Sunday, June 16, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 25th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 8 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 8

Driver carries no cash: Krider misses the days when cash was king


I  grew up with money. Now, when I say I grew up with money, I don't mean I actually had money.

As a kid, my family was solid lower middle class, complete with a broken-down Chevrolet on jack stands in the driveway. When I say grew up with money, I mean that if I was ever able to score a couple of bucks to pedal my BMX bike to 7-Eleven to buy some Jolt cola and a package of Big League Chew bubble gum, that money was actual green legal tender in paper dollars. My corduroy pants pockets would have real folded cash in them and also some random coins scoured from the ashtray of the broken-down Chevrolet in the driveway.

You could get some pretty good treats for two bucks and change back in the '80s. No, I didn't wear a helmet or have parental guidance and GPS tracking to go to 7-Eleven. I just rode my bike and bought whatever sugary treats I wanted, and somehow I wasn't kidnapped by anyone in a van or killed riding across the street—amazing times. Even though I survived the '80s, the question is will I survive diabetes before I turn 80? Only time will tell.

The reason I bring this "having money" issue up is because I learned how to count change, balance my checking account, and budget my candy money when I was as young as a fifth grader. However, with the technological changes in society and banking, I have completely forgotten all of those skill sets. Cash has been replaced with debit cards. For me, budgeting has been replaced by simply swiping my card through different machines until it stops working. I have no idea how much money is in my account at any one time.

My lack of financial awareness frustrates my wife, whom I love, to no end. You see, I normally find out I'm broke the hard way, while standing in line at the grocery store checkout line. I swipe my card and hope for the best. There are those few seconds between swiping and the words "approved" while I stand there not breathing. I start to sweat and wonder, 'Is this going to work?' It feels like time stops and everyone in line is staring at me. I pray I have money.

Unfortunately, sometimes the card doesn't work, and I can feel my face begin to blush. The checkers are always as kind as they can be, "Excuse me, Sir. Your card was declined."

"Oh, really? OK. Um, well, I guess I don't need all of these groceries."

"You want to return some items, sir?"

"No, I am hoping for a sinkhole to appear directly under my feet so I can disappear from this extremely embarrassing moment in front of a long line of other customers who are probably responsible enough to actually have money in their accounts."

"So, you don't need any of these items?"

"Uh, well. I certainly don't need the ice cream, the Reese's peanut butter cups, or the $14 six-pack of craft beer. I probably need the toilet paper though. Then again, if I don't buy the food, all things being equal, I probably won't need as much toilet paper. I'll tell you what, I'm going to say to you that I just need to go out to my car to get some cash, and then instead of coming back, I will quickly drive away and never return to this grocery store as long as I live. You will never see me again, and some poor bagger will have to put all of my groceries back on the shelves. Sorry for the inconvenience. Apparently I'm bad at math."

"Sir, you don't have a different card you can try?"

"Well, I have three different cards in my wallet, but you're the third store I've been to today." 

Rob has completely run out of stores he can go to in town. He now commutes an hour to buy groceries. You can read more from Rob Krider at

Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

| Poll Results