Spotted in the Newcastle Journal of 5th July 2013… a letter from one Arnold Laing of Newcastle –
Twice in recent days I have been approached in a Newcastle street and asked for 41p.
Does this figure have some special meaning ?
Its a shame it wasn’t 42p, because as I’m sure we all know, 42 is, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything“, calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately no one remembers what the question is.
But it wasn’t 42. So what significance 41 ?
Not much, it seems. It’s the international direct dialing code for Switzerland, but its probably pushing credibility to suggest that the beggars of Newcastle are making coded references to their Swiss bank accounts.
It’s an odd number to ask for, especially as it would require a number of coins – three minimum – when it would be so much easier all round to request 50p and get it (if lucky) in one coin.
So maybe its just one of those random bits of weird shit that happen…well, just because they can.