Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two bank accounts

Are you kidding me? Two bank accounts? You're shitting me, right?

Typically I avoid the bank like a half-used condom in a public shower. Luckily the power of Al Gore's Superhighway has made going to the bank and waiting in teller lines a thing of the past for me but today was a rare exception to my ebanking practices. So me and Anat (girlfriend) are at the bank this morning buying some traveler's cheques for our upcoming trip. Did I mention I hate going to the bank? Today I loved going to the bank! While in-person banking is usually a boring process sucking precious minutes from my already too short day, today my time in line was well worth the wait.

While standing there talking to my bullet-proof-glass-protected bank teller I overheard a conversation at the very next window:

Teller: Hello, how may I help you?
Old crusty snob lady: I'd like to make a withdrawal
Teller: OK -- can you scan your ATM card through the reader please?
Old crusty snob lady: No - I don't have it with me.
Teller: Oh, well may I see some ID?
Old crusty snob lady: I can't believe you're treating me like this?

This is where I started paying a little more attention. At first I thought the old bag was joking around and then she started yelling.

"I have two accounts at this bank and this is how you speak to me?!" Don't lots of people have two accounts at banks -- you know, checking AND savings? Then she starts to broadcast how much she has in these accounts while yelling at the nice teller. "I have $50,000 in my accounts and you talk to me like this -- where is the complaint desk -- who do I complain too?"

At this point the absurdity was too much and I just started laughing so hard. The teller handing our request, unable to hear what was going on because of the afore-mentioned bulletproof glass asks me what was so funny so I tell her. The thing is, in order for her to hear me, I have to yell so my sonic waves can go where a copkiller bullet can't. So I tell her, "I'm laughing at this old lady over there (20 inches from me actually). She's yelling at that poor teller for no reason and being a real jerk.

At this point two things started happening -- Anat got that look on her face that she typically gets when I decide to open up my big mouth and this old lady turns to me and says, "NO REASON? Why I never?" This was great -- I didn't know real people actually ever said that." Mind you, I should have mentioned earlier, that she might not have been a real person. She sorta looked like a slightly slimmer, female version of Marlon Brando in, The Island of Doctor Moreau -- white face paint and all! I shit you not, this woman looked rough. After I made my comment, she continued rambling and complaining to herself about how rude everyone was.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised with this lady -- I live in Santa Monica, and in addition to being the home of Neo-pederast Governors, torrential desert hail storms and homicidal farmer's market shoppers, we also get our fair share of high-falutin LA snobs. I moved out to CA so I could see something different -- we sure got plenty of different out here, including a landmark that can only equate to Ben's Chili Bowl for you DCers. It's called Roscoe's Fried Chicken and Waffles and it's so damn tasty. In fact that's where I'm going right now -- to get a 1/4 chicken and two waffles. Mmmmmm mmmmmm!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Spending = Bancruptcy

A whinge before Christmas

I’m bracing myself for the commercial, hypocritical bullshit that is Christmas. Oh sorry did I say that out loud?! Anyone who knows me well knows about my long-standing hatred of the holiday season. Being in America this year, I thought I would get to avoid some of the Christmas crap. How foolish I was. On the plus side, it is reduced to one day as they don’t celebrate Boxing day. However, in true American style everything is over the top, and despite living in the ghetto (well almost) its like Vegas outside with all the twinkling fairy lights. Actually that bit I do like. I had just finished moaning to my friend Mica about it, when she whipped out the decorations, and laughed at me as I proceeded to get over excited about them. I had to explain that although I despise and loathe Christmas, I do like decorations and some Christmas songs. God damnit, I hate it when people put out flaws in my irrational hatred.

Why do I hate Christmas so? Well, it’s a nationwide hypocritical day of self indulgence. We make ourselves practically bankrupt splashing out a whole bunch of cash on presents that will end up in a thrift shop or in the back of the broom cupboard by Easter.

It’s also an emotional upheaval. Christmas has always been disappointing for me on many levels. As a child, Christmas day was spent forced to sit in stiff, uncomfortable smart clothes, making polite conversation with senile grandparents who smelt of Lily of the Valley and mothballs. Despite my begging, my parents would never play board games like the glossy families would on the adverts. Instead they would end up crashed out on the sofa, watching the James Bond movie rubbing their overfed bellies as they contemplating tackling the washing up. The age gap between my sister and me was too great to make her useful company.

Boxing day would be spent in the circus that is my dad’s side of the family. Jostling for attention from a father I hardly knew, with my half brother and sisters, while the rest of the family tried to out do each other by the elaborate way they’d wrapped and displayed their gifts. Yes, really.

And don’t get me started on New Year. As a child, it came and went with little note, my parents choosing ‘not to make a fuss’ as I slept through it. As an adult, it’s never got much better. Last year was spent celebrating it just me and Scott with a cup of tea and impending redundancy to look forward in the New Year.

But it was the first Monday back at school after the Christmas holidays which I dreaded the most.
“What did you get?” Those four words grate on my teeth and vibrate down my spine even now. It should have been water off a ducks back. But it would take me to the summer to recover from inadequacy as my friends reeled off long lists of their newly acquired wares.

So that’s why I hate Christmas. Ho fucking ho.