Throughout most of my life, I have been unable to accumulate huge amounts of money.  In fact;  Keeping the wolf from our door has been an ongoing struggle for my lovely roommate and me.  In fact: We spent a goodly amount of time wondering; just how we could escape the Quagmire that fate had designed for us.

Thick payment books usually followed the purchase of any and all major purchases.  The first few days of each month found us agonizing over which payment could be skipped in order to satisfy another that was past due.

Eventually, by curtailing unnecessary spending to the point that we were able to save a portion of our meager income, we began a savings account with our Mega-Bank. They then; rewarded us for our frugality by changing the designation of our checking account from Standard / Tin” to Excellent / Platinum”.

Over the years; we managed to accrue enough in this savings account to buy; what we hoped would be our retirement home.

We transferred enough of our funds from our savings account into our checking account and wrote a check for the property.  Little did we know; that doing so, would void our Excellent / Platinum rating and our checking account would revert to the original Standard / Tin designation.

This change was brought to our attention only when we received our monthly statement.  Buried deep within the explanations for all the transactions, was a service charge of $30.00 designated as Maintenance Fee.  Needless to say, I immediately demanded enlightenment from the Bank and was told that;  “You withdrew a substantial amount from your savings account.”

“My God, Lady. !!!  Are you telling me that I have to pay you a fee to use my own money?””

Her answer was, “YES!”  Withdrawing this money from savings disqualified you for the Excellent / Platinum rating.”

By this time, my blood pressure was probably off the chart.  I asked what qualifies one for all the ‘free stuff,’ that they hype; in all their advertisements.

“Most importantly; you must have all your income direct deposited into our Bank.  Bring us the deed to your home, your endorsed life insurance policies, and your eldest son.

We will also need the signed titles for all vehicles:  Assignment of your pension checks “and all of the spare change in the sugar dish”.  Then, you will be able to write one check each quarter; if less than $5.00.”  “Doesn’t that sound nice, Mr. Demijon?” she grinned.

Dejected, I asked, “I suppose that it’s out of the question to ask for a loan of a quarter for the parking meter beside your office.”

Mrs. Mega,  smiled when she replied;  “We validate one parking citation per year and I see from your computer records that you have used this privilege last month:  Anything else, Mr. Demijon?

I glanced out the window and spotted a billboard across the street advertising – Poppa Joe’s Bank & Trust Co, Inc. “We cater to the little folks.”

“NO:  I said in a quivering voice.  Enough is enough and I’ve had quite an abundance.”