Thursday, January 28, 2010


Let's not dwell on how it might have happened, or the fact that it took me six days to realize it. Suffice it to say from now on I'll be self-administering mental status checks regularly.

My wallet has four slots for credit cards or things of that shape. Couple of days ago I noticed there were only three cards in the slots, and I was pretty sure there used to be four. It's not a nice feeling. But the important stuff seemed to be there: the two credit cards I use, and my Regal Club (one dollar popcorn on Tuesdays) card. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what was missing. It's the sort of thing that is more than a little disturbing for a, uh, senior citizen. I kept staring at that empty slot, trying to pick up a vibe, a grok, a sense of what was supposed to be there.

Yesterday, for reasons unknown, the synapses signaled, the choline called, the axons aligned, and I realized I was missing my ATM card. Probably because I needed some cash, you'd think. Anyhow, I had enough of a grip on reason to go online and check my bank account. Last use of the card was six days earlier, and I recalled the transaction clearly. Good. Expecting not much, I called the bank, told my story (there was sort of a reason why I might be semi-excused for leaving the card in the ATM, involving a brand-new and very different machine, and an unusual size check -- a rebate, actually -- and a frustrated detour into the bank to speak to a teller). The person on the other end of the phone excused herself for about three minutes, and came back to announce the card had been found. In the ATM. Six days later, in the ATM. And, mind you, this bank is neither off the beaten path, infrequently used, nor, for that matter, in a particularly crime-free part of town. This may have been the first time I used that machine.

I'm not complaining. I'm more than relieved to have recovered the card. But somebody tell me this: how in hell could it have been found six days later, in the ATM? It sucked it in when I used it; to have received it back I'd have had to click a "finish and return card" button which, clearly, I'd failed to do.

So what happened? What did the lady do?


  1. A secret pocket for un-ejectable cards, maybe? I got mine stuck in a machine and pulled out a knife and other tools to free it. I kept wondering how that looked on the ATM camera...and if the police were about to show up to see what I was doing.


  2. I wouldn't worry Sid...same thing happened to The Gipper...
    (See "Dutch:A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, Edmund Morris, 1999) and look how he turned out...
    Can I be your Campaign Manager in 12'????
    Thats 2 Years from now...


  3. I soppose the ATM has a bin for not-retrieved and invalid cards;
    wich isn't emptied too often...


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