Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Always pay your marble bills
More bloody marble. This bit is a little too large to pop into the back of the car, so I will have to go back to the Forest in a truck to collect it - when I have finished chopping up the other bit of white bloody marble.
It is very expensive, of course, but almost worthless when it is sitting as part of a mountain in Italy, waiting to be pulled out. The more it is handled (and it takes some handling) the more valuable it becomes, so by the time I have finished with it, you can stick an extra few zeros on to the end of the bill.
The man who imported it goes to Italy all the time, and he told me a few stories about the world of marble which, as you might imagine, is completely controlled by Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, the Sopranos and all the other personas in those dramas. You don't expect to get a better deal by going to a quarry just down the road from the other.
Some years ago, a big London marble dealer was asked - very politely - to settle his outstanding account with an Italian quarry, to whom he owed quite a lot over a period of time. He ignored the final demand.
Then he went back to Italy to visit some more quarries (big mistake) and his brakes failed on a mountain pass, sending him and his car over the edge.
When the news of this accident arrived in England, everyone in the marble world here began to check all their invoices to make sure they had not forgot to pay one of them through some simple, clerical oversight. They were all paid within 24 hours, and then paid promptly thereafter.