Learning thankfulness through petty annoyances
Credit cards are supposed to make your life a little more convenient. Most of the time, ours does. I rarely carry cash, almost never carry my checkbook and the one time I had a serious problem with a rather underhanded business, it was my credit card company that went after them and got our money back, including the charges they racked up on a..ahem...that kind of site.

Another nice feature, at least in theory, is that one that flags your card for suspicious activity. Except when it happens to you. I know if I were to steal a credit card, the first thing I'd do is run to WalMart and buy $3.00 worth of velcro before skipping across town to buy six loaves of Stollen from Aldi.

After this little shopping spree, I'd drive a couple hundred miles to a gas station in Rockport and buy two bags of Cheetos, a bag of Doritos and a V-8. That must be the diet of thieves, for after returning to the car to fill up, my credit card was declined. "Frequent user" the little machine said inside when I went to ask the attendant.

This is the third time I've had my card flagged for suspicious activity. It was a little more understandable the day we purchased gas in three different states in one day, and a little more frustrating as well since we found ourselves with no gas and no working credit card in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

Thankfully, the only reason I was getting gas in Rockport is that it is significantly cheaper there than Lincoln, so I always fill up before crossing back into Nebraska.

I left frustrated and thinking very unkind thoughts about gas attendants who had no control over what their little credit card machines told them and credit card companies who found $30 in purchases in two different states on the same day a little suspicious.

But perhaps my thoughts were a little too unkind, for my punishment was swift. Just outside of Tecumseh with 45 minutes to go my three year old suddenly and without warning learned the knock knock joke.

Knock knock jokes are not particularly good even when they make sense. But mile after mile of:
Knock knock. (You're supposed to say "Who's there.")

Who's there?

Banana. (You're supposed to say "Banana who?")

Banana who?

Banana...um...banana fish! (Now laugh.)
Is enough to drive anyone insane.

I suddenly became thankful that I didn't really need gas. That the ten cent per gallon difference in purchasing gas in Lincoln was far superior to waiting at a gas station for my husband to drive down and rescue me with a check book. That at least my husband was home so that if something should happen, he could drive down to rescue me and I wouldn't be stuck anywhere overnight. Listening to knock knock jokes.

While I was at it, I threw in a little thankfulness for gas stations open late at night so that three year olds could go to the restroom, even if I couldn't get gas. And that apparently no thieves would be able to get off with more than $30 before Visa would shut down their spending sprees.
Knock knock.

Who's there?


Blue who?

Blue yellow!

And even that my three year old has learned a new skill, however useless that skill may be. And that she can entertain herself for mile after mile with something so simple as a knock knock joke.