Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

David Banks Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

David Banks Columnist

Article excerpt

NO, I riposted vigorously. An attempt to spend PS19.98 using my credit card at an emporium going by the name of 'Chicks-a-Go-go' was none of my doing, I told the voice at the other end of a crackling mobile phone.

"And it will certainly have nothing to do with that unblemished child bride who is the mother of my children!" I roared at the man from Nationwide's Fraud Department. Theatrical? Yes, I suppose so; I do get a bit that way when my calls are being 'recorded for training purposes'. I automatically regard them as auditions.

"Chicks-a-Go-go?" I spluttered.

"Do I SOUND like the type of man who would spend his time alone in some down-at-heel London hotel room buying services of THAT apparent nature?" I demanded, looking around the rather down-at-heel London hotel room I was currently occupying. Alone.

Initially irked, I was grateful that the credit card world's very own Inspector Clouseau had tracked me down to investigate an "unusual purchase pattern" using my Visa card.

I readily admitted using an unfamiliar laptop (my daughter's) to make an out-of-the-ordinary purchase of two iPads (a 'his' and 'hers' for Christmas, I explained coyly) on Cyber Monday, having missed my chance of placing a secret order the previous Black Friday. That, certainly, was a transaction I recognised.

"But as for 'Chicks-a-Go-go'," I exploded anew down the weak and crackling line, "most certainly not!" We agreed to refuse the payment as a suspicious transaction and I reluctantly consented to check that my wife had not indulged in an unlikely orgy of negligee-buying. Or worse.

I didn't get the chance: later that evening 'Er In-Godzone was splenetic when we spoke.

"They've stopped my credit card!" she yelled. "I was buying a few novelty items as Christmas gifts and they've stopped the transaction."

Reader, I was aghast. "What could you possibly buy from 'Chicks-a-Go-go' that didn't involve either loose women or loose women's clothing?" I asked. "Has marriage to me become so tedious?" "Chicks?" she repeated. "Idiot! Not 'Chicks-a-Go-go', it was a website called 'Kitsch-a-Go-go' . …

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