A Letter From God To HSBC Regarding His No-Interest Loan

By: Ken Krimstein

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have more than a small bone to pick with you regarding the instigation of the full APR on my no-interest loan for the MacMall purchase I made earlier this year — account number 3259-4300-9546-8891. As you know, MacMall had been touting a special incentive to lure me into upgrading my computer from a G4 to a G5, or was it a G5 to a G6? I’m not sure, I usually have people who deal with such matters for me. Dead people, to be sure. But since they’re trying to earn their wings, I find they are very dedicated and focused on such matters. And, at any rate, had I wanted to, I could have just caused said machine to appear in front of me — whoosh — but, as they say, I work in mysterious ways. Sorry for the digression. I’m a little overwrought.

That’s better. I just breathed deeply for ten seconds. Now, to get back to the matter at hand. The offer was, and I quote, “same as cash, no interest payments for six months.” Due to a screw-up by the Post Office (I swear this is true, there are some things even I can’t remedy), my final statement arrived THREE DAYS AFTER EXPIRATION DATE OF THE PROMOTIONAL OFFER. Now, I could turn you and the entire Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation to pillars of salt if I wanted to, but I’d rather state my case calmly and equivocally. The point is, your statement came too late. I should not have to pay the 23.99% APR on the entire balance, even the paid balance.

I promptly called the service number. I’ll have you know, I could have simply done a mind-meld with anyone in your organization, I could have made the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chief of the Federal Banking Commission, even Henry Kissinger do my bidding by telepathy, but I called the 800 number. I don’t like to cross boundaries if I don’t have to. I’m not that kind of Supreme Being. After being put on hold, and forced to listen to an off-key version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for what felt like three seasons, I finally got in touch with someone, a human being. Now, I love all my children equally, that’s a big part of my deal, but this person on the end of the line — clearly not, how shall I put it — a person whose first language is English. There were problems. I could have changed the languages of the world to whatever obscure tongue was this member of my flock’s language of choice, but no, I play by the rules. So, after an interminable bout of furumphing and thissing and thatting that tried even my patience, I finally asked to speak to a supervisor. I didn’t mean to pull rank, really, charity is my middle name, but I thought, under these circumstances that, as a figure of authority myself, it might be more efficient for me to take my grievances to an entity, who, like myself, understands Power. (Sorry for all the clauses in the previous sentence, but having invented the comma, sometimes I really like to put that little sucker through its paces.)

So, I got a Janice Y58. I know and you know that Y58 is not her real last name. But that way she was speaking to me, I could have made it her last name. I could have made Y345.782 her last name. Would have caused her one garbanzo of trouble when she tried to cash her next paycheck. But I didn’t do that. I heard her out.

She wouldn’t budge. Wouldn’t move. Wouldn’t yield. Insinuated that I, the Font of all Goodness and Charity in Creation was the One at fault. Not very nice of Janice Y58. But, in my eternal wisdom, I could see she was just following company policy. It wasn’t Janice Y58’s fault that I had to pay the $327.00 APR. No, not one tiny little bit. I could see, with my all-seeing eyes, that she was graciously and professionally following the company policies. (Well, truth be told, and I am the Supreme Truth Teller, she wasn’t that gracious, but more about that later.)

I don’t have to tell you that $327.00 is a lot of money, even to me. I didn’t get to where I am today by being a spendthrift. Even though I could have just gotten the combination to the big safe at Fort Knox and taken as much gold bullion as I wanted to, I didn’t. Instead, I have written the letter you see before you.

So, I put it to you, Sirs and Madams. Either you waive that APR or I end all life as we know it.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,



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