I bought a $38 latte the other day. $4 for the latte and $34 for the overdraft fee I incurred. It’s my dirty little secret. I overdraft. I try to keep track of my bank balance but sometimes I’m off a little. It’s always a negligible amount. Chump change for Chase Bank. But they don’t care. No matter how paltry my infraction is — be it $2 or $20 — they charge me a whopping $34 dollars. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime! Oh, sometimes they reverse it if I ask nicely. But sometimes not. We bailed them out in their time of need. Can’t they extend the same courtesy to the little guy?

I did it again the other day. This time it was an order of Nachos Bell Grande and a medium Sierra Mist at Taco Bell. A simple error of arithmetic. A tiny miscalculation. But is it right that a Styro-foam plate of drive-thru nachos should cost me $40?  Those motherfuckers. This is a perfect example of big banks fucking over the American people – me being the American people.  Incensed. I have become obsessed with even-ing the score. I have to make this right for all of us. I’ve gone over it in my head repeatedly. Oh, I thought about swiping adesk chair. Or drinking all their courtesy coffee and making off with the coffee pot.  But that’s just child’s play. I don’t need another desk chair or coffee pot. What do I need that they have? And then it dawned on me: my barren backyard, my wilting geraniums… I need landscaping.  Chase Bank has great landscaping.
So here’s my plan. There’s a branch at Tampa and Saticoy with a gorgeous spread of firestick succulents. I’m sure you’ve noticed. I’ll go in the middle of the night when no one is around. I’ll take my shovel and my spade and with my hoodie pulled tight around my face I’m going to dig up their landscaping. Yes. It’s the perfect crime. Think about it: it’s just plants.  If I get caught what are they gonna do? Arrest me?  “Maam, do you know why I pulled you over?” “Why, no, officer. I do not.”  “Is that your agapanthus sticking out the back window?  Ma’am, please step out of the vehicle. You have the right to remain silent…anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law…”
Yeah, right. I doubt it. More likely I will simply come home to a beautiful backyard — courtesy of JP Morgan.  They transplanted my dollars into their own hands. I will transplant their Lantana, their Kangaroo Paw, their Mexican Heather, their New Zealand Flax. I’ll nurture their strappy, their waxy, their drought-tolerant natives. Lord knows they’ve stolen from me long enough. I’m just taking back what is rightfully mine. And I am doing it for all of us. Like a modern day Robin Hood I’m taking from the rich to give to the poor.
Their beautiful parking lot medians will be stripped bare. I apologize, of course, to the public for the temporary eyesore it will create. We all appreciate public beautification projects. But sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the greater good.  And don’t worry – they’ll replace it. Remember — they have thousands of my dollars to spend at their disposal. And now I, too, will have a beautiful garden teeming with life, abuzz with the miracle of nature. Where once there was a dusty expanse of nothingness, now will reside a horticulturist’s dream: an enchanted land of growing things. Of course I wouldn’t need to take their landscaping had they not brazenly stolen from me a good chunk of my discretionary income.
Oh, I know it’s a violation of the 8th commandment.  You don’t have to be religious to know the difference between right and wrong. But this is for everyone. When my yard is done, I’ll go local. Vacant lots, community gardens, housing projects. My over-drafting will not have been in vain.  I know that the $38 latte was worth it. I may be a thief – but I’m a leaf thief. And how bad can that be?

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