For those of you who dog-paddled the summer away, this column took a look in July at Washington-area financial institutions and their firm resolve not to let pedestrians use drive-up windows, even when there are no cars and no apparent dangers.

The resolve of the money mavens hasn't wavered. Their argument: what are we going to tell the insurance company when a pedestrian gets hit by a car?

But the customers are beginning to strike back in some mighty clever ways. Take Tom Sienkewicz of Mount Rainier and Eve Malakoff of Silver Spring.

Tom banks at the Standard Federal Savings and Loan branch in Mount Rainier. Eve uses the Standard Federal branch at Blair Plaza in Silver Spring. But after that difference, their stories converge like two rivers.

In both cases, Tom and Eve walked up to an unoccupied drive-up window and tried to make a deposit. In both cases, the teller said no dice.

So both Tom and Eve waited for the next car to arrive, approached the driver, explained the situation and asked if they could hitch a ride for 10 feet or so. Both drivers said sure.

So Tom and Eve were able to transact the same business from the shotgun seat of a stranger's car that the same teller wouldn't let them attempt on foot 30 seconds earlier.

As they scooped their receipts from the push-out tray, neither Tom nor Eve said, "Take that, silly rule!" I wouldn't have been able to resist. Nor would I be able to resist a long look at my drive-up policy if I were running a financial institution.

Think of it this way, bankers: if you insist on segregating walkers and drivers, why not just open a walk-up window beside the drive-up one.?