Monday, May 22, 2006

Counting money is fun

I love little kids. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. If I’m at a party or a cookout, and there are little kids around, chances are I’m with them, playing games or chasing them around the yard like a lunatic. If anything, I’m the anti-W.C. Fields. Fields said to never work with kids or animals. Me, half the time, I’d just as soon be with the kids and the pets as I would be with the adults.

All of this is basically a long-winded approach to let you know I like kids and I’m pretty darn patient with them.

Unless the little kid is in front of me in a mini-van at the ATM drive-through lane trying to use the ATM machine.

Which brings me back about a week or two, coming home from work and stopping at the local ATM so I can get $20 for pizza and beer. Very important stuff, that pizza and beer, patient as I am, you do not want to screw around for too long with making me wait for it. So I pull behind the aforementioned mini-van, and for a minute or two, I don’t notice any thing out of the ordinary. I’m pretty good with that, the being patient. Or the zoning out. Take your pick.

Eventually, though, even I will get fidgety with staying in one place for too long a time. I look up, and notice that instead of Mom or Dad getting the money from the machine, they’re letting little Johnny press the buttons. I’m all for teaching little Johnny about math, or responsibility, or avoiding $2 transaction fees, or whatever, but little Johnny is taking way too long. Five minutes later, he’s still leaning out the window, tapping away at the keys on the machine.

“For the love of God, just get the kid an Easy-bake ATM machine and let him do this at home,” I scream at the mini-van. Well, scream in my head.

Finally, after another two minutes, little Johnny has finally ducked back into the van after having successfully transferred his family’s 401K into a Roth IRA, or whatever the hell he was doing. I put my car back into drive and start to put my foot on the gas, but the mini-van still isn’t moving. Apparently, Mom and Dad are letting little Johnny reconcile the friggin’ checkbook before they go any further.

Please, please, please, when I have kids, do not let me put everyone else’s life on hold because my child is the most wondiferously splentastic thing in the world. “Do you know what little three-year old Junior Swift did today? He went to the bank and applied for a mortgage all by himself. Can you believe he’s such a clever little man.”

Eventually, after all the money is counted and little Johnny has put all the $20 bills in order by serial number and issue date, I make it to the ATM. By this time, I am so famished and disoriented by a lack of pizza and beer, I accidentally hit the Spanish language instructions when I try to get out my $20. Somehow, I manage to get the right amount of money without my entire account going loco.
Aren’t I just so smart?

And I’m only 36.


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