Sunday, August 07, 2011

My Money — for Nothing Interesting

My debit card was stolen, by which I mean that I probably lost it on the way back from a beer run on Friday when it simply fell out of my pocket. Well, that or I paused in the middle of the street to toss it in the air Mary Tyler Moore-style and then promptly forgot that I did so. I’m not clear which scenario is more likely. I make strange decisions sometimes.

Regardless of the circumstances or my ability to turn worlds on with my smiles, the debit card made its way into someone else’s hands, and by the time I realized this, it had two charges on it: one at CVS and one at Kmart. The bank is quickly working to nuke these boring little frauds into nonexistence, but can I say that I’m slightly disappointed that my thief chose to spend my money in such an uninteresting way? Really? $80 worth at CVS and Kmart? What’s the most interesting item you can buy at either of these paces — Trojans and Ronrico? A “personal massage device”? I mean, at least if the charges were to a sex shop or a go-kart racing track, I’d know that he or she put my money toward something fun. I suppose, however, that my thief could only use the card at chains that don’t require a PIN, which brings up a good question: Why the hell don’t they? I mean, why should they bypass an essentially built-in security feature? If it’s for the convenience of the customer, I (a customer sometimes, when I have money left over after the thieves have their go) would be completely fine with having to punch in my code during ever purchase if it made it harder for a person to use someone else’s ATM card, even if I was just buying Trojans, Ronrico and a personal massage device.

Now, I would never just steal someone else’s money. That’s an unequivocally shitty thing to do. But let’s say I did swipe another person’s ATM card and used it for my own devices. Presuming that I would probably get caught, I would use this free money to paint a fantastic portrait of myself: sky-diving, jet skis, the most expensive watercolor set that money can buy, and a round-trip ticket to Prague. However, because I’m also that Hollywood sort of fraudeur who manages to teach his victims a life lesson, I’d also use the card to donate to those indefatigably good organization like the American Cancer Society and the Center for Missing Children, just so they’d have to look over the charges one by one and ask themselves, “Do I really want to cancel that donation to the poor, little cancer children? Why didn’t I donate that money myself? What kind of life am I leading?” And then when they realized that I opened their eyes to their shallow existence, they’d forgive me, call of the cops and kiss me in front of a fountain. Because that’s how you know when something works out for the better: fountain kisses.

In closing, please stop spending my money.


  1. I think you may have just written the latest Kate Hudson/Matthew McConaughey rom-com vehicle right there...
    "He's a free spirit... She's a rich bitch... But when one mislaid debit card brings these two wacky opposites together, they'll find out that maybe their accounts balance after all! Coming this summer: The Credit Score!"

  2. But seriously. Maybe we should just write this. I could use the money, and it clearly writes itself. I'm surprised it hasn't been made already -- with those stars.

  3. The reason they don't want your PIN is this big business scam thing. Basically, banks charge stores one amount for processing card swiping and credit card companies charge another. If you put in your PIN, the bank gets the money. If you just sign it, VISA or whoever gets the money. The credit card companies have been doing as much as possible to make sure you can just sign for things instead of using your PIN because they want the fee for themselves. Stores kinda hate both of them, but consumers really want to be able to pay credit not cash, so they don't have a choice.

  4. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Ha. When my debit card was stolen a few years back it was used for several ATM withdrawals and a ticket purchase on a middle-eastern airline. I was glad the bank made those disappear quickly...