“I’m Gonna Be A Little Late Today”
I HAD TO GO TO THE BANK TODAY. Not everything is done by direct deposit. I get my monthly pension check from the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (rent the movie “Erin Brockovich”), and my wife gets paid with an honest to God paper check. So, once a month or so I toddle off to the bank. It was as I was driving away from the bank that a random molecule of memory bubbled to the surface. This all went down a couple of years before I retired. Let me explain.
A female coworker, whom I had come to know, called her supervisor one morning a little before 8 AM. She told him, “I’m going to be a little late today. I’ll be there, but I’m running just a few minutes behind.” It turned out that the reason she was going to be late was that she had to run a quick errand on her way in to the office. She was going to stop off and rob a bank.
Her target was a bank that is directly across the street from where I bank. At a few minutes before 8 AM she pulled her car into the bank parking lot, got out, chambered a round in her semi-automatic handgun and marched up to the door. This was the point when her plan bumped into reality.
With gun in hand she pulled on the door handle – and nothing happened. It seemed that, in all of the thirty seconds she had devoted to planning her big bank heist, she had neglected to check the bank’s hours of operation. She was there just before 8 AM trying to rob a bank that didn’t open until 9 AM.
She could see the bank employees inside the bank and they could see her, and several more tugs on the securely locked door didn’t change the reality of her situation. My friend and coworker just stood there trying to figure out her next move.
She could see them. They could see her. The people in the bank across the street, that would open at 9AM as well, could also see her standing there with larceny in her heart and a gun in her hand. It took them just a few seconds to think, “That don’t look right,” and to dial 911.
Before my dumbfounded friend and dropout from the “John Dillinger School of Bank Heistery,” could get back to her car she noticed several large Ford Crown Victorias with flashing lights pulling into the lot. The jig, as they say, was up.
She did get prison time for this horrible failure in “Freelance Income Enhancement.” And it turned out that this wasn’t her first rodeo. She had already done prison time concerning a fraud charge. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, she was fired and ceased being a coworker of mine.
Fast Forward about three years. Whooooooooosh!
On a sunny afternoon I was browsing my way through the Dollar General when I heard a voice calling my name. I turned around and I’ll give you one guess. Go ahead; take a wild stab at who it was.
My favorite bank robber wannabe was standing there with a big smile on her face. “Well, hi, John, how are you? Long time, no see.” (Boy, was that the truth.)
Not really knowing what the proper etiquette for greeting an ex-con was, I did the best I could – “Wow, I haven’t seen you in quite a while.”
I do remember that she said something about “being out of town,” but, I’ll be honest (one of us had to be), my brain kind of glazed over. All I wanted was to get out of that conversation. It was more awkward than running into old girlfriends or even forgetting your own phone number at Radio Shack.
I haven’t seen her since that day in the Dollar General. For all I know she might be back inside Old Stony Lonesome making license plates, or maybe she bought a watch and is now living comfortably in the south of France.