I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been in a bank line and some guy at one of the windows is dragging things out because he’s flirting with the female teller. Maybe because he’s a bit lonely and hasn’t enjoyed any human contact that day. Either way he’s turning on the charm, turning it up to level 11, trying to alpha the poor girl into submission. She can’t walk away and she can’t tell him to fuck off and he knows that, of course. Even if the teller is just nodding and smiling while trying to complete the transaction as fast as possible, it still slows things down.

This happened today at my local Chase just before 5 pm, and there were three or four of us waiting for Mr. Lonelyhearts to finish the flirting and get down to fucking business already. We all pretended not to notice, but every person was staring at the back of this guy’s neck and hating on him. I could tell from the insect antennae vibes. I for one was telepathically urging this chucklehead to give a second’s thought to the fact that the more he dingle-dangled the more he was dragging things out a bit longer for three or four of us and…why don’t you, like, consider that possibility? Is your life that bereft of warmth and companionship?”

At that exact same moment the back of Mr. Happy’s sunburnt neck was telepathically saying to me “fuck you, dude…what’s your problem? It’s the end of the day and she’s cute and I’m gonna enjoy a couple of extra minutes with her…okay? Are you always this miserable? Have you ever connected with a bank teller who’s flashing green-light signals? This is one of those moments. Relax, man. Life is short.”

And of course it’s much worse if the teller starts flirting back. Then anyone waiting in line behind Mr. Alpha Charm School is really fucked and feeling a tiny bit angrier. “You’re so cute and engaging that I’m just going to prolong this discussion as long as I can,” the Woody Allen subtitles under the guy’s neck or chin (depending on where you were standing) were saying. “I mean, I’m a nice guy and you’re a cute girl and here we are…y’know?”

The professionally smiling teller hears what he’s saying and appreciates the attention, but the subtitles under her chin read “You’re very nice, but I’m sensing that the people waiting in line don’t like you very much right now, especially that guy with the dark hair who looks like whatsisname, that actor, and in a minute or two they’ll be transferring the animus to me so let’s try and show just a little consideration.

“On top of which I have a boyfriend. Well, not really but if you suggest meeting for coffee that’s what I’m going to tell you.”