This is Why We Don’t Taunt the ATM*

*I’m neck-deep in legal work this week, and pounding through the 50,000 word-mark on the first draft of the fifth Shinobi Mystery (Tentative Title: “Betrayal at Iga”), so I thought I’d bring back this little gem of knowledge gained in 2011. (For the record, “Tesla” is my son’s original “Blog Pseudonym.”)


Two nights ago I took Tesla out to practice his driving skills.  After seventeen laps around the neighborhood, he suggested a run to Pinkberry before going home.  (He knows I am unable to resist coconut Pinkberry with fresh raspberries and chocolate chips.)

On the way to the Pinkberry we stopped by the bank to pick up cash (as I’ve noticed an unwillingness on the part of Pinkberry staff to provide me with tasty frozen treats without financial remuneration).  As we pulled into the drive-thru ATM lane I noticed a giant vehicle (most likely the love child of an F-350 and an M-1 Abrams tank) parked in front of the ATM.  As we slowed to a stop, the truck’s driver door opened.  A diminutive woman stepped from the cab, stood beside the car and performed her transaction on foot.

At the drive-thru ATM.

Now, given her height and the height of her (monster) truck, I admit it was impossible for her to reach the ATM from her vehicle.  That said….why pull into the drive-thru ATM when: (a) you know you can’t reach it and (b) there’s nobody at either of the two walk-up ATMs located 100 feet from the drive thru lane?

I admit I had no answer.  Neither did fifteen year-old Tesla, though he did have a suggestion.  He thought I should blog about what prompts a person to drive a tank through the drive-thru ATM if they have to dismount to use the machine.  Which seemed very funny indeed until the tank drove away and I drove up to take my turn.

In my husband’s car.

Which rides much lower than my pickup truck.

Preventing me from reaching the buttons on the ATM. 

Meaning, the easiest way to use the ATM was to unbuckle and…get out…

I’d like to say the experience made me a better person.  I’d like to glow about my understanding of the previous driver’s pain.  I’d like to bring this blog post to an inspiring conclusion by drawing on my new-found love for my fellow man.

But that would be a lie.

Instead, I’ll  confess that I hung halfway out the window of that Toyota, convinced that I Would. Not. Get. Out. to process that transaction, even if the seat belt strangled me in the process.  (For the record, it almost did.)

I did have a good laugh at my own expense, as did Tesla.

The larger lesson in all this?

Let not him who puts his armor on boast as he who takes it off again, and she who approaches the ATM with laughter in her eyes had better make sure she can reach the buttons before letting that snark run free.

Touche, ATM.  You win this round.

From now on I drive my own truck.

*Originally published in January 2011