Brown Line Bottle Blonde Blockhead


Taking cues from the CTA Tattler and Bob Newhart, today I give you the cell phone conversation I sat next to on the L last week:

It’s a Friday evening outbound rush on the Brown Line. As the train leaves Merchandise Mart, a petite, 20-something, bottle-blonde DePaulite, balancing on a window seat with her impossibly pink stilettos barely reaching the floor, pulls out her cell phone, sucks her teeth, and dials…

“Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? How about now? How about NOW?–

Good, I’m calling about my card. My card. My CARD. Yeah, my card–

It’s off. You turned off my password. I called today, you said you TURNED OFF MY PIN–

Because of fraud, the lady said someone was using my card number–

Huh? It’s– can you hear me? I’m on the train. Okay, I SAID IT’S XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX–

Yeah, someone got the number. How am I supposed to know how?–

Well why didn’t you call me or send something to tell me you were gonna shut it off? Now I can’t get any money for the weekend–

No I didn’t. I used it yesterday, and if I knew you were gonna shut it off, like if you’d sent me a letter, I would have taken out more. This is a total problem now, thank you —

No, I didn’t get it. No, I didn’t. Yes, I’m sure, didn’t I just say that? —

No I can’t check for it tonight. No I can’t. Uh-uh. No.–

Because. Because. Because they get sent to my PARENTS’ house–

Well can I at least write a check at a branch? Can I do that?–

I guess I’ll have to do that then. Thanks a LOT.”

At which point, without asking how much money if any had actually been stolen from her account, she hung up, huffed, threw her phone back in her purse, and alternatively twirled her hair and sucked her fingers until Diversey, where I exited the train fighting the urge to suggest for her a new password, likely more appropriate than her old one, and certainly easier to remember.


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