Why I am good, free entertainment for CCTV operatives
I wander up towards the pub, then realise I need some cash. 'Let's meet for a drink,' in the dictionary my sister uses, means, 'Let's meet for three drinks and make you late home so that the dinner your husband has cooked you is burned.' I know the evening will cost me more than the 89p I have in my purse, especially if I'm going to have to book an appointment for marriage guidance later.
I approach a 'hole in the wall' and tap in my numbers. Strange. No response from the machine. I tap them in again. Nothing. I tap on all the buttons, starting at the top, in that kind of tap-them-all-something's-bound-to-happen way. Nothing. I do it again, starting from the bottom and working up. Nope. Damn.
I approach a second hole-in-the-wall, just up the road. Tap in my numbers. No response. Tap them in again. Nothing. Use the flat of my hand and lay it on all the buttons at once, rocking my palm backwards and forwards so that I connect with them all. It's a free massage, you bummers, so GIVE ME MY MONEY. Not a dicky bird. Damn. How can two machines in the same street not be working?
I approach the third, and last available, hole-in-the-wall. (And if there's CCTV trained on all of them, the police are presumably already on their way.) I go to press in my number, and a reminder flashes up, saying, 'Please insert your card, then tap in your PIN'.
Ah. That would be where I was going wrong then.
I take the card out of my purse, put it in the slot, tap in my numbers, and, hey presto, out comes money.
I have got money successfully out of holes-in-the-wall for a good thirty years now. So it is not as though I haven't had practice. In fact, I've had more practice recently than ever before, having moved nearer my sister.
A glass of wine later, I have the courage to tell her about my 'senior, if not already-senile, moment'. I can't exaggerate and say that she spurted her drink everywhere because she was laughing so much, as she's bound to read this. I'll just have to content myself with saying that she laughed and not embellish the story, which is frankly boring-boring-boring.
Still, she did laugh quite a lot. As, no doubt, did the guys watching the CCTV once they realised they were dealing, not with a fraudster, but with a cracked-up forty-six year old who should no longer be left alone with hot liquids or trusted to make her own toast, let alone left to teach iambic pentameter to large groups of children.