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This is a Debit Card...

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Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Shopping anywhere in LA is going to be extra-special crazy from now until Christmas. So to help keep checkout lines short (and to help tempers from becoming so), LAist would like to offer the following lesson to the uninitiated -- or perhaps to shoppers who simply like to do it old school.

This is a checkbook:

It contains paper thingys where you write out the amount of your purchase -- twice -- then the cashier takes down your driver's license number and searches to make sure that you haven't bounced any at the store lately. The money then gets taken from your bank account in a day or so. But this process is painful to watch from the end of a long line. It makes the transaction process all that much longer, and if the customer's not at the ready, everyone in line has to watch him/her write out "thirty-five and 23/100 dollars only." See? Not much fun. But...

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This is a debit card:

You probably got one when you opened up your checking account. And guess what? All you have to do is swipe your card at the register's terminal or hand it to the cashier. Then sign the receipt. That's it. The money comes from the same place as your checkbook. Imagine that! Will wonders never cease?

So maybe next time there's a long, long line behind you, like there was, at say, the Bath & Body Works at the Valencia Town Center at 10:17 this morning, maybe pull out the nifty new debit card and see it work its magic. It'll bring some holiday cheer to the grumpy people standing in line.

Photos by MELISAUR and Neil T via flickr.

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