My hunting buddy, coworker and all-around friend, Len, hails from Pennsylvania. Blogworld pals Jenster, Bubblewench, and WordVixen call the Keystone state home. There may be more of you that live within the states boundaries, but those three are the ones that come to mind.
That being said, right now Pennsylvania is my least favorite state. Let me explain.
Thursday I'm sitting in a local coffee shop doing a bit of writing when my cell phone rings.
"Is this Travis Erwin?" The woman asks.
"Yes it is," I answer.
"You're not in Pennsylvania are you?"
"What?" Imagine me with a an expression of sheer confusion.
"This is Samantha from the Credit Union. Unless you are in Pennsylvania going from Walmart to Walmart, is appears someone has forged your ATM card and is making fraudulent charges."
"I've never even been to Pennsylvania, " I stammer.
"So far the charges add up to a little over seventeen hundred dollars. Are you still in possession of your ATM card?"
"I think so." I reach for my wallet to double check. Sure enough it's there.
"If so we need you to bring it in to the office. I've already canceled it and I'm marking it stolen right now. We'll also need you to sign an affidavit that these charges are not yours. And you'll need to file a police report."
This is the point where I hung up and uttered a string of obscenities. The other patrons of the coffee shop shot me incredulous looks. Sure I was cussing, but at that moment I didn't give once Colombian bean about the sanctity of their cappuccino induced calm. I was pissed. Anytime I get ripped off my first reaction is one of violence. No it's not right or healthy, but my primal urge is to grab hold of the perpetrators neck, seize their windpipe and expose it to fresh air and sunlight.
Realizing I was now the crazy guy at the coffee shop I gathered up my laptop and left. Still angry about my nearly two grand worth of "charitable contribution to Pennsylvania's needy" I headed for the bank.
I hadn't signed that many papers since I bought my house, but finally I had everything I needed in order to file a police report.
My experience at the police station is worthy of a whole other blog post, but in short I'll say they treated me like the guy who stops in everyday to file a report about the black helicopters circling his house. The desk clerk made it plain that my mere presence annoyed her and the detective all but said only idiots who fail to protect their assets get ripped off. Never mind that my bank had already said this was a nationwide scam in which someone compromised the debit card company.
So sometime in the next 7-10 business days my cash is supposed to be credited back and I am supposed to have a new debit/ATM card. until then look for me on a corner near you. I'll be the one with the witty cardboard sign.
And if you happen to be in Pennsylvania sitting around surrounded by a lot of recently purchased things from Walmart ... may Karma shove a ravenous and rabid porcupine up your rectum.