Twelve years ago to the day, on 7th January 1999, a spoof letter, allegedly sent by a customer to their bank, appeared on page 11 of the Queensland Courier Mail. The letter purported to be a sarcastic response to the increasing automation of the bank's customer services, demanded that the bank henceforth contact them via the customer's own automated telephone system using a PIN, and the story that accompanied it claimed that the manager of the bank liked the letter so much he had forwarded it to the paper.
The story is not, of course, true. The letter is a spoof, and Snopes.com debunked it at some length back in 2003 when it resurfaced as an Internet meme and floated around on email for a few days. It has since been attributed to the Guardian and a variety of other newspapers, but the most recent manifestation of the letter doing the rounds today on Twitter claims it was written by a 98-year-old woman and published in the New York Times. Apart from updating the imaginary customer's age from 96 to 98 (a strange way of reflecting the passage of some eight years) the letter has barely changed in more than a decade, but it's nice to see Twitter giving it a chance to celebrate its birthday.
(Photo from Ardfern on Wikimedia Commons)