This letter has been travelling the internet for years and is often referenced as being written by a 96 or 98-year-old woman. When we dug around, it was in fact written as a humour piece for the Courier Mail in 1999 by Peter Wear. This version has been significantly rewritten we understand. Nonetheless, it is so funny, we laughed our way all through it!
To whom it may concern
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his depositing the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. It refer of course to the automatic transfer of funds from my modest savings account, an arrangement which, I admit has been in place for only thirty-one years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I notices that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has recently become. From now on I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank who you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.
Please find attached an Application Contact Status form which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Please allow me to level the playing field further. When you call me, you will now have a menu of options on my new voice mail system to choose from. Please press the buttons as follows:
Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee of $50 to cover the setting up of this new arrangement. Please credit my account after each occasion.
May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year
Your Humble Client.