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Column: Since talk is cheap, I get my money’s worth


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“How was your weekend?” asked Stacie, a teller at my bank.

“It was…it was great,” I stammered, pushing the deposit envelope just a bit. I had to quit doing my banking Mondays or Tuesdays. The tellers always asked about my weekend.

I would try to change the topic, but these people are very persistent. “Did you do something exciting? Stacie would press on.

“Yes, I did.” I was in trouble now. I had nothing interesting to tell her.

“What was it?”

“Stacie, I’ll take the cash I just withdrew in three, $50 bills,” I instructed her, hoping to reduce the time of the financial transaction and thus shorten the length of the mini-interrogation. But maybe I should have taken all singles, thus giving me more time to think. I knew I had just had a weekend; I just couldn’t remember what I did during it.

The bank employees were only trying to be friendly, but they are all in their 20s and probably had a rip-roaring Friday and Saturday night. The truth is that for me simply getting a little dough out of my checking account is about the peak of my adrenalin rush for the week.

For a few weeks, I tried telling the absolute truth, so when Stacie asked me about my weekend one Monday, I’d say: We watched ‘Blue Bloods’ on Friday night, made a stop at Sam’s Club on Saturday to pick up one of their awesome barbecue chickens, watched ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday morning and that evening went to MCL about 4:30 for the baked tilapia. Then Stacie would give me the money I had withdrawn, but she probably also wanted to give me a hug and a cane or go with me to MCL to blow on my soup.

That’s when I decided to go to the bank Fridays, assuming that the previous weekend was too far in the past for the staff to inquire about. But then Stacie questioned whether I had any big plans for the coming two days.

I was honest again. I told her: We planned to watch ‘Blue Bloods’ on Friday night, make a stop at Sam’s Club on Saturday to pick up one of their awesome barbeque chickens, watch ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday and the head over to MCL about 4:30 for the baked tilapia.

The expression on her face was not only sympathy for my pitiful weekend plans, but it showed her terror that one day she would be a senior citizen, too, and this was what she had to look forward to. Later that day, I told Mary Ellen that we had a responsibility to cheer up this young lady about the prospect of getting older, even if it meant shading the truth a bit.

“So, Mary Ellen, how about if I tell her we’re talking about going skiing in Colorado?”

“Wow, that is a great idea, Dick. We haven’t gone skiing — let me think about this — ever. So, are we really going now?

“No, of course not, but like I said, we will talk about it, maybe on the way to pick up that awesome chicken.

So last week I chatted with Stacie about skiing, but we mostly made small talk about the weather and how my dog was doing. I do think the bank should show interest. But only in principal.

Television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal.

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