The Maisano Code: Plastic explosives

I got a credit card bill the other day and noticed I was charged an over-limit fee. Only thing is: I’ve NEVER used the card. So I ask the proverbial question once again: Is it me — or what?!

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

So I call the 800 number and I get “Sammy.” Him being on the other side of the world and all, they don’t use their real names.

I am calm, polite. “Ms. Maisano,” he says, “the reason why you are over limit is because you are over credit line.”

Maryann Maisano


Sammy was quick: “We sent you a notice of new terms and conditions, which stated that your interest rate has increased.”

So I look on the statement and, sure enough, there it is: THIRTY PERCENT!

“What is this, 25 over prime?” I ask Samala. “Are you people NUTS?”

Sammy: (silence)

So I ask for a supervisor. “No one is available,” he tells me.

“Oh, yeah? Listen to me, you mutt. I’m a former banker. I was a VP sales coach who could teach you how to sell to the needy and then make them drink the Kool-Aid. Would you trust me with your money?  Hahahahaha!!”

Now I’m like hot sauce on a plate of calamari.

“You like your little job? Do you know that we gave all you banks money so that you would survive? Have you heard of the word bailout, Mookie?

“Y’know, Sam, I used to tell the team that one day there would be two banks left in the world and everyone I hated would work there…. And y’know what else, Sammy? I’ve been watchin’ your bank and right now it ain’t lookin’ so good!”

“So ya better take my number and have someone call me back before you guys are taken over and you get stuck workin’ at White Castle.”

He took my number — and THANKED me.

So I’m watching YouTube and I see this woman who called Bank of America and asked to have rate lowered. Same response. Only she did a video and you know what’s happened over at good old Bank of America.

Good for her that she got her rate lowered and is now creating a website to help others.

Little good it did me when I tried to use another card and it got denied. So now I’m back on the phone with one of Sammy’s cousins….

It seems their records show they mailed a letter — which I still haven’t received — that they were closing my account because I had an unlimited credit line.

What? WHAT?!!

Now I’m blowing a gasket, yelling at this guy about Fed Funds, the cost of funds, uncollected funds, EFT, ATM and NSF.

Oh please! The banks are now collecting a higher vig than Tony Soprano. Come to think of it, I might as well find me a good loan shark. At least I’ll know who I’m talkin’ to.

No, wait. I got a better idea: I’ll make my own video. Soundtrack to “The Godfather” playing in the background, me in a fedora.

“There are some things money can buy,” I’ll say. “For everthing else, there’s this.”

And I’ll hold up a baseball bat.

“Don’t leave home without it.”

Critics and reviewers have raved about Maryann’s music as well as her standup. She’s opened for Joy Behar and Ray Romano, and has played The Laugh Factory, Broadway Comedy Club and Dangerfield’s. She has a CD of her own and will be featured on Danny Aiello’s upcoming album, “City of Light.” Judging from the looks of the packed houses, she’ll also be staging plenty more performances with the ITALIAN CHICKS, whose show has been called “part meatball, part cannoli.” For more on Maryann, the group, where they’re performing and how to get tickets, click here: ITALIAN CHICKS. Tell ’em CLIFFVIEWPILOT sent you.


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