On Cheeks, Checks, and Czechs #socs

Check drawn on bank…

Whenever I see the word “cheque,” I want to pronounce it “cheek.”

When I worked in retail when I was in college, taking checks used to be a huge hassle. I’d need to get their driver’s license, a credit card, the check had to have an address and phone number printed on it (whether it came that way or I did the printing), it couldn’t be a “starter” check or one with a number less than 201, then I’d have to get the signature of a manager or one of their designates before I could take it. Half the people didn’t have a credit card because they wrote a check for everything, and they’d get pissed at me because I was “hassling” them. I finally turned to one lady and said “Listen, you think this is a hassle for you? It’s a hassle for me, too!” I got in trouble for that. I can understand they were trying to avoid check fraud, but we were doing everything short of asking for blood and urine samples. This was back in the bad old days when the only charge card they’d take was their own. Now, you use a credit card for everything. We haven’t written checks for anything since Mary’s Avon lady died…

Mary and I used to go to a restaurant called the Czech Plaza in Berwyn, Ilinois. We liked it even though neither of us is Czech. It was typical central European fare, the kind where your cholesterol goes up ten points when you walk in the door, but man, was it good. I was surprised to see they were still open. If you have a choice, go to the smaller, family-owned restaurants rather than the chains. They can use the business, and it’ll be a unique experience.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Charmin bathroom tissue. More squeezably soft than ever!

Character actor Dick Wilson, who played Mr. Whipple for years, used to turn up frequently on Hogan’s Heroes, usually playing a German general.

26 thoughts on “On Cheeks, Checks, and Czechs #socs

  1. I was nodding my head all the way through your post. Nicely done, John. Up until 2 years ago, our local small grocery store made writing checks the most difficult of process so that more people would pay with debit/credit cards. I still have my checkbook, but mostly try to pay online via my banking institution. I remember that commercial too – part of me always wanted to try the egg test, but I wasn’t a fan of cleaning up cracked eggs. Thanks for the smiles, I hope you and Mary have a great week!!

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  2. Reading today’s posts I’m realizing how old fashioned I am – still paying most of my bills with check in the mail. It has something to do with not trusting computer security so I created a separate account for buying stuff on line. I finally accepted using a credit card for groceries, etc. but I do not like putting my pin number in those machines and usually use my knuckle for that. Confessions of weirdness.

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    1. A lot of people do that, have a separate email account they just use for ecommerce. That way all the junk mail goes there, too. I can understand not wanting to leave your fingerprints anywhere, but I’ve never had to put in a PIN with a credit card. Are you using your ATM card as a credit card? That’s the only time I’ve ever had to enter a PIN…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There were a few times when I worked at Michaels that I had to take a check from someone and I had to gather all that info too, plus put my initials so they would know who took the check. I use checks to pay the utility bills. They can wait for the mail to come.

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  4. I love a good European mom and pop restaurant — but it is still a ‘no’ for us right now. I remember , when I first got into IT, learning about check-kiting fraud. Had not thought of that in years.

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  5. Checks are a pain to this day. I did write a few graduation checks this year but I won’t re-order any when these run out. Which could be never considering. The restaurant sounds yummy. I wish we were closer to IL because we’d definitely try it out. See if it lives up to grandma’s standards 🙂

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    1. Mary and I just send Amazon gift cards now when someone graduates or gets married. A hell of a lot easier.

      I’m sure the Czech Plaza would measure up, unless the quality has gone down in the 30 years since we’ve been there. They’re very good…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love mom and pop restaurants, especially if they are Italian. Some of the best food you’ll ever eat. I haven’t written a check in years. Everything is done online.

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    1. The old Italian neighborhood in Chicago had about a dozen restaurants, all of which were fantastic, and all run by little old ladies in black dresses.

      We have a checking account but almost never write checks, and might go to the bank once a month (Mary likes to pick up cash for tips). We use a credit card for everything else, and pay it off when the bill comes in. If we get a check, I can deposit it with my phone. It’s fantastic!

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    1. They’re becoming fewer and farther between. Chinese places and Mexican places, by and large, are (I’m not thinking of Panda Express or Taco Bell), There’s one very successful local family from Venezuela who owns about six restaurants, all serving different cuisine (though all of them now sell these incredible cakes, probably the secret to their success).

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  7. My husband does not like to use ATM to withdraw money. We live in a small place, he likes to go to the bank with cheque to withdraw money, talk to people there for some time. Even for our grocery, we go to the Co-operative society where we have been going for a long time. It is nice to talk to people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Regards

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  8. Hi John – oh yes … back in the day – requiring id … etc … it was a hassle … but now it’s tap and go …

    European restaurants were the thing too – Hungarian, Czech, Polish et al … but now we’re into Mediterranean with the occasional delicious breakout to something richer. Totally agree .. .go local wherever possible …

    Take care and have a good weekend … Hilary

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