Friday, May 23, 2014

I Don't Want To Know

This morning after walking the dogs in the muggy heat, I had to do a quick side trip to the bank to make a deposit.  The boys are panting in the backseat, so I just wanted to hit the ATM, take less than a minute, and be on my way.

The ATM has a big sign taped to the screen; it's out of order.

Of course it is.

Into the bank I go.  To stand in a fifteen-person line...with one teller.  Ah well, so it will take me ten minutes instead of one.  It's Friday, a three-day weekend, the windows are down in the car, the dogs should be's all good.

There's an old, old man standing in front of me with a large chocolate chip cookie in his hand (provided by the bank along with coffee as you enter the lobby).  I'm reading the notice board about pub crawls, horse shows and congrats to the 2014 graduating class when the old guy turns to me, waves the cookie under my nose and says loudly, "First food I've had since yesterday."

I can't just ignore him.  I really wasn't interested in chatting, but since I'm stuck in line anyway... He's dressed well, has a cane, doesn't appear to have any reason for a cookie to be the only food he's had since yesterday. Against my better judgment, I ask, "Why haven't you eaten?"

"I didn't feel well yesterday and ended up in the hospital, just got out about an hour ago."

Oh. I look over his head, hope the line is moving.  It's not and now he's staring at me, waiting for me to ask why he was in the hospital.  I don't want to, but damn.  He's an old man, by himself, just out of the hospital. Be kind.  Still, I try to stick to generalities. "You must be okay now," I say, smiling politely, "because here you are! Eating cookies at the bank."

And that, dear readers, is all it took. The floodgates open.  He starts to tell me about his bladder issues, how he couldn't stop peeing yesterday, and just as he's getting into the graphic nature of his ailment, bringing his...manly bit...into the story, I hold up my hand and say firmly, "No details. I don't want to hear details."

He blinks, opens his mouth to speak, then miraculously two more tellers arrive, the line moves forward, and I am saved.

Then there is a tap on my shoulder.  Crap.  Now I expect to get an earful from the woman who's been standing behind me throughout this whole ordeal; maybe she thought I was rude to an old man.  I have a second to wish I'd just left the frigging bank while I had the chance before I slowly turn, prepared to defend myself.

The woman beams at me.  "Oh, well done!"  She leans in, whispers, "I just about died when he started talking about his penis!  Can you imagine?  A total stranger talking about...that?"

I started to laugh.  "That's what I get for trying to be nice."

"I wish I could handle awkward moments like that. I just get so flustered and turn red and can't think what to say."

"Well, I have to draw the line at penis-talk while standing in line at the bank."

We smile at each other like old friends sharing a bizarre moment in time. Then--at last--it's my turn and I quickly do my transaction.  As I head toward the door, I overhear the old man telling his story to the girl at the next window.

I don't glance back at the poor teller.  Hopefully she was able to say that she didn't want details either...


  1. TMI - too much information. Sone people don't know what's too much with strangers. And people are lonely...let's face it. Good of you to have such patience ;-)

    1. My patience was only good to a point! ;D