WAITING FOR THE ATM

Rad Cliff is the only one in the vicinity of the ATM. He is standing at the machine, humming "Fu-gee-la" to himself while practicing rolling a quarter over his knuckles. When Alice Watson comes around the corner, though, he starts cursing and bewailing his bad luck. Alice, who has, of course, known the young man all his life, doesn't hesitate to approach him and wonder, "What's the matter, Rad?"
"Damn machine ate my card and the bank's closed and I've got a date with a terrific girl..." Rad explains. Alice opens her purse and, pulling out her own cash card, asks Rad, "How much do you need?"
Without a blink, he tells her, "$300."
Alice does a double-take that Morey Amsterdam would be proud of and which Rad cannot let go unacknowledged. Positively oozing boyish charm, he shyly tells this old family friend, "She's really special. And I have a really amazing night planned. But you've gotta promise not to breathe a word to anyone! The Cliff women'll be all over her in a minute and that'd be the end of it." Alice smiles and grants him the truth of his dread with, "I understand."
Alice begins the process of withdrawing cash while telling Rad, "I'm sorry, I do need some cash for myself. I can only spare you $260. Until Monday."
Hugging Alice, Rad takes the cash and as he races around the corner, promises, "First thing Monday! I'll bring it to your office!!" Alice is bemused by the sight of the young man so charged up by young love and smiles as she walks across the street and gets into her car to drive home. She resolves to keep her pledge not to tell anyone, want to though she might, because who among those who would enjoy the news would be able not to spread it until, inevitably, Charlotte or Carly or Queen Carlotta heard that Rad had a girlfriend and, inadvertantly or not, ruined the relationship?
Ten minutes later, Sunny Southern rounds the corner to get some cash from the ATM and comes upon her dorm-mate, Rad Cliff, cursing and swearing at the cruel, heartless inequity of technology! He apologizes to Sunny for his uncouth behavior, but, he explains, the machine has eaten his cash card and if he can't get $280 in the next fifteen minutes, he won't be able to buy the upgrade for his computer without which he won't be able to complete his final papers and exams...
"Don't panic, Rad," Sunny comforts him, "I only need twenty bucks. I can lend you the $280." Rad hugs his friend, appreciative of her understanding of his freshman end-of-term panic, promises to pay her back on Monday, and races away around the corner... where he catches his breath and lies in wait for his next prey.

ATM INDEX
CLIFFTON CHAMBER of COMMERCE