When You Can’t Afford the Next Round

It’s important to have a system

A blurry photo of four people drinking in a bar
Photo by Heshan Perera on Unsplash

“Watch close now.” Bill, the first honest-to-god alcoholic I ever met, was demonstrating his “Five-step Magical ATM banking system.”

“First, ya grab one of these envelopes they give away and ya press the deposit button.” 

“Five hundred usually does it.” Bill pressed buttons. The deposit hatch chucked open. Bill slid the envelope in, and it disappeared down the throat of the machine.

“Step Four’s the key,” he said, pressing the cash-back button. “Three hundred is the max. I always get three hundred.”

“That’s it?” I said. “Deposit nonexistent checks?”

“You gotta change banks after,” Bill said, grinning. “That’s Step Five.”