Antique Embarrassment

The Bank

When I woke up the other day, there were no obvious indicators that the banking industry had it in for me. So I got out of bed.

After breakfast, Sean and I set out on a few errands.  Our first stop was the bank.  I very seldom go to the bank any more, but I had a check that needed to be deposited and it was easier to zip through the drive through lane as we were out and about, rather than mailing it.  Or so I thought.

I pulled into the drive-through and prided myself that I had managed to pull close enough to the “tube thing” to reach it.  It seems that most of the time, I position the car too far away and then I have to unfasten my seatbelt, raise myself up just so and then hang out the window to grab the tube. And then do it all again to put the tube back in and send it away. And then do it a third time to retrieve the contents of the tube. And then a fourth time to put the tube back in place for the next banking customer.  Banking yoga – it works the glutes, quads, triceps and stretching; develops that inner core strength we all need.

So I easily reach out my car window and grab the tube.  I give the teller a little knowing wink and nod because even though I can’t see her, I can tell by the way she said “goodmorninghowareyou” that she is in awe of my pulling up to the tube thing skills.

I set the tube in my lap, twist off the top, tuck in my check and deposit slip, easily slip it back into its alcove and send it on its way.  The teller does her thing and in minutes, the tube has returned.  I reach out to welcome the tube back. The window magically slides open and I grab the tube.  But the tube slips from my hand.  It bounces one time and then rolls onto the ground where it wobbles back and forth for a second before deciding to make a run for it.  And then it rolls out of sight and under the car.

But because I have with such great care and expertise pulled up so close to the “tube thing” — I can’t open my car door to see where it went.

Being an expert at Banking Yoga, I unfasten my seatbelt and lean out the window to see what I can see.

The tube has rolled under the car and is resting behind the front tire.

No problem.  I will pull forward a little, jump out and get the tube.  But every time I pull forward, the little tube pulls forward.  I can’t go backwards because not only would that crush the tube, but I would have to some how get a message to the car behind me to back up and I happened to have left my bullhorn at home.

Now, it is on occasions such as this, that having a five-year-old in the backseat  is immensely helpful. It is immensely helpful when one is busy humiliating oneself in front of strangers to have a five-year-old in the back seat asking repeatedly, “Mommy what are you doing? Mommy why did you throw the tube on the ground? Mommy, what’s happening?”

The teller, being the alert banking professional that she is, notices that something has gone awry.  She gets on the loud speaker (aptly named because it can be heard in three counties) to inquire.  “Ma’am, are you having a problem?” she blasts.

Unfortunately, in my attempt to retrieve the tube, I’ve moved my car far enough ahead that I now have to roll down and shout out of my back window.  “Um, yes, I guess you could say that,” I holler in confession to her and all the other drive through banking customers.

“I seem to have dropped the tube and now it’s under my car and I can’t get it because I can’t get out of the car and I can’t back up and I can’t go forward, which is the story of my life, and I have a five-year-old in the back and he doesn’t understand and I’m on the last day of my estrogen patch and I’m having trouble and the tube… ITS ON THE GROUND and I’m trapped in my car!”

“Okay, ma’am, wait right there, don’t go anywhere,” she says, even though I felt I had made it clear I couldn’t go anywhere and that was exactly the problem.

Like the fairy Godmother in Cinderella minus the wand, the teller magically appears in a vapor of sparkles.  She reaches under the car and retrieves the tube. She hands me the tube without berating me. I grab my deposit slip and hand the tube back.  I smile.  I thank her. I apologize. I thank her.  She smiles, but without teeth.  A no-teeth smile tells me that she woke up this morning hoping not to have to reach under someone’s car for the teller tube.  She is polite. She does not laugh or say “What an idiot!” Out loud.  She is a professional. I thank her again. And apologize.

As I drive away, I look down at my white Capri pants and there is a giant circle of ink on the zipper, right in the place where you wouldn’t want a giant  circle of ink. A target, as it were.

In the shape of a teller tube.

58 thoughts on “The Bank

  1. Your post is exactly why I quit trying to do the stupid ‘tube thing drive through’! I’d rather go in and stand in line and contemplate life. Hope you get the ink out.

  2. You really should warn someone (that is ready blogs secretly at work) that this post is going to make you laugh out loud and make your co-workers wonder what in the world is going on in your cubby hole..oh sorry cubicle.

  3. Guilty of mystery cubicle laughter, too. Stifled it well enough so as to not arouse curiosity of others. Darn funny though! Something that’d totally happen to me. I have a check to cash as well; think I’ll risk the ten minutes in line! 🙂

  4. Oh. My. Gosh! You’ve got one on me, girl! Even though I can’t pull up next to “the tube” correctly to save my life, I haven’t dropped the canister. Yet. So now I’ve got something new to worry about when I go to the bank! LOL

    Maybe you should just park and go in next time. Although I went in my bank this week and they aren’t giving away Otis Spunkmeyer cookies anymore, so there really isn’t anything for me to gain by going in! They’re giving away DumDums now. What’s up with that?! This ain’t Luby’s!

  5. My worst nightmare — enjoy because now that I am retired I don’t have a reason to go to the bank. Not enough money to go to the bank in the hand to excert the effort. Do I sound woefull enough?

  6. Funny, AM. You never fail to make me laugh! And now that I have met you in person – – I could totally envision this whole banking folly!

  7. Hilarious! I think they like you better than me because I drove away with the tube on accident the other day.
    So glad they came out to rescue you. And I’ll be thinking of banking yoga the next time I’m there! Awesome!

    Did you get enough money back to cover the dry cleaning bill?

  8. My bank installed super gigantic tubes (for people with lots of money I suppose)that just lean out but aren’t removed, you just have to pop the top and reach down there. The only problem is that they are two feet deep and you can’t reach the bottom of them while sitting down in the car. Stupid banks.

    Sorry about the capris.

  9. Oh dear. I’m laughing WITH you sweetie. Who among us has not had such a thing happen to her?

    “….what are you doing? …what’s happening”…”why did you…” What a harrowing experience for the child.

    What a funny picture you’ve painted and tale you’ve told. I do so admire your writing skills 🙂

  10. You are hilarious. Do you feel better for having written about it?

    We don’t have drive-thru banks in the UK, and when we moved here, it took me months to pluck up the courage to use one. It was so scary, I’ve never done it again.

  11. I love it when you go Erma Bombeck on us! You tell your tales in such a humorous and descriptive way. I can see it happening, just as though it was happening to me. Which I’m sure it could.

    If I had been behind you, I’m pretty sure I would’ve gotten out to help. I guess it depends on how close the lanes are. One good thing about a 5 year old is that they are almost at the age where they can assist in these circumstances, too.

  12. Now I have proof that my fear of the bank tube is not irrational.

    I had to read this post in shifts, stopping to:

    1.explain to my teenagers why I was laughing so hard and that “I might just wet myself.”

    2.grab a wet paper towel to wipe the mascara off of my tear stained face.

    Now I have a headache but it’s a happy headache.

  13. See. . .if you’d have allowed Blue Parachute Guy out of the house, he could have parachuted behind the front tire to retrieve the tube FOR you.

  14. Also had to add my favorite line.

    “When I woke up the other day, there were no obvious indicators that the banking industry had it in for me. So I got out of bed.”


  15. Well, at least you didn’t drive away with the tube on the seat beside you, then have to drive all the way back to the bank to sheepishly return it.

  16. That was so entertaining I read it aloud to my husband – not that I want to further humiliate you or anything.
    Oh boy – can you write!!

  17. Laughing out loud here. Oh my. I wonder if these things happen to you just for the sheer delight of your readers’ experiencing it with you? I thought you were going to say that you had your 5-year-old get out and crawl under the car to get it for you, which is probably what I would’ve done, but with the way your day was going, that prob’ly would’ve turned out badly.

    Oh my. Passing this one on…

  18. Oh my word. You are killin’ me! That is the funniest thing I have read in a while. I’m so glad that I have you to amuse me!

    Oh and since the humiliation at the drive through wasn’t enough I had to fwd this to a few people but just consider it ministry. My grandma confessed that after two days she was finally able to pee and my sister is grateful for you because now she knows she is sane and has hope. 😉

    Oh you rock, Antique Mommy!

  19. I’m so impressed by your pulling up to the tube thing skills…if only it hadn’t fell, but then I wouldn’t be laughing at this wonderfuly funny post. I’m 5 foot nothing and always have to get completly out of the car..

    So sorry about the capris, hurry and use ‘Shout’ on the stain.

  20. That was excellent! I’ve had essentially the same thing happen to me a few times at the bank. My favorite line,”…I can’t get out of the car, and I can’t back up, and I can’t go forward, which is the story of my life…”.
    I am right there with you in that symbolism.
    Reading this post has been one of the highlights of my day.

  21. I too, have problems with pulling up just right for the tube thing or ATM. I have never dropped it, but it is one of my fears. Hope the stain came out of your capris. Sorry to the laugh at your expense, but you made my day.

  22. The first time I read this…I thought the oil stain was on the tellers white capri’s and I LOVED that– then I re-read it and I realized…I liked my version better! 🙂
    I also have struggled with the tube at the drive thru— & don’t let me get started about my trips to the gas station in REALLY big Trucks … oy vey…
    thanks for the laugh and the smile!

  23. I didn’t have to read anything but the first paragraph. I love your writing. I hate the tubes also. I did back up into the person behind me. I had a van and they had a little bitty cute car.

  24. I have done that! Although I was able to get out of my car to retrieve the tube, but of course it was on a day when I had not washed my hair and was in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms!! What a lovely picture I was!!

  25. What a story! You had me in tears.

    I always manage to leave too much space between me and the tube thing. I then have to undo my seatbelt, open my door and partially climb out of my car to use it. On more than one occasion, the teller has asked me nervously why I am getting out of my car.

  26. Oh my gosh the had me laughing for a million different reasons..1. I used to be a teller and I would have to help people that dropped the canister under their car…2. I have been the customer that has been embarrassed by dropping the canister under my car and having to pull forward to get the said canister…3. I can never and I mean never wear my white capri’s with out getting something on them 2 minutes after leaving the house! So glad to see that I fall in the normal category!!!

    * * *
    Hon, I hate to break it to ya, but if you’re putting yourself in my category… you ain’t normal. 🙂 The kind of stuff that hits my fan on a daily basis doesn’t seem to happen to regular people.

  27. Oh my gosh! I am reading this in the middle of the night…trying to control my laughter. Now I have tears rolling down my face and the hiccups.

    Too funny… feel your pain. I am sure something similar happens to me once a week!

  28. Oh my, this is the stuff blogs are made of. You know, I have just started to go through the drive through at fast food places, banks, pharmacies, etc.) in the last couple of years because of my phobia of drive throughs! I’m not sure I can do it anymore now!

  29. Um . . . at least there wasn’t a roaring downpour going on?

    Your special moments, they are beautiful things. 😉

  30. Hahahahahahahahaah…

    laughing…now every time I go through my drive thru at my bank I will smile and think of you….


  31. So funny, AM — you have such a way with putting a moment into words!

    Incidentally, if the stain is really ink, hair spray will get it out. Just spray it on the stain, rub the cloth together, and the ink disappears. It’s weird, but it works. Makes your hands sticky though. 🙂

  32. I was with you almost every step. I took in every word. I paid close attention feeling such angst for you…right up until the “target” that is. Now I’m simply trying to see thru my tears as I laugh so hard my toddler has come to check on me! Ahhhh, and now my day has begun! You are the best AM!

  33. My greatest banking drive-through fear…dropping the tube! Thank you for giving me a good laugh to start my day. Now I can look at the lighter side of my bank tube dilemmas when they occur.

    And I also now have a better view of all of the calisthenics I have performed from my low, small car to retrieve and re-set the tube repeatedly. I’m no longer a stubby-armed, short girl with a pee-wee car! I’m EXERCISING!

  34. Hohoho! Great story. We just went through the drive-through at the bank yesterday, but fortunately, we didn’t have any major mishaps (other than that it took 10 minutes…quick?).

  35. THAT made me laugh so hard (especially since I’d just finished reading your post about communion and how amazing it was that you’d never dropped the tray, because stuff like that ALWAYS happens to you.. and lo and behold, here we are). Yes, here we are. I’ve not dropped the tube (yet), but I have pulled up to a very full gas station (back when gas was scarce), and in trying to get perfectly lined up with the pump, gotten too close to the strange metal bar in front of it. Which meant I couldn’t open my door. And there was someone in front of me, and someone tucked tightly in behind me, because there was a LINE of people, by God. And I finally had to climb across and out the passenger side, because there was simply no where else to go. Pffft. I think the darn pumps and receptacles move on us, that’s what I think. Perhaps they were designed by Alan Funt.

    * * * *
    Oh good night, I have done that. Not at the gas station, but one time coming out of a hair salon and feeling mighty sassy with a new do. Both cars on the other side had parked next to me while I was getting my hair done and could not have parked one inch closer. I had to crawl in THE BACK hatch and over the back seat. Not even a new sassy do could overcome that! ~AM

  36. This cracked me up…I did this same thing one time, but didn’t realize that it had fallen to the ground near the tire. I ended up running over the tube! It was a while before I went back to that branch!! I’m sure they still remember me as the “idiot who ran over the tube” and drove off!

  37. This a) made me laugh, b) made me think I would totally have my kid get out of the car and crawl under so I wouldn’t have to, and c) reminds me to be thankful that I have no bank branch anywhere nearby. The 42 cent stamp is totally worth it. Er, it IS 42 cents now, right? Right?

  38. Oh! That is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh this morning. I have to say that this has never even croseed my mind that this will happen. Now I will be nervous about it every time I go to the bank. Thanks.

  39. This is hilarious. I can definitely relate to hanging out the window. I have no idea what you are talking about with the tube though – here in Canada we have no such thing. The drive through here has a little slot that beeps frantically until you get the envelope close enough to be sucked in at great velocity. I’m always a bit nervous about my fingers…

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