Posts tagged: a.t.m.

Insufficient Funds


Last Sunday, I sat alone in my apartment watching a marathon of Intervention and binge drinking.  For every time a family member cried or someone’s dignity was compromised for entertainment, I would chug a beer.  Needless to say, this took too long to get me drunk, so I resorted to taking a shot whenever someone being interviewed would blink.  This worked a little too well.

“Man, I’m drunk Balloon.” I said to my dog Balloon.  When she didn’t answer I threw a beer can at her.  She scurried off with her tail between her legs as I laughed at her fear of having things thrown at her.

propelSneakily, while I was shouting at my dog the TV had swtiched to commercials.  Reaching to the remote to TiVo through them, a commercial came on that caught my eye.

In it, athletes ran and swam and biked and ran again, all the while irredescent-colored sweat poured from their skin.

“Swamp thing.”  I said to myself.

“Propel Fitness Water.”  The television corrected.

“Oh,” I replied, “I need that.”

I looked about my coffee table for my car keys, smacking the beer cans that had accumulated out of the way.  Finally, I found them and was on my way to Fitness.


atmBefore going to the 7-11 for the radioactive fitness water, I had to stop by an ATM to replenish my wallet.  I drove up to the ATM, popped my card into the robot, pressed some buttons and held out my hand for it to generously spit out 20’s.  Instead of 20’s, however, it gave me the following message:


Huh? What the hell does that mean? I thought, anxiously shaking my hands as if they were damp.  After trying again three times, I panicked and called someone who has a tendency to remedy the situation.

“Hi, mom,” I said, trying to sound as sober as possible.  “The machine doesn’t spit money at me.  I think it’s mad at me or something.”

“Huh?” She replied

“The MONEY machine.”

“Is there money in your account?”  She asked.

“Why wouldn’t there be?” I smartly retorted.

“Because you must have spent all of it.  I wasn’t able to give you as much this month, Tommy, the economy is in horrible shape and we’re having some difficulty getting by.”  She said.

“Why should that affect me? Look, the TV told me to drink Propel Fitness Water, do you want a fat son?!”

“Maybe you should look for a job, Tom.”  She said.

“MOM I TOLD YOU I’M TOO DELICATE FOR THAT!  I’m a goddamned artist!”  I slammed my phone shut, panicking at the prospect of changing my spending habits.


I paced back and forth in my apartment, my brain concocting a plan to get money.  “Rainbow Sherbet, what should I do?” I asked my pet goldfish Rainbow Sherbet.

“Blub blub.”  Rainbow Sherbet replied.


jeezyWhile I was brainstorming, the television was on Mute so as not to disturb me while I was thinking.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a music video by Young Jeezy.

Man, that guy’s got it made.  He’s probably bringin’ in truckloads of tail. I thought to myself.  Then, as if someone had flicked a light switch in my brain to turn on a lightbulb above my head, I thought HE PROBABLY DOESN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY!

I knew what I had to do:  Write a #1 hit song.


My hit song-writing desk was surrounded by wadded up pieces of paper and the surface was covered with eraser shavings, but I had done it.  I had covered every subject, and had written a song that could appeal to anyone.  I picked up the paper and read it aloud to nobody in particular:

“Navajo woman
When I kiss you
I hear drums beating in the distance
Your Indian spirit
The spirit of your ancestors
Lifts my spirits
and tightens my trousers
Navajoooooooo, yo yo
Ay yuh-yuh-yuh A yuh-yuh-yuh (repeat)

I knew I had a hit on my hands.  Now all I had to do was get it on the radio.


“Operator.”  The woman on the phone answered.

“Hi, yes, can you please connect me with Beck?”  I asked sweetly.

“Yes, hold please.”  She said shortly before I was forced to listen to hold music.  My music is so much better than this! I thought to myself excitedly.

“Becks brewing company. How can I help you?”  A woman asked after I was transferred.

“Beck, as in the Beck.”  I inquired.

“…… Yes.”  She said.

“OK, good, so listen….” I said before launching into a diatribe on everything from my goldfish to my mom to Young Jeezy.  Finally, I got to perform my song for the woman on the line.  There was an awkward silence that followed before she said:

“I like it.”

yay“You do, you reallyreallyreally do?”

“Sure.”  She said.  I snapped my phone shut and jumped up in the air in glee.  I was in.


Weeks went by before I finally received a piece of mail from Beck.  I excitedly opened it, careful not to tear the check that it would be holding.  Instead of a check, however, there was a 20%-off coupon for Beck’s beer and a letter that said:

Dear Loyal Customer,

Thank you for your interest in Becks beer.



Becks Brewing Company

So it sort of paid off but sort of didn’t.  I would be saving money on beer that month, but not nearly enough to support my opulent lifestyle.  So when it came down to brass tacks, I knew it.

I would have to get a job.

Copyright Tom Van Deusen 2014.