As Mr Ebenezer Scrooge retired to bed that night, it was with a heart made heavy by the weight of those concerns that beset he who must pay the piper while others call the tune. Uneasy indeed lay the head that payed the crowns, the sovereigns, the florins and the halfpennies that daily engage the pinstriped denizens of Threadneedle. Today had been one of vexation; a particularly troublesome payment had been prevented by an equally troublesome bank, whose representative had insisted on full and further details for a transaction whose value varied from the accompanying documentation by six shillings and thruppence. The ensuing investigation had extended far into the night, involving many consultations with his overworked minions, and searches for an adjusted invoice that held the promise of resolution. With visions of SARs dancing in his head, he eventually fell into a troubled sleep.
His slumber was but a short respite, for it was broken by the authority of a long-silent carriage clock that had somehow, with bronchitic mechanical whirrings, found voice enough to announce midnight with a dozen dull bongs. In the dim light of the guttering hearth, Scrooge discerned a shadowed figure and sat up in alarm.
“Ebenezer Scrooge,” said the apparition, in the hope-crushing tones of a song by The Smiths. “I am come to show you that which is to come.”
“So are you come now, or still to come?” snapped Scrooge, whose equanimity, scant at best, was lessened still further through being awoken by a rather shabby and slightly transparent clerk with reproachable syntax.
“Er, I’m here now and...” the ghost looked at the ceiling and explored a tooth with a considering tongue. “I’ve got something to show you.” It proffered a rectangular object that weighed surprisingly heavy in Scrooge’s hand. “It’s really good, honest.”
Scrooge examined the artefact, the face of which glowed malevolently.
“What the Dickens is it?” he demanded, appropriately.
“It is a gateway, a portal, to the very vitals of your business,” quoth the spirit, increasing Scrooge’s irritation as quothing, in his book, was a transgression punishable by death*.
“My business, spirit, is in financial matters. In payments, trade and prosperity.”
“And does it not disturb your sleep?”
“Sleep? Bah!” spat Scrooge, coming perilously close to quothing. “My workers are distributed across the globe. Their working hours are not mine, so I must needs rouse myself before the sun to muster them and encourage the currencies that flow like energy through the veins of the world. My responsibilities are as the flood that engulfed the Earth.”
“Then, sir, witness...” said the apparition, tapping the glowing tablet with a bony digit.
“Will you stop that damnable quothing?” demanded Scrooge, watching as the luminescent picture in his hands changed shape.
The numbers that appeared on its face warmed the sunless sea of Scrooge’s heart. Here were payments that moved with the tapping of the ghost’s fingers. He recognised banks, invoices and amounts such to gladden even the spirits of an auditor.
“What is this? Tell me, kind spectre.”
“If your responsibilities are as the flood, Scrooge, then in your hand you hold the Ark and its pilot. It is a key to unlock the world, to dissolve barriers, to bestow its benison upon the needy, and to lubricate the myriad wheels and pistons of your planet’s commerce, for this is Noah. It is all this and...” the ghost held up a portentous hand, “If you can’t get back to sleep, you can play Candy Crush.”
Note: Any similarity between this characterisation of Scrooge, and any actual person such as, well, let's say Bob Blower for example, is entirely coincidental and should not be taken to imply that the introduction of the Clarency NoaH platform has enabled him to view the company's operations from the comfort of his bed. Nor should it be taken as a suggestion that the improvement in the quality of his nightly rest has at least improved his mood when he WhatsApps the rest of us at ungodly hours of the morning.
*admittedly, given the nature of the quother, this wouldn’t have been much of a deterrent