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The patron saint of ATMs

BY MICHAEL McGIRR

There are patron saints for everything from accountants (St Matthew) to zookeepers (St Francis). But what about the unofficial patrons? There could, indeed, be a saint for every purpose under heaven

September 21 is the feast of St Matthew, unofficial patron of wallets and ATMs

One Saturday morning not so long ago, I was becalmed outside our local supermarket for a few minutes, drinking a caffeinated beverage from a paper cup, waiting for the shuttle service that gets our family between AusKick, soccer, ballet, drama, art class, and something else I have forgotten. A youngish looking woman came along with a trolley piled high with all sorts of food and pharmaceuticals of the kind that suggested the presence of children in her world.

She went to the ATM and extracted a large wad of money. I’d like to know how she did this; I’ve never been able to get those machines to volunteer more than a couple of notes at a time. I have asked for more but even the ATMs with the sign CAN tell me they CAN'T. 

The woman’s wad was so substantial that it had to be split between two wallets. This took a little time because the woman wanted all her money facing the right way and those wretched ATMs don’t seem to care if your money is upside down or back-to-front. After this, she began to unpack her groceries into the back of a fairly new looking station sedan with a badge that I presumed stood for Be More Wonderful or Bring My Waterbottle or perhaps Buy More Watermelon.

At this point, a friend of hers came along and asked how her renovations were getting along.

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Saints alive (Michael McGirr / Madonna)

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