Remember that nursery rhyme with the really dumb lyrics;

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and
 cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row

Well I propose a 21st century change to :

People, People, quite acquisitive
How do your entitlements grow?
Give you a finger – you want a hand
You expect to reap more than you sow

— Mea  culpa

It was Saturday morning and  I handed the bank teller my deposit slip attached to my few measly checks. As I did so, I noticed a flyer on the cage announcing a change of banking hours, alerting customers to the fact that the bank would no longer have Saturday hours. Understand, dear readers, that I have  clear memories of the days when banks closed at 3 PM – never to open at 3:01—and surely never on any part of a weekend.  Nor did they open on a day when any human might dain to proclaim it a holiday.

But in true 21st century “soft”-entitlement mode, “Hmmmph” went through my mind. “That’s not good.” I said to me, “I might just change banks. That’s easy enough to do”. And then, as she handed me my receipt, I tried to remember the last time I banked on a Saturday. “Not the point,” I rejoindered to my loquacious self, “It’s the principle. Other banks are opened on Saturdays and I want it to be MY choice to come here or not- on a Saturday.” Such was my mindset, before I had a serious conversation with me, as in : “Really?  You lived a pretty contented life when you had no choice regarding banking days. Available to you now, it has become a “soft” entitlelement .. “soft”, as opposed to life-style enhancements such as Medicare and Disability entitelements – those for another column. I lingered with that thought until…

I received a call of desperation from a friend—“Emily! I need your help to print out my boarding pass for tomorrow’s flight.”  okay, okay—happy to help a friend, but the desperation in her voice made it sound dire. What if … think of it — what if, indeed, she were to arrive at the airport without her boarding pass – requiring another 5 minutes to acquire it at  the terminal kiosk? How “dire” can that be ??? Another ”soft entitlement!”

And then there’s the current most significant entitlement: the ability to learn the name of the guy who played opposite Joan Crawford in that picture  — when was it ? In the 1940s? what was its name? – never mind, I’ll call Siri.  I’m entitled to get that information – RIGHT NOW. But Siri doesn’t understand the question – ever!  Well – hardly ever. Bummer.

All this while the world is galloping towards armageddon.

Leave a Reply