Had dinner with my friend Corey last night at O’Shea’s (map). Nice little neighborhood Irish pub, though I’m not a big fan of Guinness (and apparently they pour a hell of a black and tan, which I do enjoy now and then). Instead I had a couple pints of Pyramid Hefeweizen, among my favorite American wheats.
I’d never been to O’Shea’s but everyone knew Corey, and they all drew me into the thick of things right away. We were ostensibly celebrating Corey’s birthday a couple weeks back—his 30th year this time around—but in reality we were entertained by stories of the drinking habits of other bar regulars, particularly the belligerence of one guy who apparently was quite the asshole a few nights ago. I don’t know who he was, however, as he wasn’t there last night and his name didn’t stick in my mind.
So mainly we sat at the bar and sipped our drinks and nibbled at dinner (turkey and Swiss on rye for me, club sandwich for Corey) and caught up on the couple months since we saw each other, and the several years it had been since we saw each other before that. We were entertained by one employee’s horribly spelled attempt at a sign announcing a Christmas party, and a little later by that employee’s sister’s berating of the spelling and explanation of how the bad-speller sister got the artistic ability but this sister got the brains, and how spell check is bad for things like “roll” and “role” because the context is important, and oh the homonyms.
Won’t someone think of the homonyms?
We left O’Shea’s for Corey’s house by way of an ATM in Fremont followed by a stop somewhere else in Fremont for a certain smokable substance of questionable legal status. There were just two discrete quantities and thus price points, but a combined four separate purchases involved, and the mental gymnastics required to calculate the correct total price were amusing. As I turned over in my own mind the standard quantities and prices, it occurred to me:
I think the reason most ATMs’ “quick cash” options dispense $40 has nothing to do with the fact that most ATMs provide $20 bills, and two of those bills strikes banks as a decent number for a speedy transaction.
I’m almost certain the reality is that $40 is a pretty standard price for a common illicit substance in its most commonly dispensed amount (in my experience, anyway), and the ATM manufacturers are thus providing a tremendous service for those last-minute needs when simple arithmetic ought to be the least of your worries but is in fact your biggest nemesis.
Also $20 bills make nice thick bundles when you get into the several-hundred-dollars range.
But I could be wrong, I suppose. My experience is pretty limited.