Consider the ease and convenience of instant-teller electronic banking: $1
"In an understandably human way, Robert Wenger, 19, of Monroe, Wis., got mad at a machine. But in a cool, machinelike way the machine got even.
"It started when Wenger tried to withdraw money from his account through an automatic teller located in the entryway of his bank. But the machine refused to give him his cash because a previous deposit hadn't cleared, so Wenger struck the machine and walked out. The punch was violent enough to knock it out of commission, but because the device retained Wenger's name in its computerized memory, it was able to identify its assailant to bank officials.
"'I was upset,' Wanger later told the judge. 'I didn't mean to break it.'
"The court ordered him to pay $857 in damages."
The report in August Money, does not reveal any of the computer's courtroom testimony. Undelivered Male
And now, a brief course in existential philosophy from the letters department of the August National Lampoon: Sirs:
Whoops! I went to hell. Jean-Paul Sartre Maybe It's the Weather
Speaking of philosophy and hell, the answers to a 79-question sex survey in the September Cosmopolitan are likely to send advocates of the new celibacy right back to the hot tub. An astounding 106,000 of Cosmopolitan's 2,747,042 purchasers responded to the survey as follows:
More than one out of every two married women responding had had an extramarital affair;
Twenty-one percent had had at least one lesbian experience;
Twenty percent had engaged in group sex;
More than two-thirds had slept with men on the first date;
Forty-seven percent had gone to bed with more than one man in the same day;
More than half had made love on their lunch hour.
In other sexual developments, the August Glamour reports that a survey of 1,100 men and women finds women more sexually satisfied than men by a margin of 80 versus 53 percent; and the August Psychology Today questions the entire sex therapy field created by the pioneering work of William Masters and Virginia Johnson:
"Our conclusion in brief: Masters and Johnson's research is so flawed by methodological errors and slipshod reporting that it fails to meet customary standards -- and their own -- for evaluation research. Although every study is open to criticism, Masters and Johnson have gone far beyond the allowable limits of nonperfection. From reading what they write it is impossible to tell what the results were." Learjet Literature
The most popular book among the executive set this summer is Robert Ludlum's "The Bourne Identity," which is undoubtedly one way to remove the mind from the problems of recession.
An informal survey in the Aug. 4 Business Week reveals that upper eschelon bosses "read widely beyond strictly company matters."
Charles Thornton, chairman of Litton Industries, just caught up with Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Robert Anderson, chairman of Rockwell International Corp., tackled Herman Wouk's "War and Remembrance," while Walter Wriston of Citicorp breezed through "The Green Ripper." Not surprisingly, Peter Drucker's "Managing in Turbulent Times" was mentioned by several execs. Seventh Inning Bets
The best reading for the doldrums of this sweaty month:
The Aug. 4 Sports Illustrated has a long, juicy profile of former Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage. Brundage died at age 87 in 1975, and SI assigned eight reporters to gather the fragments of his fascinating life.
Although Brundage often said that the problems of the world could be traced to "lack of fair play and good sportsmanship in human relations," the old boy turned out to have quite a private life. To cover the matter of his illegitimate children, for instance, he would respond to questions about off-spring by saying, "Mrs. Brundage had no babies."
In the August Inside Sports, there's a bittersweet profile of Bruce Gardner, a young pitcher who shot himself on the mound. He left a surprisingly literate suicide letter, which ends the profile on a staggering note.
Not quite as haunting but perhaps even more revealing is Pat Jordan's glimpse at the professional athlete's marriage, as personified in Steve and Cyndy Garvey. Here she is speaking about her Dodger husband:
"I had a baby while he was playing in the World Series. When they wheeled me back from the delivery room, the nurse put on the TV. 'I thought you'd like to watch your husband playing in the World Series,' she said. I screamed at her to shut it off. Hell, he didn't come to watch me. I could have died in childbirth . . .
"He's so goal oriented. He wants to be a senator. Ten years from now I'll be a senator's wife. Isn't that funny? When he wants something he puts blinders on. That's why he's so successful. He's disciplined and controlled. He's never loose. He can't be mussed. We play tennis, and after a few minutes, I'm a mess. He doesn't have one hair on his head out of place. Everything about him is neat. He's the pinnacle of what everyone should be. Really, isn't that awful? It makes life so boring."
James B. Stewart, Jr.'s "My Week in an Unaccredited Law School," in the August American Lawyer, wherein a Harvard Law grad explains the Los Angeles-based juris doctor branch of the Rev. Guido's Sarducci's Five Minute University:
"My first impression was that I could never be admitted without college transcripts and LSAT scores, which might unravel my cover. But I was wrong. When I called the director of admissions less than two weeks before the summer quarter was scheduled to begin, she asked if I had a B.A. degree. tI said that I did. 'No problem at all being admitted for the summer quarter,' she said cheerily. 'We'll automatically waive any requirement that you take the LSAT, and we'll go ahead and admit you without college transcripts, on the condition that you later supply them. Just mail in your application with the $25 application fee.'"
Robert Stowe England's report on chemical poisons in the August Delaware Today highlights a surprisingly good regional magazine that includes a look at local radio, some fiction and a nice glimpse at the Dover Air Force base ($9 annually from Box 2782, Wilmington, Del., 19805. Magazine, Single, Seeks . . .
Three new ones:
FETISH: The Magazine of the Material World, is New York's answer to Venice, Calif.'s WET, The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing. You want a column on tchatchkas , a look at micro products and postcards? A mere $7 a year from Box 5046, New York, N.Y. 10022;
INTRO: The Single Source. You want a magazine that nestles articles by respected journalists (like the L.A. Times' Jennifer Seder telling "Tales of the Single Dating Parent") between pages and pages of personal ads? $20 a year from -- get this, vanity post office boxes -- Box INTRO, Studio City, Calif. 91604
OUT, an actually not-so-new weekly. You want local Washington gay news in a TV guide format? $24 a year from 1522 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. 4,000 Words, ASAP
You know those horrible blow-in cards that fall in your lap when you pick up most magazines? American Photographer has made them pretty, like picture postcards, with photos on one side and a little note on the other. Three cheers . . . Esquire plans to publish a daily newspaper in New York, during the Democratic convention. It is scheduled to include dubious achievement awards and horoscopes and art from David Levine and Robert Grossman. Could this be the key to an open convention? . . . Having pulled all its advertising from Runner's World after claiming that magazine's annual shoe ratings were biased, Nike has made the mover of any smart corporate megolith: The company bought a magazine of its own, Running, which will begin publication in September. Wonder how their shoes will be ranked? . . . At the midyear point, magazine advertising revenue was up 13 percent over 1979.
And finally, one of the toughest contests we've heard of: $5,000 to the author of the best essay on "How to Eliminate the Threat of a Nuclear War." Four thousand words of less, please. Entries from the under-35 crowd only and submit by Sept. 15 to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1020 E. 58th St., Chicago, Ill. 60637.