The kid heard of this place in town where the poutine was supposed to be the best poutine ever. Could we go, he wanted to know.
Of course. If there’s great poutine to be had, you have to go. So we went.
He ordered the poutine. It came with no cheese curds. Which is probably what made it the best in the kid’s estimation, but strictly speaking disqualifies it as being poutine. If we were in Quebec, serving such a thing and calling it poutine would probably be illegal.
I got the nachos, which were also some of the worst nachos ever.
When the check came, I sent it back with my debit card — the card I use for pretty much everything. The waiter came back and said it had been declined.
“Really?” I said.
“I tried running it twice,” he said.
Fortunately, I had a back-up card and that one worked.
When I got home I logged into the online banking website to see if somehow all the money I thought I had in the account had disappeared. It was still there. That was a relief, but also a puzzle.
Later that day, I stopped by the package store to get a celebratory bottle of pinot grigio for Brooke’s return home from a three day business trip. Again the card was declined. This time I asked the guy behind the counter, “Does it say, specifically, ‘declined’? Or did the machine just not read it?” He looked again and said, “Says, ‘declined'”.
When I got home again, I called the bank’s 24/7 toll-free customer service number. But it was a Saturday, and nobody was there. (Someone needs to tell the bankers what 24/7 means. Or, they need to have a disclaimer something to the effect of “Just as Banker’s business hours means 11am — 2 pm, “Banker’s 24/7 lines mean, 11am — 2pm, Monday — Friday.”) They did have a voicemail recorder, so I left a message.
On Monday, I got a call from the bank. She couldn’t tell me why my card was being declined and said I should go to the closest bank branch in person. I did.
It turns out that when I ordered my summer pajamas, their security system had flagged the purchase as a fraudulent transaction and put a hold on the card.
This confirms my suspicion that very few men wear pajamas any more. I’m guessing there is a conspiracy about it. It’s certain to have something to do with Duck Dynasty, the Illuminati, the Masons, the UN and the World Bank. Walmart doesn’t carry them. The online selection is terrible. And when you do find some and place an order, your bank flags it as fraudulent — “because, really, who wears men’s pajamas?”
“But I really wanted the pajamas,” I told Debbie at the customer service desk.
“Ok,” she said. “We’ve released the lock on your card. But we’re also going to issue you a new card with a security chip in it.” She smiled.
I felt like I was being profiled. “This man wears men’s pajamas. He’s one of those people. He is a security risk. Put a chip on his card.” I’ve probably also been added to the TSA’s “no fly” list. (The pajamas, after all, did not have zippers.)
I say, instead of persecuting people for wearing men’s pajamas, they should be more concerned with the proper regulation of what’s allowed to be sold on the open market as “poutine”.