Wednesday, May 3, 2023

How Old Am I, Anyway?

The other day I went to the bank to withdraw all of our money, because my wife and I are getting ready for graduation season. We have a senior graduating from high school, and he has friends graduating, and we also have a lot of family friends with graduating seniors, so basically, we’re giving away our money like it’s free advice.

While I wasn’t exactly excited about being broke, at least the bank was rockin’. I parked in the shade, grabbed my phone from the center console, and walked across the parking lot.  As I got up to the building, I could hear faint music playing from their outdoor speakers. As I entered the bank, the music got a little louder and clearer and I recognized the song as “Volcano Girls” by Veruca Salt.

They’re a ‘90s alt-rock band that I like, and I was immediately impressed by my bank’s music choices. I said hello to the info desk greeter girl, and she responded with a quirky smile. There was no one in line, so I was immediately waved over by a teller on the end of the row, at the low station that has a chair.

I happily plopped down in the chair and told the young lady behind the bulletproof glass that I wholeheartedly approved of their soundtrack. She smiled and laughed.

I said, “Veruca Salt. Good stuff.”

She laughed again and said, “Veruca Salt was the name of the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“Yep,” I said, “That’s where this band got their name. Anyway, well done.”

She gave me the second quirky smile I had received since walking into the bank, before she asked me what she could help me with. We were about halfway through withdrawing all of our money in various specific graduation gift denominations when I noticed my phone was getting hot against my thigh in my pocket.

I reached down and placed my hand on it and immediately felt it vibrating. Actually, more like pulsating. When I did, the cool bank soundtrack got a little muffled.

About a millisecond later I had come to the full and rather horrifying realization that I was the one providing the cool bank soundtrack. It was my phone playing “Volcano Girls” from my pants pocket.

“Oh my God, it’s my phone playing the music!” I said to the teller as I frantically yanked my phone from my pocket.

“Yes,” she laughed. “I thought you knew that.”

“No, I did not,” I confessed in the deafening silence of the stoic and professional bank setting after I had managed to stab the pause button on my fully lit Amazon Music screen. “I totally thought that was coming from the bank.”

I did not bother to ask her why she thought I would be OK with knowingly walking into dead silent banks and libraries and such, blaring ‘90s alt-rock from my pants. I was too busy being amazed/embarrassed/dismayed at the fact that I’m all of a sudden the deaf old guy who doesn’t know it’s his phone making all the racket.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I guess I have to get to an early bird dinner special and be in bed by eight o’clock.

See you soon,



Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen


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1 comment:

  1. I feel like you shouldn’t get credit for writing a hysterically funny essay, when all you really did was bear witness to yourself bring that old guy. If you would just follow yourself around daily, you’ll never run out of material.