Today was another adventure in paradise. My wife was feeling much better and since we had to go to the bank, she decided to return to driving. That is married driving, which all married men understand because that means I do the mechanical part while she provides instructions like “you’re going too fast” “watch that car” “turn here” while I provide the yelling. Nevertheless, we arrive at the bank with only a minimum number of threats of divorce. We live in a small town so our bank is small and VERY conservative. You know right away that this is a conservative bank because the metal detectors are on the exits rather than the entrance. No one is walking out of there with any money if they can help it. If you think an opium addict suffers from withdrawals you should see these people.
On this particular day we had deposits to make, to set up an automatic deposit of our social security checks, and to meet with our financial advisor who makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like Bernie Madoff – or maybe it’s “he makes Bernie Madoff look like Scrooge – I’m not sure. But first we elected to eat a cookie which is considered part of our interest payment – in fact given their interest rates that might be the entire interest. Unfortunately the clerk – Ms Darling -- who usually handles our deposits wasn’t there so a new clerk – Ms Ditzy -- attempted to help us. This didn’t go well because there were too many checks going into too many accounts with money being transferred into accounts and between accounts sort of like the old shell game – now you see it – now you don’t – guess which account is overdrawn!!. So after several attempts to explain what we wanted, we split up with the wife moving on to another clerk – Mr Helpful -- to set up the automatic deposit. The government assures us that this is a simple procedure (insert wild laughter) so you can guess how well this went..
Mr Helpful – who knows us and should have known the result -- made the mistake of telling my wife that this could be done on line. As soon as I heard him say that I knew that was like waving a red flag to a bull and quickly ducked under my chair, thus totally distracting Ms Ditzy but avoiding any thrown objects as my wife explained what she thought of the federal government, their expectations and their abuse of senior citizens. This harangue caused Ms Ditzy to lose her place and we had to start the entire depositing process from the beginning while reversing what had already been done. I didn’t comment as she crumpled up the deposit slips and notes and hurled them against the partition separating us from the social security discussion going on at high volume next to us.
During this growing circus like atmosphere our financial advisor arrived with a merry smile, good humor and a friendly greeting. He quickly determined that maybe this wasn’t the best time as my wife incorporated him into the discussion of government incompetence and abuse of senior citizens. Seeing any hope of a commission vanishing before his eyes he retreated to his office as our usual teller—Ms Darling arrived and began to give orders like a drill sergeant. She immediately directed Mr Helpful – to be helpful and call the social security hot line and masquerade as my wife. This was a government office and they wouldn’t know a citizen from an elephant so it wouldn’t matter that he was neither a female nor my wife. A newly hired clerk (Ms WTF) who had been watching these events with wide eyes and open mouth was told to handle the deposits, while Ms Ditzy was instructed to handle the money transfers, while Ms Darling supervised. We were then dismissed to meet with Mr Madoff our financial advisor.
Mr Madoff immediately launched into his magic act using magic words apparently gleaned from the Business Channel, spiced with key words from the Weather channel and COPs while shaking his head and looking grim. After checking all of our investments and assuming the expression one usually associates with an undertaker, he shook his head and said that he needed another $10,000 if there was any hope of salvaging our future. So I shuffled out and informed Ms Ditzy that I needed to withdraw $10,000 immediately, which caused her to fall over her computer in tears while Ms Darling wrote the check after re-computing all of the deposits just completed by Ms WTF. The check was then handed to Mr Madoff who tucked into his briefcase so fast you might have thought it was written in invisible ink. So we left the office to a round of applause and cheers from the entire staff. But just as we were about to leave the alarms went off , the cheering stopped, and Ms Darling announced in a hysterical voice “OH MY GOD – we accidently deposited $24,000 into your checking account. We immediately dashed for the exist and thus ended our banking adventure.