TODAY'S PAPER
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61° Good Morning

500 WORDS OR LESS / Male Aid

MEN ARE a hoot, aren't they? They always assume that when something a woman

is using is not working, it must be because she is doing it wrong.

One morning, I stopped at a local convenience store and went inside to use

the ATM. I swiped my card through several times, but received no response. One

of the men who worked there noticed this and came hurrying over, no doubt

thinking to himself, "ah, another woman who doesn't know how to use a simple

machine."

I looked at him and asked "is this machine working?" He smiled at me the

way I would smile at a child and said "of course." He then proceeded to take my

card from my hand. I started to inform him that I certainly know how to use an

ATM card, but thought better of it. "I've got a few minutes," I thought, "this

could be fun."

He swiped my card through once. Nothing. Now his brow furrowed. He swiped

it again. Nothing. "Huh," he mumbled. He then took my card and rubbed it

between two of his fingers. I have to admit, I didn't think of trying that. I

waited to see what would happen now that the card had been shown some

affection.

Nothing.

He then informed me that the machine must not be working. "Well," I

thought, "it's official. It's been verified by a man."

It wasn't the first time. Last year, I pulled into a service station. After

swiping my credit card, I lifted the nozzle and tried to pump the gas. It

wouldn't start. I tried a few more times, but got nowhere. Of course, there was

a man observing all of this and, before long, he ambled over and asked if I

needed some help. "It doesn't seem to be working," I told him.

He smiled. "You probably swiped your card too quickly," he informed me.

Hmmm. I found this hard to believe, since it wasn't my first time, but I

trustingly handed him my card and watched as he repeated the whole process. It

turned out that there was something wrong with the pump. Of course, I was

grateful that there was a man on the scene to verify this.

When I was in my early 20s, I immediately stepped out of the way, thankful

that a man was there to take care of the situation and certain that he could.

By my late 20s, I grew resentful of this attitude and became very nasty at the

sight of a "get out of the way, I know how to do it" man.

Now, I just find it all so funny. So when I'm having trouble, when I just

know there's something wrong with the machine and a man comes running, I stand

back and enjoy the show. After all, these days, laughs are hard to come by, and

I'll take mine wherever I can get them.

Besides, they're all so cute.

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