Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Belated Christmas Story (The Jaws of Life)

(Welcome guest blogger, Kevin Dreely,V)

It was Christmas Eve, and I was scheduled to attend a few parties during the course of the evening. Decked in my black suit, new shiny loafers, bow tie and starched white shirt; I decided to visit the ATM lobby on Minnesota Avenue in the south east section of Washington, District of Columbia. I needed funds for the cash bar and other incidentals.

As I entered the ATM lobby, the heavy door closed behind me. Naturally, I inserted my bank card into the well-lit money machine, entered my passcode and the amount of withdrawl. After I heard that wonderful and delightful rolling sound of money being dispense from the automated teller, I returned the card to my wallet and placed the money in my pocket. Ready to exit the small lobby, I placed my hand on the gold door handle. I tried to pull the door open. However, the door would not budge. So, I pulled again and again until I realized that I was locked inside the ATM lobby. The door had locked behind me.

Immediately, I called the "1-888" number for my bank. Of course, no human answered the phone since it was Christmas Eve as I pulled on the door again and again - all to no avail. In an effort to collect my thoughts, I decided to relax. Inhale and exhale. I had repeated my deep breathing exercises six times before an idea had popped into my mind. Using my smartphone, I posted a message on my social media page that read:" I am locked in the ATM Lobby on Minn. Ave SE. Can somebody in my network call them at 1-888-bbtbank. I can't get nobody on the phone."

Within a matter of moments, there were about fifty comments on my page. Some of my social media friends called 9-1-1 while others had called the bank's emergency number. Most thought that it was a practical joke and asked for a loan. In an effort to free myself, thoughts of breaking the door eased into my mind. However, I did not want to get arrested for destruction of property. Also, I had time to think of everything that had gone right and wrong during the past year. It was an odd opportunity to make my New Year's resolutions, but I made a few during my "confinement." Suddenly, in the dark of the night, one could hear the sounds of sirens blending with the night air and busy traffic. The fire department had arrived to my rescue with three noisy trucks - and plenty of amused onlookers. Where were they when the door first locked?

Smiling at me on the other side of the glass door, one of the firemen tried to open the door with his hand. When he realized that it was indeed locked, the graying rescuer used the "jaws of life" crowbar to break open the ATM lobby's door. Finally, after twenty-five long minutes, I was a free man. And just to show my social media friends that I had been released, I got an onlooker to snap a photo of the rescue personnel and me standing in front of the ATM lobby.

Needless to say, I will be using the ATM drive-thru from now on.

Kevin Dreely, V
Washington, District of Columbia - USA

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