Down East 2013 ©
Charlie cracked me up the other day, did he ever! It takes a lot to get him going, but, oh mister man, he was on a tear.
“OK, so I went into the bank to cash my check today, right? I walk in, and suddenly everyone who works there is treating me like I’m their long-lost cousin. ‘Hi, Charlie!,’ like they can’t believe their luck that I come in. Frankly, I found it a little off-putting.”
See, Mahoosuc Savings Bank got taken over last month by one of them bigger banks. I won’t tell you which one. Let’s just say it has the word “bank” in its name, preceded by two letters that rhyme. And Regis and Kelly are in the commercials for it. (God, those things are terrible!)
“I go to make out the deposit slip right? And they don’t have a calendar on the table. I’m looking all over for it. Cripes, I’m thinking, now I gotta get my glasses out so’s I can read what date it is on them little calendars in the check book. This place in going to hell in a hand basket!”
“Oh,” I says, “I asked about that and Connie told me they don’t put calendars out, so you have to ask the teller what the date is. It’s supposed to ‘facilitate conversation.’”
“I’ll tell you what it facilitates: the pain in my….”
“Point taken, Charlie.”
“Then I draw Myrtle Fry as my teller. You know how crabby she is?
“Crabby is being kind.”
“But no! ‘How you doing today, Charlie?’ she says, all sweet as can be.”
“Once I got over the initial shock, I ask her how she’s doing. And she’s doing good. I’m thinking, OK, you’re good, I’m good. We’re all good. Just cash my darn check, will you? I’m on lunch break, and I’m hoping to have time to actually eat something!”
“But Myrtle continues, ‘Sure is a nice fall we’re having?’”
“Yeah, beautiful. If you could just give me a couple of fives, a ten, and the rest in twenties, that would be great, Myrtle.”
“Here you go, Charlie. Do you have anything special planned this weekend?”
“None of your business, I’m thinking. But what I say is, ‘I’ll have to check with the boss. Ida’s our social director.’”
“’I bet she’s a great one.’”
“Sweet of her to say that.” I manage to squeeze in while Charlie is taking a breath.
“’Have a nice day, Charlie,’ she says. ‘You, too, Myrtle.’ And I hightail it out of there. Honest to God, Ida, it was like Mahoosuc Savings Bank has been taken over by Pod People. You know, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’.”
“Well, Charlie, it’s a Canadian bank. You know how polite they are up there. I guess they’re all drinking the Kool-Aid.”
“It’s just not natural,” Charlie snaps. “There’s friendly, and then there’s just too friendly. I’m going to direct deposit.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here .)