Legal Supplier

Strigberger: 'Can we still bank on a bank?'

By Kirsten McMahon, Associate Editor

Legal humorist and author Marcel Strigberger details the absurdities of trying to use a $100 bill at a cashless bank in a Globe and Mail column.

“Can we still bank on a bank? I don’t know anymore. I found a $100 banknote recently in my desk. I don’t recall where it came from. But it made me happy — until I tried to use it at a supermarket. The cashier told me they do not accept $100 bills due to potential forgery issues. Actually, she virtually scolded me, stopping short of saying, ‘Nice try.’

“No problem. I visited my closest bank in order to get some smaller bills to avoid cashiers in the future looking at me as if I were fraud artist Bernie Madoff,” writes Strigberger, author of Birth, Death and Other Trivialities and Poutine on the Orient Express: An Irreverent Look at Travel.

As he wandered into the bank with his rogue $100 bill, he noticed there was no queue in front of the tellers.

“The reason for this unexpected pleasure was that there were no tellers. I looked around incredulously and stepped outside for a second or two to look at the sign and make sure I was at a bank. Yep. No doubt it was a bank,” Strigberger muses.

“I went back in expecting to break that big bill. Then again, I suppose the Montreal Canadiens this year expected to win the Stanley Cup.”

After a series of follies, he was advised by a woman named Amber that he was at a cashless bank.

“I insisted she must be joking. She reiterated this was a cashless bank. I did not believe my ears,” Strigberger writes. “This was like Starbucks saying this is a coffeeless branch. Cappuccinos are a thing of the past. Give the barista your name and wait at the end of the counter, where in one minute you will get nothing. You’re welcome to just come in and have fun taking up space and playing with your MacBook Pro.”

Before leaving the ‘bank,’ he asked her what would happen if a bank robber would come in and demand cash. She told me she would deal with him the same way,” he writes.

“Then, as I was about to exit what, in my mind, used to be a bank, Amber added insult to injury by asking me, no doubt sincerely, ‘Is there anything else I can help you with today?’”

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