I’d like to tell you that this story is true, and that you need to believe it because I’m telling the truth here. This is not a work of fiction! But how do you say that at the beginning of a column, when the entire purpose of the site upon which you write is entertainment? A lot of what I write here is fiction. Heck, everything Haycomet writes is fiction. But this, my friends, is real. This is true. And it really happened. And I have witnesses.
So I’d like to tell you the ridiculous story of how my pals and I ran into a series of events governed by Murphy’s Law, and were unable to get out from under his oppresive thumb. If I ever meet Harvey Murphy, I have a few words for him, I assure you. And alls we were doing was trying to have a little lunch.
Siege, Byronic and I work together. Oh, you didn’t know that? Okay, well allow me to back up just a little. Siege and I told our boss that he needed to hire Byronic. So Byronic works with us now. Okay, so back to the present. Siege, Byronic and I work together. So the other day, which was Byronic’s first day of work with us, we all decided it appropriate to go to lunch together. Oh, I need to back up again. I forgot to tell you something. Dammit, I’m screwing this story up. Terrible narrating. I’m sorry.
So the night before all this, I got my first paycheck at this company as a Real Boy. I started working here as a contractor in February. Well, my six months passed and they made me a Real Boy. So now I get paid directly from the company instead of through the contract company. Well there are two problems that arise when switching from a little wooden doll to Real Boy status. Number one, I got paid every week from the contract company. And B, there was a lag in my first paycheck because I came on right in the middle of a pay period. The end result was that it was almost an entire month between my last contractor paycheck and my first Real Boy paycheck. That’s a damn long time to go without getting paid. Yeah. Seriously, my wife and I have been eating grub worms and Roman noodles. Yes, I said Roman – not Ramen. You don’t even want to know.
Well I finally got my first paycheck. And it was a hard check, of course, since the first one never gets direct-deposited. Now here’s where the problem lies. I don’t bank at a regular bank. I use Harry Manback’s Backyard Bankcard. So all of my money goes straight onto a Visa check card. It’s like a pay-as-you-go phone. If you don’t have money on the card, you don’t have money. Anyway, the point is that I ran up to Harry’s when I got my check and they wouldn’t process it because it was too much. It was almost a whole month’s worth of pay. So we’re talking like almost forty grand, you know? So they wouldn’t cash it. And it was too late to do anything else, because it was almost nine o’clock at night. So I have a pretty heavy check in my pocket, where it’s useless. A paycheck you can’t cash and a quarter will get you a phone call. Well, maybe not these days.
Okay. So the past is now covered. I think. Back to the future. Byronic had come and picked me up for work that morning because I was on E. I had no gas, dudes. In my car, that is. Okay. So now to the good part of the story. The part you’ve all been waiting for. We all take off out of the office parking lot like bats out of heck. We were going to lunch, then planned on swinging by the bank so I could cash my check. We drove out to a little restaurant called Stewart Babcock’s Fish and Possum Grill. It’s pretty good. Just stay away from the Marsoupial. It’s a little gamey. I think they kill the kangaroos right out back. Anyway, as we’re leaving there, Swindle, Siege’s Wrangler, blows its cooler bot. So we got three vets trapped on the side of a road by a Pete’s Gas and Hooker, where they charge seventy-five cents for a minute of water from their little spigot out front. Sigh.
We did what we could to get it filled back up, troubleshot and repaired all in one. Meanwhile, we’re running behind on getting back to the office from our now ninety-minute lunch. So I called Two-Step. She’s too far away. Well, all right, boys. Let’s get it running enough to make the quick jog to the SpaceHouse. I live about three miles from Pete’s Gas and Hooker. Well, we made it back to my house. Our plan, of course, was to drop off Swindle and hop in Johnny Utah – my cruiser – whereupon I would take Siege to get his pickup from his apartment. He has a backup vehicle. Well, I backed out of the driveway. And ran out of gas. Literally, at the end of the driveway. I’m not even kidding. I thought surely it had enough for me to make it around the corner to Frank’s Fuel and Farmacy. Nope. Sputtered out at the end of the damn driveway. So I called Two-Step and told her to come on home and rescue us.
Two-Step came home, picked me up and ran me up to Frank’s. I got a gallon of gas, refilled Johnny Utah, and we were finally on our way. Well, I forgot we were dropping Siege off at his apartment, so I make it almost all the way back to the office before he stops me. We finally get there, drop him off, and I make a wrong turn on one of Carrollton’s confusing ass roads and end up driving an extra twenty minutes in the wrong way. Son of a BITCH!
When Byronic and I finally got back to the office, we had been gone three hours. And I still haven’t cashed my check. There’s this little place called Horvunce Haberly’s Cash Express that will do it for three percent. The total would have been close to a hundred dollars just to cash the damn check. Seriously. Ridiculous. So I finally just drove to the bank from which my company had written the thing, and walked in there with a clinched fist. I was so ready for someone to give me some shit and piss me off. I was going to throw a tantrum if they tried to charge me a fee or any of that bullsh. Well, they didn’t. They were quite pleasant in fact, and I really liked the sweet little tart who cashed my check. Moana was her name. She had thick, luxurious red hair, full lips and a heaving bosom. She as- – you know what, I’m going on a tangent here.
Anyway, what pisses me off is that banks these days make it so hard to get your own money. Three-percent fees. Five-dollar fees. Thumbprints. Do you have an account here? Oh wait, that’s too much, sir. Call this number. No human works there, but they’ll tell you why they’re not going to cash it for you. You have to get here before five pm. Oh, yes sir, I realize that you work standard business hours and at lunch our lobby is more crowded than a whore house on half-price Friday. And oh, if it actually is Friday, we close our lobby at four pm. We like to go home early, you see. It’s a long stressful day when you have to cobble people out of their money and tell people no all day. Oh, and assess fees. Assholes. Their signs should read “Eight equals equals equals capital D space open parenthesis underscore asterisk underscore close parenthesis”.
I can’t wait until my double-D kicks in. Direct Deposit, that is. Then I won’t have to worry about checks anymore. I hate paper checks. I hate cash. I use my Visa check card for everything. Direct debit. I never carry hard cash. I hate change. I hate pennies. I hate checkbooks. I hate those babcocks who stand there holding up the line at the market writing a check. I hate banks. I mostly hate banks. I won’t be part of their system.
So there’s my story. That’s how our Friday went. After we got back from our three-hour lunch, it was almost four o’clock. There wasn’t much point in doing anything else. So I just drove to the bank (the one my company uses) and had my only good banking experience ever. Sigh. What a shitty Friday that was. Hopefully I’ll have some double-D action next payday. I guess the moral of this story would be that you can’t trust the system. I’ll get back to you on that.