I hate dealing with banks, don’t you? I hate them so much that this is the second blog posting I've written about them. (The first one--DON'T BANK ON IT--can be found in the July 2013 archives if you care to read that, as well.)
At any rate, my husband, Stij, had a major run-in with Bank of America this morning.
He’s lying down now, with a tumbler of Jim Beam on an adjacent table and a cool washcloth on his head.
The reason? This morning, he got a notice that his account ATM card…his BUSINESS account ATM card…had been frozen due to “suspicious activity.”
Stij called them. It went something like this:
STIJ: Hello. I have a question about my account.
BB (Bank Bimbo—the blonde with 100 pounds of hair, a perpetual rictus, the latest fad design in fingernails, and a brain by Mattel): Let me put you through to our Accounts Manager. One moment.
While on hold, Stij listened to the entire Beatles catalog—twice.
TLTYTMAMWVHCY (The Latest Twelve-year-old They Made A Manager, Whose Voice Hasn’t Changed Yet): What can I do to…I mean FOR you today?
STIJ: You might tell me why you froze my business account ATM card.
Then, the kid made the nearly always fatal error of trying to be funny when Stij is upset:
TLTY: (Chuckles) But surely you know that nothing ever freezes in Arizona!
STIJ: Don’t call me ‘Shirley.’ (He’d been waiting for the opportunity to use that line ever since ‘Airplane’ came out.)
TLTY: Why would I call you ‘Shirley?’ You say your account has been frozen? Gimmie the number and I’ll look it up for you, dude.
The TLTY is too young to even get the joke. Fade back in pissed off mood.
Stij gave him the number and was put back on hold to listen to, ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ many, many times, followed by The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson, translated into Chinese and read by a 100-year-old constipated employee at a one-hour dry cleaners.
TLTY: According to our records, your account isn’t frozen, man. Oh, and do you also go by the name of ‘Buster Lifshitz Horowitz?”
STIJ: Not now, not ever. You must have mistyped it. Try re-keying the number, please.
TLTY: Oops, sorry, my man. Just a sec. Partied kinda hard last night, y’know?
STIJ: No, I do not know. I work my ass off ten or twelve hours a day to put money in your bank in order for you, Mr. Party Boy, to tell me that I can’t have it when I want it!
TLTY: Yeah, I know—bummer, man, huh? But you really need to take a chill pill, babe.
STIJ: Listen, you human cabbage, just find out what’s going on! I have lumber to buy today and I need that card!
TLTY: Wow, man, sounds like you didn’t get much sleep last night.
STIJ: I am coming down there—right now!
TLTY: Hold it, there, Hondo—your account just came up. Stij? Is that right?
TLTY: Your account’s frozen.
STIJ: I KNOW THE ACCOUNT IS FROZEN! I WANT TO KNOW WHY IT’S FROZEN!
TLTY: Says here ‘Suspicious Activity.’ Been doing anything suspicious lately?
STIJ: Nothing unusual—just depositing and withdrawing money.
TLTY: Oh, well, there’s your problem right there.
TLTY: The withdrawals. I see here you withdrew nearly $100 over the past week.
STIJ: I have a business. This is a business account. I needed the money to buy building materials! Let me ask you something--why do you never consider DEPOSITS suspicious? They could be from people selling drugs or stealing cars and reselling them, or…FROM ROBBING BANKS! You could actually be laundering money and not even know it. What about that?
TLTY: Uh…let me find out about that…hold on…”
STIJ: Nooooo, not hold ag…
Now it’s Slovenian folk dancing music, followed by Rod McKuen reciting from Stanyon Street and Other Sorrows, followed by Richard Nixon singing the Carpenter’s greatest hits.
Now Stij hated the British, Wagner, the Chinese, Slovenia, poetry, and Richard Nixon—singing ANYTHING! And to top it all off, there was somebody at the door.
It was the police, who arrived to arrest Stij for threatening to rob Bank of America; but they left without him when they came in, saw the kitchen half-melted and smelled the chili I was attempting to make for lunch.
I guess they decided he’d already been punished enough.