The Lost Art Of Brown Enveloping

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THE advent of online banking and offshore accounts has ruined the noble art of glad-handing and bribery, according to a new report that reminisces fondly on the days that when you wanted something done, you first had to make a trip to the stationery store.



“If I wanted to get a politician to grant me planning permission today, I’d have to get one of my grandkids to do that whole cryptocurrency, dark web transaction craic. Back in the day, it was much more personal,” said one aging property developer we spoke to, enjoying his retirement in luxury despite being officially declared bankrupt.

“People always say ‘brown envelope’, but any colour would do and you’d stuff it full of cash. You kids have probably never smelled five grand in twenties, have you? Amazing smell. Then you’d ring the guy. Not text, ring, and arrange to meet him someplace, and then the switch was made. He wouldn’t even count it because he knew you and knew he was dealing with an honest guy”.

Although the art of physical brown enveloping may have died off during the economic disaster when the birth of the smartphone meant it was too risky and traceable to actually meet with the person you were bribing, many purists still to this day forgo the much easier, much more untraceable world of offshore banking for that thrill of a wad of money in your overcoat pocket.

“It’s a muscle memory – you never lose it” said one former politician we spoke to who can still get things done for the right price. 

“You never put your hand out for it, you just take it when it’s offered. Never discuss the business there and then, just talk about golf or the weather. Then walk away with it. It’s an artform you cannot teach it. 

“Some younger politicians today, if you gave them an envelope it’d be like handing a child a slinky. Only us old timers are keeping the skill alive, and soon we’ll be gone. Then all bribery is going to be online, which I think is a shame”.

Further investigation into the decline of brown enveloping has shown that it’s been years since a politician has asked their tailor to make extra-large overcoat pockets, just another economic casualty of regulation gone mad. 

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