: reach for it, pal :

The world has it in for regular-size people, have you noticed? Everything is just out of our reach. As proof I call your attention to the drive-through. The twisting and contorting these conveniences require are disconcerting, to say the least. A person could dislocate something important, like a spleen or a boob in the process.

Now I’m not short, I’m 5’ 7” — average height for a girl. My arms and legs are in relative proportion to the rest of me, neither abnormally short nor unusually long. However, in the eyes of those who design and plan drive-throughs, I’m an under-sized, short-armed runt. You are, too, probably.

ATMs are the worst. They sit about four feet from the car window, behind hulking, reinforced concrete stanchions. The stoopid keypad is recessed another five inches beyond that. To touch a key, you’d need the wingspan of a Cessna. A person with a standard arm length? Well, good luck. For us, the ATM keypad and its promise of cash are like the Brass Ring — just out of reach.

When I finally maneuver the car close enough to the machine, I put the window down and take out my debit card. This is the starter’s pistol. I struggle out of the safety belt, twist under the steering wheel, and wind up sticking halfway out the car window. I teeter there, grabbing at air. These are not glorious moments, folks. Especially considering a security camera is recording my every squirming, wriggling move. Hello, security people, hello in there.

And let’s not forget fast food drive-throughs. You almost need to reach into the next county to get your change. And when your food is ready, does the goofball working the window hand it to you? No, he does not. He holds the bag like a dog treat, just out of reach. He wants to see you jump for it. Well, I’m not going to jump, pal. Not for that.

After a visit to one of these oases of modern convenience, I feel like the human equivalent of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Someone with short, useless, miniature arms. Think about it, is there any wonder they became extinct? With those baby arms, they couldn’t reach their food, either. Or their money. Poor prehistoric bastards.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

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10 Responses to “: reach for it, pal :”

  1. ceciliag

    Someone once asked me what I liked the most about living in the States and I said Drive Through Banks! I love them with those little whizzy sucky tubey things. The girl looked at me and glowered. that is not what i meant, she said! Loved your post and PS i am the freak with the long gangly arms! ha ah ah.. c

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  2. Lenore Diane

    This is true – all of it – absolutely true. You forgot to mention the times when you drop your ATM card and have to open your car door. Though the car is miles away from the ATM keypad, the car door is right on top of it. WHAM – the car door slams against the yellow pole thing.
    Grrrr…. I had a flashback to Toy Story when the T-Rex talks about his little arms. Funny stuff!

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    • publikworks

      Bingo, you’re on the nose with the car door thing, LD. Once the door hits the yellow pole, boing, it rebounds back and smashes me in the head. Grrrr, is right.

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  3. Robert!!

    What the hell? You are to lazy to get out of the car to get your money? :p Or you are just horrible at parking hehe.

    But I can see what you mean, although I have never used a drive true atm. We dont have them over here.

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  4. Angie Z.

    I loved this post! So I’m glad to hear that 5’2″ me is not being discriminated against. I always figured I might have freakishly short arms (though I do know have a freakishly short torso). Apparently not so. It’s those dillweeds that set-up the drive-thrus that are the actual sideshow freaks, not me.

    I can’t recall the last time I went through an ATM drive-thru where I didn’t open my door and bend out. That’s a great look alright.

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  5. chubbyriceball

    I love your description of the T-rex. I just need to start off right with that.

    As a below average height individual, I really don’t have a fair say in this matter. Though I must say, I feel a lot like Alice in Wonderland after she drank the potion to shrink most days. Feels awesome.

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