The final quote came in for the repair of my dysfunctional car transmission.  I owed the AAMCO guy $2,553.  My sister wired it into my checking account.  The money was available.  

So how do I pay?

I have no credit cards (see photo above).  My debit card has a $2,000 daily withdrawal limit.  AAMCO Guy wouldn’t take a check.  So I wrote a $2,555 check out to “CASH” and walked down the hill to my bank last Friday afternoon.  The teller counted out the Bens.  I have never seen so many $100 bills in my life.  “It’s for my transmission, not a drug deal,” I half-jokingly clarified.  He slipped the bills into a white envelope.

The shop uncovered another problem with my transmission and AAMCO Guy needed to keep my car for four more days, until Tuesday. 

What would I do with $2,555 in cash?

What would Tony Soprano do?

Tony hid his unlaundered cash in the backyard storage bin where he kept the food for his beloved, departed ducks.  And the guys in the back room of the Bada Bing always brought him his “taste” in white envelopes.

So I wrapped my white envelope around the bills and taped it down.  I have a pseudo-beech IKEA locking file cabinet, but even the most hopped up burglar would assume there was something valuable in it and bust it open.  I hid the envelope in a  very safe place.  I’ll never tell where.

AAMCO Guy sent someone to pick me up late Tuesday afternoon.  I stood at the four-way intersection outside of my apartment,  patting my front pocket, the one with The Envelope in it, every five to ten seconds. 

I feared no one.  I’m 6’4” tall, 195 pounds, with a lean, swimmer’s build.  I was also standing in front of the daycare center across the street from my apartment.  Unless I was swarmed, taken down and rolled by a rampaging gang of toddlers seeking Vicodin money for their moms, everything was going to be fine.

I got my car back.  Pre-BK, I would have put it on a credit card.  Now, I’ll pay my sister back with the early retirement payout I’ll get in May.  I have a new transmission that shifts with the smooth, effortless efficiency of a Swiss watch.  And it’s paid for.