bunt sign

Monday, August 22, 2005

Back in the olden days of the eighties, before banks got so high and mighty that they could afford to be rude to customers, there used to be something called a Merchant Window. If you had a business account and wanted to make a deposit, the line at the MW was usually shorter and moved faster.

I never used the MW, back in the day. I didnít think it was fair to take advantage just because I was a depositor representing an entity and not a person. Actually, the real reason was that I didnít want the real people snaking around between the velvet ropes to be scowling at me in the short line with evil on their faces and in their hearts (the way I would have been staring at them if positions were reversed).

Today, though, I was standing in the bank line so long that I longed for the good old days of the eighties. (Not that I donít long for the eighties on a regular basis, bank line or no bank line. Iím just saying. Twenty years younger and surrounded by friends? Iím not scowling now. Well, I am because itís not the eighties any more. But now Iím not.)

This line today was moving glacially and the little kid in his motherís arms behind me was kicking me in the back and there were only two teller windows open and one of them had the same customer the whole time I was there and for who knows how long afterward. And I wanted to give them money. I wanted to put over a hundred thousand dollars into their bank. Where oh where was the Merchant Window now, eh?

But you know what? I still wouldnít have got in line at the MW. I would rather stand in the same line as all the other disgruntled clients and mumble and moan along with them than use a shortcut that strikes me as unfair and elitist. Being an anti-establishment liberal Iím all about equality, even if it has to be enforced. Iím the exact opposite of the kind of person who demands special rights for reasons that have something to do with money. Like, you know, our president and his friends.

So I waited, but not exactly patiently. I did, however, turn and smile at the kid who was kicking me. His mother held him a little closer, which wasnít the reason I did it but was fine with me anyway.

15 August 2005


When I got to the teller window and handed over my deposits, I was fine. I didnít say what Iíd been thinking in line, that this was a little too much like going to the doctorís office, except that at the doctorís office you get to sit down. Instead, I smiled and made the usual small talk, just as if Iíd been waiting two minutes at the Merchant Window instead of half an hour with the masses.

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When you have a team that you care about, even a season as disappointing as this one has its moments of sheer ecstasy. Tonight it happened in the top of the seventh inning, as Noah Lowry, the Giantsí de facto ace, stumbled a little as he was rolling along nursing a 5-0 lead. He loaded the bases with no outs in the inning, then proceeded to strike out Chase Utley and get David Bell to ground into a spectacular double play to end the threat and preserve the shutout. I jumped out of my chair. I really did. Lowry came within one out (one strike, really) of completing the shutout but gave up a two-out infield single in the bottom of the ninth. This, as usual, was the signal for Felipe Alou to go to the bullpen that sucked so badly in St. Louis over the weekend. For once, the managerís bonehead move didnít cost the Giants, who beat the Phillies, 5-0.

For other journal recommendations, check out the links page.

One year ago: Early
"It's been kind of an 'off' summer anyway, and today was a little further off, as if to reinforce the idea that something that wasn't really here is ending a little too soon. "

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