Did you transfer that yet, Mam?”

Rory, my youngest, is looking for money again. He’s supposed to be Zooming into lectures, but he doesn’t bother his barney. I preferred when he was living away from home. At least then I could pretend he was doing some bit of work.

“Where’s your PUP money?”

“I’m investing it, Mam.”

“Tell me honestly now. If you’re on drugs, you’d better get off them fairly lively. I don’t want gangsters coming around here threatening me – and we’re only just after getting the doorhandle fixed.”

“Oh my sweet summer child, Mam. No. Skitchy is hooking me up with some big financial plays.”

Skitchy Ryan is his best friend. A pure shaper. Always at some fly-by-night effort. He has a garage full of Mongolian PPE he got off the back of a lorry. They reckon the cousin he has in the HSE hushed it all up.

“What does Skitchy Ryan want with my €100?”

“Skitchy has the inside track on a new crypto.”

“Crypto? Like the tricky crossword?”

“No, Mam. Cryptocurrency. Have you even heard of Bitcoin?”

“I’ve heard of loose change. Is it the same thing?”

“No Mam,” he sighs.

“I’ll give you your birthday money early and you can shag off after that. You’re not the Prodigal Son, so there’s no fat calf for you this time.”

“Only your own ones, Mam.”

He gets away before I can flake him with the tea towel. I tell him I’ll think about it, next time I’m in the bank.

He’s having none of this.

“Give me your phone, Mam, and I’ll take you out of the dark ages.”

And, there he is, tapping away doing Godknowswhat and 10 minutes later he gives a big shout. “Yeet!” He says. “You’re up on GenZ-Pay, Mam”.

He gives me a big explanation of how GenZ-Pay is the future of banking and how I can manage my stocks and shares and my “crypto, if I want to make that play” and how I’m such a sheep for even having a chequebook. I send him €50 for a bit of peace after he talks me through the steps. I swear I’ll be staying away from this GenZ-Pay anyway. I don’t like money on my phone.

Well, never let it be said there wasn’t a mess Ann Devine didn’t manage to step in. Because two weeks later, all I’m getting is emails from the bleddy thing.

Confirming trade, it says.

Portfolio Reports it says another time.

When my worry gets the better of my pride, I get Rory to check my phone. He makes a humming noise.

“Mam, did you get any emails from DHL during the last while?”

I start blushing.

“I did.”

“What did you do?”

“I did what I was told. It took me into some sort of a screen and I clicked choose on something but I got lost, then, and I had to go out and go back into that young people’s bank thing and... Ah I don’t know what I did…”

Already I know I’ve done something stupid.

“You fell for a scam. They send out emails pretending to be from DHL. They get you to go to a screen that looks like GenZPay and you buy shares that aren’t worth a shite.”

The blood drains out me face and I have to lean on the back the chair.

“Oh no, Rory... What have I done? How much did I lose?”

He’s laughing now in a sort of a half-daft way.

“I don’t know how you managed it, Mam, but when you get spammed like this, you’re supposed to go to a fake website and they take your money. But Steve Bob-a-Jobs here goes into her own GenZ-pay and buys actual crypto.”

That word again. What I’d give to just have a purse of tenners and a list on an envelope for the messages and I’d be fine and happy.


But he ignores me, takes out his phone and rings someone.

“Skitchy, Rors here. Change of plan. I’ve got a new investment adviser. Mam just made a 3,000% return on ArseCoin in a fortnight.”

He turns to me.

“Now Mam. What’s our next move in crypto?”

“Nowhere Rory. I’m better off with the crossword.“