We have as yet not fallen prey to our bills being paid without us being responsible for the act of actually paying them. I know that there are all sorts of Bpay and automatic Credit Card deductions but I like to be in control of getting fleeced, not vice versa. Those that get their wallets emptied automatically don’t understand the joy and satisfaction of going to the bank, withdraw the cash and then with bill and loot clutched in hand, walk to the Post Office, get the bill scanned and hand over the cash. A great feeling of achievement. It keeps us fit. We often combine a Milo walk with bill paying.
Today we paid the quarterly Municipal Rates. I received the bill by post yesterday and, as is my wont, could not get it paid quick enough. I hate unpaid bills, probably dating back to my days after arrival in Australia. My parents worst fears were not able to meet payment of bills. I remember mother buying an electric fry-pan on ‘easy terms’. She worried herself sick of getting into debt though, even about a fry-pan very necessary for cooking the daily meal. Now fry-pans end up on the side-walk, flung out without even having seen a garlic prawn or rhubarb crumble. So much waste, I would not be surprised to see fry pans chucked out in the future holding the prawns and rhubarb crumble.
The paid bills end up in a metal cream powder coated filing cabinet I bought many years ago. They have those sliding drawers which hold Manila folders suspended on a framework. I have lost the key long time ago. There is a section that denotes by stickers ‘Council Rates’, another Electricity and Gas, yet another ‘Social security and Pension’, Passports, Birth certificates, School diplomas (very few) etc. I now combine filing each new paid bill with chucking two old paid bills. I started doing this about a couple of years ago. Why keep on storing old bills? Not a premonition or anything dire but even bill paying and storing old bills will come to an end, it always does. Even to the best of us.
I am now back to the future at 2012 with my gas and electricity bills and at a surprising 2013 with Municipal Rates. Logic has it that I’ll get to the present state if I last the time but also continue to be able to keep paying our bills. It is a neck on neck race. I am very proud of this innovative method and am at the same time ‘clearing the deck’, not expecting Helvi or kids to clean away grand-dads obsession with filing of paid bills. They’ll all might otherwise end up in thick bundles of dusty and forgotten remnants of a sort of life well lived, mementoes of dues paid in time, together with socks, assortment of creams and ointments, strings and some screwdrivers, electric drill and tooth brush. Of course H could well survive me. Even then it is reassuring there will be less paid bills to be put in the yellow lidded re-cycling bin put out fortnightly on Wednesdays.
On the grave a simple epitaph; here lies a man who paid his bills on time. ( keep off the grass)