder there were two world wars.
Finally, with my desired ‘change’ I made my way back to where it all began, dropped my money into the charity box and it clinked as it hit the bottom. And that was it. No congratulatory text, no email asking for feedback, nothing.
It was really underwhelming. If that’s what paying with cash is like, no wonder it went extinct.