by Freaky Philly…
I went down to the bank the other day to cash my paycheck and what I found was as hysterical as it was bizarre. I didn’t know the bank had suddenly turned into Comedy Central.
I first noticed something wrong when I approached the teller. She was laughing her head off when I handed her my check. Was my paycheck really all that funny? Did I really make that little?
“I’m sorry,” I said, “is there a problem?”
“No problem, sir,” said the teller. “I just need my boss to take a look at it.”
She motioned for another woman who came right over. The other woman, who was laughing hysterically too, had makeup all over her face; and when I say all over her face I mean ALL over her face, She had lipstick all over her cheeks and forehead, eyeliner streaming down from her eyes like tears. She looked like some lunatic clown, or someone perhaps who had put her face on while riding a roller coaster. On closer inspection, maybe those were tears: from laughing so hard.
They both stood there looking at my check, laughing uncontrollably and seemingly unsure of what they were even looking at. They kept moving the check farther away, then closer back in. They turned it over and upside down until it appeared they had both given up.
“I’m sorry, sir,” said Clarabella the Clown, “but your going to have to have this approved by Mr. Greenjeans, our vice president.”
“Which one is he?” I asked.
“He’s right over there,” she said, pointing to this James Thurber-looking fellow over in the corner. “He’s the one sitting on the magic carpet.”
I had no idea what that meant.
So I walked on over to Mr. Greenjeans and stood there watching as he ransacked his desk looking for what, I have no idea. I don’t think he did, either.
“Have you seen it?” he asked. He was sweating profusely.
“Seen what?” I said.
“Yes. I went to a Trump rally the other day and I was inspired by the whites in his eyes. The orangeness in his face. The red, white, and blue in his necktie. All the colors. I was so inspired that I wrote him a poem.”
“I see,” I said. “But really, I’m just here to cash my check.”
“Damn,” he said, slamming his desk drawer. “I must have left it at home.”
He leaned back in his chair and began staring off into space. His eyes were wild, like he’d been drinking coffee from the water fountain all day.
“I was thinking about replacing the artwork in here,” he said.
“You mean the Picasso?” I asked. “The Van Gogh?”
“I was thinking of replacing them all. Covering the whole place in Kurtzmans. Jaffees.”
“Yeah,” he said. “As in Al Jaffee. MAD Magazine.”
“Good idea,” I told him, “but I’m not an art critic. I’m just here to cash my paycheck.”
“Paycheck, you say?”
“Yes. My paycheck.”
“That reminds me of an idea I had,” he said.
“What if instead of cashing individual paychecks, we throw them all into one big tin and take bites out of it. You know, like a community cupcake.”
“While we’re at it, why have individual bank accounts at all? Why not just make one big account, like a piggy bank?”
It’s a wonderful life.
“Moreover, why not just make all the little loans into one big one, and have everyone live off the fat of the land?”
How Steinbeck-ish. But what would your boss say? This is a bank, after all.
“What if instead of dealing in currency, we went on the barter system?”
Like dung for dough?
“Exactly,” he said. “Like dung for dough. We could trade in fertilizer. I’d like to see the IRS collect on that.”
Me, too; but for now, all I needed was my check cashed.
Just then, that banker’s eyes lit up like the Fourth of July. The way his eyeballs were spinning around, there must have been some kind of fireworks show going on in there.
It was then that he started rambling.
“I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph,” he said.
Lightning rod? WTF?
“We’re like licorice,” he said. “Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”
Licorice is okay, I guess.
“There is only one corner of the Universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
“Living is what scares me. Dying is easy.”
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”
“Your body gets old, but your mind can always accept that.”
If you say so.
“It’s time to move on to the next step…”
The next step?
“Yeah,” he said. “Say. You thirsty?”
As a matter of fact I was. It was really hot in there.
He handed me a Dixie cup and I drank it down. It tasted like Kool-Aid. Triple Awesome Grape Kool-Aid. I love Triple Awesome Grape.
“So you’re wanting to cash a check?” he said.
“Yes,” I told him. Anytime you’re ready.
“Be right back,” he said.
“And remember,” he said, just before walking off, “it’s very dangerous to lose contact with nature.”
It was at this time I finally took a long look around the place. It was one of those palace-looking banks, like in olden times, with huge columns, a big vault, chandeliers, and a second floor. But that wasn’t all.
People were all dancing around, like there was music playing; but there wasn’t. There was an old granny spinning around in circles, a girl with flowers in her hair, and some guy just sitting there totally nude. TOTALLY nude.
There was a group that looked like the Symbionese Liberation Army sitting in a circle and they all had guns. Rifles, to be exact. They were passing a joint around and there were daises in the barrels of their guns. There was an Indian chief, some guy that looked exactly like Danny Bonaduce, and I swear I saw David Crosby walk by. How is that guy even still alive?
The columns were all painted in rainbows. There was someone swinging from one of the chandeliers. Then, from the second floor I saw my little James Thurber banker friend.
Next thing I know, that banker is standing on the second-story railing. “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out!” he yells, and he jumps.
And that’s when it hit me: the Kool-Aid. That’s when I realized I was done for.
At least there was the vault; for the coming down period, I mean.
Man, what a long strange trip this was going to be.
The Bank Trip is the latest in the Flashbytes series from worst-selling author Philip Loyd. Inspired by the Daily Star article, LSD microdosing: Drugs comeback with workers dropping ACID before work, Loyd is seriously considering taking a trip himself on his way to work tomorrow.
About the Author
Philip Loyd loves fat chicks and cheap beer, though not necessarily in that order. Loyd has worked for Forbes and McGraw Hill, each time running for his life as if waking up from a nightmare. He dreams of one day moving to Hollywood and winning a Razzie. Loyd lives in Dumbass, Texas. PhilipLoyd.com
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