Welcome to the Bank of Mom, whose motto is: "Never Having to Say You're Broke." For your convenience, we stay open 24-hours a day so you can withdraw money at your leisure. No deposits are necessary. You withdraw funds, never put any back.

The bank's most faithful customers are her children: Mom's daughter, Elizabeth has been banking with us for many years. Even now that she is out on her own, she still likes doing business. Just last week she contacted Mom by phone.

Lizzie: "Hi, Mom, how you doing?"

Mom: "I'm fine, darling. What is it you need?"

Lizzie: "Why do you think I need anything?"

Mom: "We at the Bank of Mom pride ourselves on being able to size up our customers."

Lizzie: "Can't I just call to say hello?"

Mom: "Of course, sweetheart, except it's midnight. I thought you might be utilizing our `all-night-money-on-the-spot' withdrawal service."

Lizzie: "Since you mentioned it, I was hoping to borrow a few dollars."

Mom: "You've come to the right place. How much will it be this time?"

Lizzie: "Not much, and I do plan on paying you back."

Mom: "A nice thought, but I'm not `banking' on it. What's your desire?"

Lizzie: "I've overextended my credit line again. MasterCard called to say that unless I cough up a minimum payment of $500 they're going to turn my account over to a collection agency."

Mom: "We can't have that now, can we? We at the Bank of Mom will be happy to come to your rescue. We aim to please and provide service with a smile.

The following week, Mom's future son-in-law, Andy, told Mom one of his stocks had taken a nose dive. Mom lent a sympathetic ear.

Mom: To err is human, to borrow divine. How much do you need?"

Andy: "A thousand should get me out of the hole. I will pay you back."

Mom: "We handle funds with the full understanding we will never see that money again."

Andy: "With interest, I swear it."

Mom: "Interest is so declasse. The Bank of Mom waives all interest charges on the premise that it's better to give than to receive."

Andy: "Thanks, you're always so understanding."

Mom: "Thank you for thinking of Mom in your hour of need."

The Bank of Mom doesn't believe in gimmicks. We offer no tote bags or coffee mugs with our bank's insignia. We don't provide checking or savings accounts. We deal only in cold, hard cash. That way everyone feels secure. We do, however, provide safe deposit hiding places gratis. Many of our customers take advantage of this service. Instead of a large cavernous vault, we keep your valuables on closet shelves, under mattresses, or all-time favorite: Dad's socks. Mom herself keeps her private stash in her bras for easy access and withdrawal at a moment's notice.

The Bank of Mom creates an atmosphere that is both relaxing and supportive. When Lizzie stopped by to collect her money, Mom invited her to stay for breakfast. Lizzie took her up on this offer. To further show her appreciation, she stayed for lunch and dinner, and took a shower in one of Mom's customized bathrooms equipped with toiletries and French perfume. Lizzie also borrowed one of Mom's favorite sweaters. We are a full-service operation whose customers never have to deal with ornery tellers or bureaucratic officials.

The CEO is Mom herself, who is always available to greet the public and tend to their varying needs. The customers find this adds a homespun touch to banking. Dealing with Mom directly does away with the embarrassment of having to hit others up for a loan.

Mom's grandchildren also love the Bank of Mom.

Caroline: "Grandma, can you lend me twenty bucks?"

Mom: "Of course. Would you like a crisp new twenty or will one of the old favorites do? Personally, I think Andrew Jackson looks rather dapper on the new bill."

Caroline: "Sounds good.

Andrew: "Grandma, maybe you can throw in a new Abe Lincoln, as well."

By now, you can tell that the Bank of Mom is the homey alternative to banking. Avoid long lines and the tedious chore of balancing your checkbooks. Stop being penalized for overdrawn accounts and insufficient funds. We do away with all those pesky, little problems, and make banking a fun experience.

When you need a few extra bucks, want to get away for that much-needed vacation, or put a down payment on a new car, think Bank of Mom. You will never be turned down. No excuse is unimportant, and our doors are always open. So are our wallets. When you think moolah, think Mom: the woman who puts her money into your hands.

Judith Marks-White shares her humorous views every other Wednesday. She can be reached at: joodth@snet.net or at www.judithmarks-white.com.