You can take this to the bank

Because I feel the need to complete my countdown, today is the last day of school. We have made it, battered and weary, to the finish line. Hallelujah and amen.

Now promise to remind me how anxious I was for summer in a month when I write about how I’m tired of listening to Caroline tell me she’s bored.

So yesterday I went to Smart Barre at 8:30 even though I think I’ve made it clear that I am not a fan of working out that early. It just seems cruel and doesn’t allow me the six to seven hours I prefer to wake up and function like a normal member of society.

But I had to go at 8:30 because I had to be at Field Day at Caroline’s school by 9:45. This basically consisted of an hour of watching my child play tug of war and shoot water guns at her peers while I visited with other mothers and stood in heat that would rival the surface of the sun. Except it wasn’t a dry heat. So it was maybe more like being in a dishwasher set on “SANITIZE” for an hour.

Needless to say, I was fresh as a daisy by the time it was over.

And I was meeting my friend Amy for lunch so I decided to run home and take a quick shower because I find that basic hygiene is a nice touch when lunching with friends. It’s the least I can do to not make people around me dry heave.

So I ran home, took a quick shower and met Amy. We had a lovely lunch and great conversation. Then I left there and ran by the bank because I’m homeroom mom for Caroline’s class which means I’ve spent the last two weeks of my life collecting money for various end of year things. And apparently many people still write checks.

P and I haven’t had checks for our personal checking account for at least eight years. I pay all our bills online and use a debit card or cash for everything else. This wasn’t necessarily an intentional choice to embrace online bill paying technology back in 2005 as much as it was desperation when I realized I’d forgotten to reorder checks and we had bills due. This is pretty much my standard method of adopting any sort of new technology.

For example, the only reason I ever learned how to use email was because the professor of the last class I took in college required us to turn in all our homework by email. He informed me halfway through the semester that I was on track to fail his class because I hadn’t turned in any homework. And I had to admit to him that I wasn’t sure what email even was and had only recently sent my first fax. So my dear friend Hite marched me down to the computer lab and showed me how to enter an email address and I told him email would never be widely used because the addresses were too long.

I also once declared that nothing would ever replace the cassette tape proving that I have always been very insightful.

But back to the checks, I never bothered to order them again after I discovered the beauty of paying bills online and saving all that money on stamps. And it really has worked out beautifully considering that I wasn’t above writing a check to pay for a large Coke at a convenience store. There’s really nothing that endears you to your husband as much as when he has to balance a bank account with multiple checks written for “One dollar and sixty-four cents”.

And if we ever really need a check for something, P has a business checking account. But that’s because he’s a responsible adult who remembers to order checks when they’re running low.

Anyway, I had at least twelve checks that I needed to deposit in our account yesterday. So after lunch I drove through the bank line, filled out the deposit slip and endorsed all the checks. Then I reached for the canister and dropped it. On the ground. Where it rolled. Under my car.

I attempted to get out of the car but I was too close to the pillars holding the magical thing that transports the canister to the teller. I realized I’d need to back up to open the door wide enough to get out and retrieve the canister. So I began to back up the car and that’s when I heard a loud CRUNCH. And I knew like you know when the sour cream has gone bad that it could only be the sound of a Volvo station wagon running over a plastic bank canister.

And I looked up with a deer in the headlights look as I tried to decide if I should just drive off or call the teller or join the Witness Protection Program, only to realize that the teller had been watching the whole scenario play out on the monitor.

Which is why I’m going to have to find a new bank because I can never show my face there again.

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  1. says

    I think there’s something to be thankful for in this story- that the crunch you heard was not the vehicle behind you! :)

  2. says

    I am cracking up. This is amazing. I wish I could have seen it happen and laughed as I thanked the good Lord that it wasn’t me, cause it’s totally something I would do.
    And I’m trying to eliminate checks out of my life but I always find reasons that I need them.

  3. says

    We have to have checks for various things, usually related to the government – teaching licenses and drivers licenses and the like – but I suppose I could get cashiers checks – and we also write checks for the church collection. I really hate spending money on checks though. What did the teller say?

  4. says

    I once accidentally stole the canister! I went to the bank on the way to the airport and realized later I was a thief. It got returned eventually! I wanted to avoid being on America’s Most Wanted.

    • AngAK says

      hello fellow thief! I too drove off with the canister, but I realized it as I drove off so I had to go around the block and back to the drive-up. there was someone there, waiting for the tube that wasn’t ever going to appear, so I had to get out and walk over and hand the tube to the next patron. also all on camera.

  5. Tara says

    I hate checks. Can’t remember the last one I wrote. With us moving so often, we realized we were changing addresses before we were running out of checks. So, I use my debit card & online bank. Things get especially dicey when your bank is 1000+ miles away. Now we have two banks, a mainland bank and a Hawaii bank. It’s nuts.

  6. says

    You have drive-thru banking???? Well Melanie, if you ever do fear that technology is leaving you behind, come on down to little ol’ New Zealand. We still write cheques and physically go into the bank, usually (but not always) leaving our gumboots at the door. We have a good yarn to the teller which ends with the usual, “good on ya” and then mosey on over to the chemist and the butcher and the post office to finish our business for the day. I am exaggerating slightly…we do have cds now instead of cassettes. :-)

    • says

      I like the sounds of this place! I want to return to life like That! All this and you have Kiwi too!!using checks?? never worked real well for me :)

  7. Monika says

    Cansiter Schmanister! They have more in the back, right? Or is Lane 4 now a make-shift shrine to you because it can never be used again? It doesn’t have the correct color-coded canister to go with the lane??? HA!
    At any rate, I feel like you should be commended! When you said you heard that noise I was afraid you had hit another car or that bank pole? Damage to the Volvo would be a bad thing! Flattened canister…their fault! They obviously make them too slippery!

  8. Denice says

    My favorite line? “And I knew like you know when the sour cream has gone bad…” Girl, you make me laugh every day! I have dropped the canister before, but thankfully, never ran over it. :)

  9. says

    I am cracking up!! That would SO be something that would happen to me. I thought the crunch was going to be you hitting something… at least it was only the canister!

  10. Kim says

    Look – I work in banking and trust me, you made that teller’s day! You gave her the story of the week, maybe even the year. And DO NOT change banks. I’m not sure when you last opened a bank account, but thanks to the federal government, it is a pain in the rear end now to go to a new bank. Besides, all the employees at this bank will know you now. You’ll probably never have to show your ID again.

    And, if they didn’t have a spare cannister in the back, they were not prepared!

  11. says

    Well, I hope you got your checks back. You sound very “blonde” to me – forgive the analogy all you blondes! LOL I took a trip down memory lane by reading your blog. Like remembering when I was introduced to “e-mail”…it was back when I was working for Sears in the 80’s and my supervisor was telling me and showing me all about “electronic mail”. It was over a decade later before I knew what the term “snail mail” meant.

    We still write checks…kinda paranoid about paying bills online. But, bill paying is primarily all we use them for. Debit or Cash for everything else. I am much older than you are…so I still have fond affection for many “old fashioned” ways. I like the convenience of writing a letter to someone via e-mail, but for older familly members like my mom (snail mail) is still my only option. In fact, I just wrote her a nice long letter for her 89th birthday. She has never sat down in front of a computer and hasn’t a clue.

  12. Cheryl L. says

    You are too funny……I am a retired bank teller….and I can tell you that teller has most likely seen that same exact thing happen before…..people dropping the tubes, people running over said tube, people hitting the poles, people driving off with the tubes……if the teller sits there long enough, she will have seen it all…….ha, ha….so while to you it was a MAJOR thing….to that teller, if she has any time in the teller line, she has seen it before!!!!….ha, ha… that doesn’t mean you won’t be remembered by that teller…ha, ha….but you know, everybody gets remembered for some reason or another…ha, ha…..

  13. says

    Oh, I have done just that. But my mother can top even that. She drove to my house once after going to the bank. In the passenger seat was that plastic tube. She forgot to PUT IT BACK!

  14. Melissa H says

    I hated to laugh at your story, but I did.

    I once put several rolls of coins in the cannister and it jammed up en route to the teller, who then pointed out to me that it was clearly written right in front of my face DO NOT PLACE ROLLS OF COINS IN THE CANNISTER. So embarrassed!

  15. Janet says

    Yes. And then you could try to move out of the drive-up lane, forgetting that there is a concrete divider, turn the car too early and end up hung up on said divider, resulting in a frantic call to your next door neighbor’s father, asking him to come rescue her. Which actually happened to my next door neighbor.

  16. Joni says

    I did it too – ran over that stupid plastic box from the bank drive-thru. And it was dead as a boot too, I know this because I got out of my car, picked it up and held it when i asked the teller if she wanted me to bring it inside. She just sat there looking at me as if I had two heads so I shrugged, said guess not and drove away. Thankfully it was at a branch I seldom use, and likely never will again.

  17. Colorado says

    You do know that the bank has everything on video survellance camera, right? You may have to change banks!

  18. Maryella says

    LOL…as a techy challenged old lady…I love it…just tried to subscribe to your email list and can’t seem to get my “usename” and password to match…duh??

  19. Wendy C. says

    YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! I so needed the laugh this morning, so THANK YOU for providing it!

  20. Terry says

    O. M. G. You totally need to change banks. But I am so relieved it wasn’t another car you backed into!!! But the teller. O. M. G.

  21. says

    Oh my word! This is so funny! These are the kind of situations I find myself in on a regular basis. I tend to think I’m the only one… I guess not:).

  22. Steph B. says

    And that is why I ALWAYS go to the first lane, with the slide out drawer thing, even if it’s 6 cars deep and the “canister” lanes are empty. I have canister anxiety andyou have helped solidify my mindset that its worth waiting for the drawer.
    Oh, and I have toll anxiety too. I once dropped two of the 4 quarters I was supposed to “toss” into the toll”cone”. I had NO OTHER change so I had to get out off my car and fetch the two quarters under it while cars were lining up behind me. MORTIFYING. So much for having exact change…..
    Read your book, LOVED it, gave it to my sis-in- law. Enjoy your summer:)

  23. Lauren says

    Laughing so hard!!!! And had to read the end of this to my family! My youngest piped in, “did she find a new bank?” :)
    Oh my goodness, you are hilarious. And this sounds like something I would do. LOL

  24. says

    When I was much younger, I used to work for credit union, in the drive thru. We used to see people roll over the canisters, drive off with the canisters, some of them would bring them back days later with who the heck knows what inside, some would also use them to send in an empty coke can asking us to throw it away. I must say though the one I remember the most was when a canister was sent back in and a cloud of smoke came pouring out of the canister which included several rolls of coins and a small baggie full of what looked like the herb oregano. After that the three of us were working were a little light headed, but apparently so was the driver because they left with out their money and their little baggie.

  25. Amy says

    I can’t remember if you bank at Frost, but I just discovered that you can deposit checks with your iPhone. It is awesome — you download their app, take a picture of the front and back of the check, and that is it!! I have deposited many $10 checks for various end of year/season stuff this way. It is brand new so don’t feel like you are behind the times. I have been telling everyone about it because it has made my life so much better since I never remember to go to the bank. Also, I drove off with the canister once so I totally understand.

    • Kimberly/OKC says

      Ooooh! Thanks for telling how that works! I wondered ever since I saw it on a commercial. I figured out how to download Candy Crush Saga so I guess I could figure out how to download the bank app. That would really help out on Sunday evenings when I look at my online banking and realize I’m overdrawn and I better get something deposited before any check bounces which happens to me every 3rd Sunday!!!

  26. Krystal says

    You had me at the first line… TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!! Mine too!! The rest of the story was great as well, but really doesn’t compare. :)

  27. Kathleen says

    I did the very same thing. I was sooooo embarrassed and I actually cancelled my account at that bank and went somewhere else where they wouldn’t know that I could be destructive in the drive through lane…. not that I intentionally dropped the plastic container. It just slipped, rolled and then came to a crunching end! You are not alone in this sister!!!

  28. Melanie says

    I love reading your blog! Don’t leave us hanging – so what happened next?!

  29. Jill says

    Ok, so I never, ever, ever comment on blogs because, I mean…who cares what I think? But this was absolutely hysterical! Things like this happen to me so often that I could almost swear that we were sisters in another life. :) You go sis!

  30. says

    Ah, the lovely crunching sound of a canister! I worked at a bank for 20 years, and witnessed my fair share of canister demolitions. It would have been a much worse thing if you had backed into the car behind you or into the pillar that houses the air unit! I’ve seen both things happen.

  31. Courtney says

    Your line “I knew like you know when the sour cream has gone bad” reminded me of one of the interviewees on When Harry Met Sally describing meeting her husband for the first time, “And I knew. The way you know about a good melon.”


  32. jcarr0728 says

    The first thing is that I’ve always wondered how you tell that the sour cream has gone bad. I mean, it’s already sour, right? Second thing is that I think I have you beat on the embarrassing event in the bank drive-thru line. As I was turning into the line, I sideswiped the metal box with the extra forms in it. Unfortunately, my van got hung up on the box and I couldn’t go forward or backward. I had to get out of the van and go to the window to ask the guy to come out and help me. I’ll never forget the look of horror on his face when he walked around the van and saw what I had done to my automobile! It looked like I had opened the side with a can opener.

  33. Beverly W. says

    I look forward every day to your blog. Your banking adventure really struck home as my daughter had a very similar experience…..but add rain & high heels! Thanks for entertaining me with your blog & I also enjoyed Sparkly Green Earrings!

  34. says

    I hate going to deposit checks, but my bank as a phone app where I can just take a picture of the check (front and back) and deposit it that way! Might help you avoid the shame of seeing that teller again and you can deposit right from the comfort of your couch!

  35. Christine says

    So funny and so glad it wasn’t the bumber of your Volvo crunching the bumper of another car. I’m sure the teller has seen this happen before and wasn’t even phased. Wouldn’t it be funny if she has a blog with a ticker of how many times she’s seen one those cylinders dropped, crushed, what have you? :) and what about “the rest of the story”? How did you deposit the checks? Don’t leave us hanging….

  36. Denise says

    See if your bank has an app that allows you to use your smartphone to take a picture of checks and deposit them without ever needing to go to the bank. Or you could deposit them in the ATM machine. I gave up the drive-thru a long time ago, and yes, I did drive off with the tube once.

  37. says

    I think you feel about the bank, the same way I feel about the Post Office. I hate going! But yes definitely see if your bank has an app for depositing checks by taking a picture of it, people sometimes pay me in checks (hairstylist) and I love not having to go to the bank! Good luck with Summer vaca, my kiddos start theirs next week and all I am looking forward to is sleeping in!

  38. says

    Oh, your bank canister thing has me cracking up!! So, so funny! Now I’m totally curious…how did the story end? Drive off? Tell the teller? Quick ATM run?

    I am with on adopting new technology only as needed. Even when I do, I’m pretty sure it will “never last” and is not at all necessary. I thought a camera on a phone was a dumb idea. Why would you ever need that? ( I currently have over 1,000 pictures on my iPhone.) I also thought texting was useless. Why type when you can just talk? (I even get text messages from both my parents now.)

    If I say something is useless or will “never make it” techonolgy-wise, you should probably go invest stock in it.

  39. says

    Upon seeing J. Lo’s very first video ever “If You Had My Love,” I loudly declared that she would never be anything big.

    So I’m with you on that whole insightful thing.

  40. says

    Oh, how I have missed you while I was in Thailand. It feels so good to laugh. Thank you for sharing all your mishaps so that I don’t feel so alone in life. Amy

  41. Sue Jones says

    I am laughing out loud. Not to long ago I actually took the canister from my bank with me to Walmart……where upon reaching for my purse realized I forgot to PUT IT BACK!!! So I had to turn around and return it to the bank. I felt so DUMB! LOL But they told me it happens all the time. Either they were lying or they felt sorry for me.

  42. EmmaLee says

    This was particularly hysterical to me because my parents have always had their own business and driven suburbans! Bad combo when you have lots of deposits and a smaller drive thru with a long vehicle ! Everyone(5) in my family has clipped the concrete pole! Our two FAvs : my mom in her new suburban who always judged but had never hit it crunch in the new ride and my brothers bank day of shame! My father made him return for the parts of our suburban as tellers looked on(wonderful since he had to drive thru, announce he was back, get out, retrieve parts and exit)

  43. Brenda says

    I’m glad people are schooling you in how to deposit with your phone. I love it! It saves me time and embarrassment. One time, I was rockin’ out to a Wayne Watson song on my cassette player in my cool Honda Civic while I waited for the teller to count the deposit from the business I worked for. By rockin’ out, I mean, “Singing at the top of my lungs.” I thought she had the microphone thingy turned off so I was in my own little world. When the song was over, I turned to see what was taking her so long. Apparently, all the tellers had gathered around to listen to me sing! It wasn’t because it was good, either. I refused to take the deposit to the bank after that.

  44. Tina Harrell says

    Bahaha, I had to change dentists because I threw up from the laughing gas. It is just a simple matter of pride. Good luck with a new bank!

  45. Merri Jo says

    I read this as I’m sitting in a pedicure chair–there are several women looking at me like they’re afraid I may be contagious–I am laughing and SNORTING like an inebriated hyena!!
    Thanks for a great laugh! Sorry it’s at your expense 😉

  46. LeslieR. says

    I was singing praises this morning for me and my classroom of 3rd grade kiddos because we TOTALLY understand the countdown to June 6th! THEN the thunderstorm(with a LOT of lightning) blew in and put a big stop on outside fun day AND blew-out a transformer= NO ELECTRICITY + indoor plumbing issues… It took way more than my normal sonic happy hour drink to recover!!

  47. says

    So funny! And I still have a cassette player AND tapes!
    I also still have my 8-track player with record player on top and I so wanted to buy some 8-tracks that I saw at a garage sale!
    Have a great weekend!

  48. April says

    It’s so great to be able to come here and read your blog and start my day with laughter! Thank you!