A few years ago, closing out a bank safe deposit box was simple: return the keys and sign your name. As I found out last week, however, this process, now computerized, was painstakingly laborious. The clerk spent at least fifteen minutes (in slow motion) going over a check list—verifying my social security number, my and my wife’s home and email addresses, our occupations, (why not include our preoccupations as well?) and miscellaneous trivia—at one point, I figured he’d ask me how many moles I had on my chest. He had to fill out data on at least 10 screens before I could sign my name and exit as gracefully as possible.
Before we began, the clerk had told me that he was from New York and assumed that my accent indicated that I was a New Yorker as well. No, I told him that I was from Boston. He quipped that even though he was a die-hard Yankees fan and I probably was a fervent Red Sox fan (I nodded), we could still get along. For over a century, the rivalry between the indomitable Yankees and the hapless Red Sox has always been fierce. But for the past fifteen years, Boston has repeatedly trounced its former nemesis.
Just as the clerk opened his computer, I noticed a New York Yankees cap that was displayed on a stand opposite me. Throughout the ensuing interminable question and answer session, I wondered if the clerk took so much time because of his baseball bias against me.
Was he just yanking my chain? I would have preferred that he fill out the form in a New York minute (I would have even given him a Bronx cheer). But perhaps he was true to form: **bleep** Yankee indeed?