ATM travails

Inspired by David Sedaris’ latest New Yorker contribution, “Turbulence,” about a difficult seatmate on an airplane, the proprietor of The Minor Fall, The Major Lift predicts what the next Sedaris column will look like:

I ran across 57th Street through one of those mid-spring rains that make New York such an unpleasant place to live for the lonely or sensitive — granted, New York springs last for a grand total of three days between brutal winters and oppressive summers — clutching a folded up New York Post under my arm (I like to do the Jumble), and hurried into the vestibule of a Chase bank. There was only one machine, and a long line of customers snaked behind it, all as anxious as I was to withdraw our money and be done with the place.

The minutes that I waited until my turn came around flew by in a blur, and I busied myself by observing my fellow customers: this one was too fat; that one had a suspicious looking mole that I diagnosed as precancerous. Finally, I was the penultimate patron, waiting only for the short, stubby woman in front of me to complete her transaction. While puzzling over a particularly difficult series of blank balloons in my puzzle, I must have drifted too close to her.

“Back off, buddy,” she said with a start.

“Excuse me?”

“Listen,” she said, pointing a gnarled finger at me. “This is New York. You need to give people their personal space.” And then, supposedly under her breath, but loud enough for everyone else on line to hear, “Douchebag.”

I returned to the Jumble, desperate not to give her the satisfaction. “I AM NOT MADE OF VINEGAR AND WATER,” I wrote in my paper, even though there weren’t enough spaces.


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