Bet you can’t read THIS to the end…….. you won’t believe it….
We started out trying to get out of town for the day to take care of some business. Tommy’s car needed 2 tires put on (it’s been sitting for 4 weeks) so we were going to drop by the tire shop on the way out of town. BUT because it has been sitting so long, the tires needed air and one of them was completely flat. So that delayed our start. We have a little plug in compressor and managed to get the rims off the ground. Then we found some fix-a-flat in the house and blew up the flat one.
We drove 5 miles to the closest town and stopped at a gas station to fill up the tires. Air pump doesn’t work. Drove down the road to a second gas station – air pump doesn’t work. Third and last gas station in town – air pump doesn’t work. So we tried filling the tires up with that little plug in compressor (plugged into the van) only to blow fuse after fuse in the van. So we gave up and decided to drive the 13 miles to Shelbyville on half inflated tires.
We made it to the shop and dropped off the car. The mechanic said they could have it done in 30 minutes. We stopped by Goodwill and leisurely shopped for 30 minutes. We got back to the shop to find the car jacked up but no new tires. Apparently my husband’s tires have a lock on them??? He had to give them a special key (I didn’t even know such a thing existed) to unlock the wheels so they could change the tires. THEN we had to wait another 30 minutes. Might as well grab some lunch at Taco Bell. We got back to pick up the car and for the very first time, pull straight into the parking lot (we had parked on the side earlier) only to find a HUGE sign out front “CASH only – NO EXCEPTIONS.” Okay – no biggie, right? We’ll just run over to the ATM and get the cash.
Ummmmm….. I haven’t used an actual ATM for over a decade and I have no idea what my pin is. So we drove to the other side of Shelbyville to my Fifth Third branch. I walked in, fill out the withdrawal slip, walk up to the counter only to be told I couldn’t get any money. What??? The computers were down. They couldn’t take deposits, make any withdrawals… nothing. Seriously? So I asked if I could wait a few minutes (and pray fervently that God would somehow restore the magical powers of the computers so I could get some money and get our car!!!) and they said it had been down for hours. Hmmmmmmm……. When I asked if I could cash a check, she said (now listen carefully to see if THIS makes sense to YOU) – I could take the check to another bank and they could cash it for me but that Fifth Third couldn’t cash a check since I had an account there with them. WahhhHuh? Feeling completely dumbfounded and frustrated, I asked her to repeat herself 2 more times – I thought I was losing my mind – seriously? Can’t cash a check at my own bank??? She told me to go to the bank in Wal-Mart. (Remember, by this time, we were supposed to be heading out of town 3 hours earlier.)
I got out to the van where my husband and children were patiently waiting. I told my husband the computers were down and we couldn’t get any money. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. I was beginning to feel like I had. We went through the kids’ savings envelopes I keep in my wallet, dug through our wallets, change bins, looked between seats… and found a whopping fifty two dollars! But the bill was sixty dollars. I needed a measly eight bucks.
I drove to Wal-Mart and walked into the Citizens National Bank. They were incredibly nice and told me they couldn’t cash a check unless I had an account there or the check was drawn on an account there. Sure. Sounds about right at this point. What now?
Just an observation: when you raise your voice and yell “I need to get some money!” in front of a bank teller’s window, people tend to take notice. As I saw security guards, a loss prevention specialist and a big guy yielding a large mop handle head my way, I quickly lowered my voice and told them our situation and asked if they had any other ideas. The amazingly sweet girl behind the counter smiled and calmed my would-be attackers. Then she told me I could get $20 cash back when I make a purchase at Wal-Mart.
Okay – so I go buy chocolate. That’s EXACTLY what I need right now. Chocolate. Lots of it. Then I tried to use my debit card. I always use it as a credit so I don’t know the debit pin (SHUT UP – I KNOW I should probably know my passwords but I don’t – OKAY??? That’s not the point of this story…….) So the cashier asked me if I had any actual checks on me. Well, yes… yes, I did. She said if I made a minimum purchase, she could use the check for my transaction and I could get $20 back. I started throwing chocolate on the counter – Reese’s, Reese’s Big Cup, Reese’s White Eggs, 3 Musketeers, oh… and a game of Uno….. I told her to tell me when I reached my minimum purchase. She stopped me somewhere before I got to the lighter that looks like a gun, this week’s issue of TV Guide and the doggie finger nail polish….
She wished me luck and handed me back a receipt, a bag full of chocolate and a beautiful (and I do mean stunningly beautiful), green, crisp, clean, (seriously, it almost glowed) $20 bill. I wanted to sing the “Hallelujah!” chorus but if you’ve ever heard me sing – you’ll know why I chose not to – I’d hate to scare their customers away.
I walked out of the line towards the bank up to the front clutching my beautiful $20 bill for dear life. I see the bank teller who had recommended this solution standing, clapping and cheering for my sweet victory! “Go get your car girl!” she shouts to me!
I march, rather proud and determined out of that store, opened the van door and slung the bag of chocolate towards my husband. He didn’t know if it was a “Duck! She’s mad, she’s got chocolate, and she may hurt someone!” kind of throw or a “Yeah, baby! I have money AND I scored some chocolate!” kind of throw. Either way, the flying 5 pound bag of various chocolates and the game of Uno missed his head by only centimeters. He may have nightmares.
So, nearly five hours after we began our trip out of town today, we returned to the shop. We handed the mechanic $60 cash– consisting of a bunch of folded, crumpled one dollar bills and ONE beautiful $20. We got in our separate vehicles, and DROVE HOME! Out of town business will have to wait until another day!
By the way, the place in Shelbyville is WONDERFUL – just remember, they require CASH only. Anybody got $52 – I gotta pay back my kids!