Dear Sir:

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2006

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check, with which I tried to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three ‘nanoseconds’ must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of Social Security, and pension, an arrangement that, I admit, has been in place for only 19 years.

I congratulate you for seizing that brief window of opportunity and charging my account $25 as penalty for the inconvenience I caused to your bank.

My thankfulness is because this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. But how come, when I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I contact you I must deal with an impersonal, pre-recorded, faceless entity that your bank is becoming. And I am sick and tired of her voice.


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From now on I will only deal with a live and breathing person. My mortgage and loan payments will no longer be automatic. I will send checks addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must choose.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open that envelope. I have enclosed a Contact Status form that I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but I want to know as much about him or her as your nosy bank knows about me.

Please note that a Notary Public must countersign all copies of his or her medical history, and the details of his/her financial situation must be accompanied by documented proof.

In a day or two I will issue your employee a PIN number, which he/she must use when dealing with me. I regret that it can’t be shorter than 28 digits, but I have designed it based on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

Going to the Super Bowl?

They say the Super Bowl will be played in Detroit, a city in which it is not a good place to be. When I lived in Michigan back in the 60s it was fairly safe, but not now.

If you are going, fly in and catch a bus or a taxi for your ride to the stadium. Remember that Friday’s rush hour begins Thursday morning and weekends are open season on visitors.

If you drive, never actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out, perhaps shot in cold blood.

If you are first off the starting line when the light turns green, count to five before challenging the intersection. This will avoid getting in the way of cars that just ran the red light to avoid being shot.

When following the traffic pattern, if someone actually has their turn signal on it is probably a factory defect, or they are from out of town.

All old men and women with white hair, have the right of way … younger drivers are scared to death of them and the blind way they drive.

And that lake you see is a pothole.

The minimum speed on any main thoroughfare is 85,

regardless of the posted limit. Anything less is considered sissy stuff.

Oh, and don’t even think of allowing more than one car length between you and the person in front of you; you are just giving someone the chance to cut you off.

Do not stop anywhere to take pictures. And never stare at the driver with the bumper sticker that says, &uot;Keep Honking, I’m reloading.&uot;

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