Monday, April 18, 2011

Dumb Stories

This afternoon, at a slow point in my work day, I called my mom's branch and quickly made the decision to pretend to be a man. She answered, "Thank you for calling [so-and-so] bank. This is Sally Mc–"
"Hello," I said gruffly.
"Hello" I said, my pitch still lowered.
There was irritation in the air. She was speechless.
"This is me," I announced in my real voice.

She said she really had thought I was a man and had been getting ready to hang up on me. I was pleased that my trick worked. She usually doesn't fall for things like that.


My mom and I went out to do errands this evening while it was still light, and in the car, we discussed our days at our respective branches. I enjoy talking with my mom about the bank, detailing my brushes with the age-old client-archetypes. She gets a kick out of hearing about my encounters with the types of clients she’s encountered her whole time as a banker. When I begin one of the stories, she says, “Ohhh yeah. I’ve seen that one before.”

So, as we were pulling up to a stoplight, I started telling her about this young guy who came in today, and then, I thought I saw the guy in question, sitting shotgun in the next lane. I could only see him from behind, so I leaned forward to try to see his face. His friends must have tipped him off because he began glancing back. I got a good look at his face, his black Kouture cap (it wasn’t the guy); by then, he was glowing, grinning at me. Absolutely glowing, he blew a kiss. I blew a kiss back. He winked. I winked back. The light turned green, and as he was swept away in a U-turn, he turned completely around, waving profusely. I liked this encounter because it wasn’t cheesy, like ‘I’m hitting on you.’ He looked so loving, open, gleeful (as opposed to sly).


I was working at the bank a few days ago, and a couple came through the drive through. I processed their transaction–quickly and accurately, as I’m supposed to–and I saw, in a brief glance, a big dog sitting in the back seat. I stuffed a dog biscuit* in the box with their receipt, but then, I quickly removed the biscuit when I took a second look at the dog and realized it was actually a grey jacket, the Saturday morning dry cleaning pick-up, swathed in plastic.

Observation powers to the max.

This is apparently my first reaction to inanimate objects: to mistake them for animals. I've done this before–with plastic bags skittering in the wind (“Look, Mom–it’s a terrier!”) or a white tuft of litter far ahead on the path (I approach softly, thinking I’m approaching a rabbit). Today, as I was passing Walmart, I thought, for a split second, the black car part tumbling towards the median was a possum. At least they say when you see things in nothing you must be creative.

At least I caught myself before delivering the bone-shaped treat to my clients, who had dry cleaning but no dog. The couple really would have wondered. I would have tittered it off, “Oh, whoops (hee hee). I mistook your dry cleaning for a Great Dane," and they would have driven away thinking, “I can’t believe space cases like that handle our money.”

*For those who aren’t in-the-banking-know, tellers hand out lollipops to chillies and biscuits to canines. So, when I see a dog in a car, I stick a biscuit in the drive through box. Blondie didn't know this until I started working at the bank.

Guatemala. Summer 2009.

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties.
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile,
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes."

1 comment:

  1. I laughed thinking about you walking to the litter rabbit.