Mr. Canister

I did something so dumb when we first moved to Florida.

In the States the banks have drive thru lanes, with a chute and a canister system. You put your deposit slips and checks in the canister, push a button, and it shoots up and over to the bank teller.

One Saturday morning the bank was teeming, the parking lot full and long lines inside. I was running errands, so I pulled up to the drive-thru. I distractedly filled out my forms, sent them on their short journey to the busy teller, got the canister back with my slip, and drove away.

Drove away with the canister, that is. But, that is not the dumb thing I did.

A few miles later, I realized the canister was my unwilling companion. There he was, Mr. Canister, sitting in the passenger seat, staring at me. Yikes!

I suddenly had a panicked picture of cars backed up at the drive-thru, frustrated customers, irritated at the lack of a canister to do business with. I imagined the teller, thinking, “Oh no, someone stole my canister!”

Immediately turning my car around, I rushed back – skillfully dodging other traffic – determined to save the day for the customers and come clean with the teller!

I pulled up, parked abruptly, grabbed Mr. Canister and briskly entered the bank.

The scene that greeted me?

Serenity. Everything peaceful, flowing like clockwork… I handed it to a banker, who received it (and my apology) in a tranquil, amiable, detached manner…

Yup, of course they hadn’t even missed Mr. Canister. Of course they keep a stock of them. And of course, it was not about me.

It never is. I got back in my car, and chuckled sheepishly with God – “I get it. Of course it’s not about me. Sorry.”

And I pulled out, with my empty passenger seat, still smiling. Actually, I’m smiling now. God deliver us from ourselves. How often we react as if we are the center of the universe…

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