the schmooze


Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Account No.:  18181818

I remember when banks would offer toasters, clock radios and stadium blankets in exchange for opening a bank account. Intense competition is a way of life these days on the deposit front.  Savvy consumers turn to the Internet looking for the best interest rates on CDs and money market accounts, and E*Trade Financial Corp. tells me to "Kick Some Assets."

"der briv" (the letter) is one way of communicating with a Bank CEO or Bank Manager.

Shown below are some humorous letters which bank personnel have been receiving from "dershrokn" (frightened) customers. Humor is like a needle and thread--deftly used it can patch up just about everything.

Dear Bank Manager,
In view of what seems to be happening internationally with banks at the moment, I was wondering if you could advise me correctly...If one of my checks is returned marked "insufficient funds," how do I know whether that refers to me, or to you?

Dear Bank Manager,
Was Jay Leno correct when he said that FDIC means Foolish, Dumb, Innocent Citizens?

Dear Bank Manager,
Now that we have automatic teller machines (ATMs) we no longer have to tell our children that money does not grow on trees.  They think it comes out of a wall.

Dear Bank Manager,
Please confirm that the three stages of bank failure  are as follows:
1.  Concern--that's when they put a limit on withdrawals.
2.  Panic ("panik")--that's when they put a moratorium on withdrawals.
3.  Desperation--that's when they call you up and ask for their toaster back.

Dear Bank Manager,
I received your letter of 11/15/08, stating that I am overdrawn.  You are in error.
I still have five checks left.
         Aaron,  18, freshman, SUNY, Albany

Dear Bank Manager,
I don't "farshteyn" (understand) this.  Banks have a very interesting "filosofye" (philosophy).  You give them YOUR money to keep--and if you try to borrow it back, they want to know if you're good for it!

Dear Bank Manager,
Thanks for informing me that the FDIC has increased from $100,000 to $250,000.
I feel much better now.  "Zayt gezunt!"

Dear Bank Manager,
Would you please confirm the fact that in Dubai and the UAE, bouncing a check is an offense that can land you in "turme" (jail), and this is not one of those theoretical laws that is often ignored.  People do end up in the clink when the machine goes a-boing instead of ka-ching.

Dear Bank Manager,
I think your bank is getting a little sneaky.
You give ballpoint pens to all your depositors, but now you're printing the withdrawal slips on wax paper.  Is there any truth to "di shmue" (the rumor)?

Dear Bank Manager,
I would like to open a joint account with somebody who has money.  Any suggestions? 

Dear Bank Manager,
I'm trying to complete Maura B. Jacobson's crossword puzzle in New York Magazine, Nov. 24, 2008.

53 across says, "Banking convenience, for short."  The answer has 3 letters.  Can you assist me with the correct answer?

Dear Bank Manager,
As your bank has often pointed out, the ongoing drive for greater efficiency comes at a "prayz" (cost)--a cost that you have always  been quick to pass on to me.  Let me repay your "guthartsikayt" (kindness) by passing some costs back.

First, there is a matter of advertising material you send me.  This I will read for a fee of $20/page.  Inquiries from your nominated contract will be billed at $5 per "minut" of my time spent in response.

Any penalty for a dishonored check will be passed back to you.  My new phone service runs 75 cents a "minut," so you would be well advised to keep your inquiries brief.
Use the KISS (Keep It So Simple/Keep It So short) method of communicating.

Thank you.

Dear Bank President,
Was David Letterman 100% correct with his Top Ten Signs You're Doing Business With The Wrong Bank?  Here's 4 comments from the list:

10.  When you make a deposit, tellers high-five each other.

9.  After you get a free toaster, bank president shows up at your house begging for toast.

8.  Your monthly statements are handwritten, in crayon.

7.  When you want to make a withdrawal, clerks suddenly don't speak English.

Dear Bank Manager,
I am returning the 100 bank checks that you mailed me on 11/03/08.  I think they belong to another customer with the same surname, Wolfe.  I DID NOT order Roy Rogers checks!  I do not wish to create an American adventure with the "King of Cowboys," Roy Rogers and his pretty cowgirl, Dale, and his trusty horse, Trigger.

Dear Bank Manager,
Now that I have a "friend" at your bank, how come you still chain down the pens?

Dear Bank Manager,
Is it true that a banker has been defined as a "pawnbroker with a manicure"?

Dear Bank Manager,
There's a typo on my son's passbook, No. 18181818KIND.  His name is YAACOV YAHOO.  (Yes, my husband and I met on the Internet!)  Please make the correction.


Search for Stories Beginning with the Letter
N O P Q R S T U V W   Y Z
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

Yiddish Stuff
Jewish Humor
Schmooze News
More Majorie Wolfe
Jewish Stories
All Things Jewish
Jewish Communities of the World
Site Designed and Maintained by
Haruth Communications