How to Survive Kamikaze Dogs and ATM Skimming

Most Fridays are days like any other. My children run around behaving as though they were raised with a pack of wolves, I yell at the kids not to yell at each other (which, for the record, is the best ineffective parenting tip I could ever share with y'all) and my husband does whatever it is he does when he's not at home.

He keeps trying to explain what he does for a living and I keep tuning him out. It's a vicious cycle.

(It's not like I'm not interested in what he does everyday. It's just that he suddenly stops speaking English when he's explaining his job and starts speaking Charlie Brown. Everything I hear sounds like Wah Wah Wah and the skies start to darken and images of a naked Clive Owen pop into my head unbidden. It's a sickness I have and should never be construed for lack of interest. I'm very interested in my husband's paycheck career. I swear.)

However, this past Friday was special. It was the grand daddy of all Fridays. It was the Friday the Universe had been saving for just that time when you think life is going really well and you are ridiculously happy so it decides you need a kick in the pants to wipe that smug joyful look off your face.

First a dog tried to blow up my house and then a pack of faceless zombies robbed me blind. Not to mention, my husband brought home pizza but forgot to get extra cheese on it. Which basically meant it tasted like I was eating bread with ketchup and green peppers on it.

This is what happens when you tattoo "One joy scatters a hundred griefs" on your arm. The Universe pulls out all the stops to see if it's true.

For the record, all the joy in the world can't ever make a soggy arse pizza with hardly any cheese on it taste good. I'm just sayin'.

Luckily for me, I was born with a fair sized schnauz and while esthetically speaking my nose isn't much to look at, it works fairly well. Which is what saved my house, my family and the neighbour's moron dog from being sent to the next life in small pieces after what surely would have been an epic explosion.

However, if you ever notice a dog the size and colour of a feral polar bear tearing through your garbage on your front lawn, happily munching on your son's crappy nappies, don't do what I did. Which is chase it off with a big stick while threatening to make him into a rug. Because said dog will remember that moment you interrupted his five star dining experience and when he gets into a fight with a coyote and is bleeding to death, he will seek a final revenge.

He'll crawl under your basement-less house to lick his wounds as he slowly bleeds to death. It's as though he were flipping me off and giving me the finger. If he had fingers. Except, because the dog has a brain the size of a pea, he won't realize he doesn't quite fit under your crawl space and will end up ripping off your gas line. Thereby gassing himself as he slowly bleeds out under your house as you happily play Brain Buddies on Facebook.

The dog survived and lives to dumpster dive at my house again, the gas line has been fixed and I learned a valuable lesson. I'm not sure what it was, but I know I learned it. Still, Friday was not done crapping on us. I just didn't know it.

It wasn't until Sunday that I found out a gang of faceless zombies robbed me blind. Oh, ignorance really can be bliss sometimes. I was on my way into the city to purchase lunch supplies for when the kids returned to school. (That sound you hear? It's the sounds of angels singing Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)

I never carry cash with me simply because it tends to fall out of my pockets. I have the same problem with cell phones, keys, wallets and drivers licenses. Anything I stuff in my pocket I can kiss goodbye. My pockets are like the Bermuda Triangle. Once entered, you'll never see it again.

Because of this, I tend to use my debit card for all purchases. Which I keep on a chain around my neck. Well, not really, but now that I've thought of it, I might totally try that. Anyways, there I stood at the till, trying to pay for my apple sauce and wet wipes and my card kept getting declined.

Now I'm no stranger to that moment of shame when you have to look into the cashier's eyes and explain you have insufficient funds in your account. It wasn't too long ago my husband and I struggled to keep the roof over our heads and food in our children's mouth. But thanks to my husband's hard work and my penchant for selling my soul online, we make a tidy living right now. And I knew darn well there was money in our account.

Afterall, I hadn't left the house in days so I hadn't had a chance to blow all my husband's profit on Cheetos and batteries just yet. Yet there I was, red faced and penniless at the check out counter. Luckily for me, my sister saved my bacon and my pride and paid for my purchases.

The moment I got into the car I called my husband to yell at him for blowing all our dough on pay-per-view porn in my absence.

"What are you talking about? I just got paid. You know that. There is money in the account. It was likely just a card glitch. Go to the bank and make a withdrawal at the ATM machine," my husband wisely advised.

So off to our bank I went. And still I remained penniless as the ATM machine scolded me for exceeding my maximum daily usage amount.

As I cussed out the machine and the Universe in general, it dawned on me to phone the number on the bank card to get to the bottom of this little problem.

Turns out, according to Tiffany, the voice of reason and an employee of the bank, my card had been hotcarded. Thanks to that faceless gang of criminal zombies who skimmed from my account, unbeknownst to me.

I was a victim of identity theft and fraud. To the tune of almost four thousand dollars. My crew of zombie frauds was hard up for cash apparently.

The date of the theft? Friday. As a dog was engaging in suicide warfare on my house and me, a pack of hoodlums were robbing me blind.

Just when I thought the Universe was done with me and Friday was behind me, it crept up and bit me on the arse.

Luckily for my husband and I, the bank is being gracious about the theft and the money will be replaced. And once again, I learned a valuable lesson. Only this time, I know what that lesson is. Protect yourself. From kamikaze dogs and faceless crooks. Because you never know when either is going to attack.

So the Universe won this round. This week, when Friday rolls around, I'm not even going to get out of bed.

For more information on atm skimming and how to protect yourself, you should read this. Then read this.

You're on your own though for gas happy dogs. I can't find any credible source of information for that type of trouble.