Moments after I entered the bank, a guy who had been standing by the coin counting machine walked right over to me and intentionally blocked me from getting into the teller line.
“GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY, LADY!” he said quietly, but firmly. He was about 5′ 11″ and had his head down slightly. I noticed he was wearing a navy blue jacket and a clean black Philadelphia Eagles cap. There was a Nittany Lions paw-print pinned next to the Eagle.
I stepped back so I wasn’t cornered against the marble-topped desk containing bank forms and tethered pens. Instinctively, I moved my right hand closer to my hip.
I looked to see if he had a weapon.
Both of his hands were empty.
My pistol stayed hidden.
He had leaned in close, his face was about a foot from mine. After the initial shock of hearing something that’s probably not a good idea to joke about in a bank, I focused on his face. Behind thick gold-framed glasses, his eyes were blueish gray. His skin was comprised exclusively of wrinkles and scars – perhaps from cancer surgeries. Part of his right ear was missing.
He was ancient looking, but he was spry.
Showing him my handful of checks, I said, “Ha! Nice one, sir. I could give you these, but you’re going to have a tough time convincing the teller your name is SARAH.”
“Checks,” he growled. “I like cash better. Who pays with checks, anyway?!”
He stepped into the teller line ahead of me, in a way that let me know that he was going first and there was nothing I could do about it.
“Oh, these are from my students,” I said, ruffling him by not reacting. “I teach a childbirth education class.”
“Well, I can help with that!” he said. “I’ll send all the broads I knock up your way!!”
“I see,” I said, smiling. “So, having you around is good for my business?”
“Very good for your business.” He paused and looked at me again. “I’m just kidding,” he went on. “I’m 89. No one’s interested in f—— me anymore. I can still get it up, though!”
By this point, I couldn’t keep myself from chuckling. “You were pretty scary back there. I would have never guessed your age!!”
A male teller said, “Sir, I can help you.”
Then, the female teller at the next window called me over.
There we were, standing next to each other again, separated by a jar of complimentary lollipops.
“I need to move some money from my PRIVATE account to my JOINT checking account to KEEP MY OLD BALL AND CHAIN HAPPY!!” He was loudly talking to the teller, but looking at me.
He handed the teller a CoinStar receipt for deposit.
My teller was mortified, and she looked at me apologetically.
I looked at his teller. “Don’t believe him for a second! He LOVES his ‘old ball and chain’!!”
The old man feigned a scowl, but I could see that he did love his wife very much.
My teller was fast.
“Oh look! I finished first!” I said to him, flipping him off with my voice as I walked away. “You know, fathers are required to attend to my birth classes!”
“Sticking around is my not my style — and you’d better not tell that to my wife!” he replied, still stuck at the window.
I looked back as I passed the signature desk. “Well, then maybe you should stay out of trouble!”
His teller, whom I then realized had been purposefully slow, was professionally stifling a hysterical laugh. I nodded at him, and he gave me a discreet nod back.
I didn’t turn around and hug the old man, but I wanted to.
He doesn’t know how much he made my day.