Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2018

Archive for the category “True Story”

Throwback Thursday from Sept. 2015 – “She Just ‘Sort of’ Robbed The Bank”

Throwback Thursday

She Just “Sort of” Robbed The Bank

tripleI WAS CHATTING WITH THE USUAL SUSPECTS the other day when the topic of bank robbery came up. Sometimes they scare me. This bunch of Geezers couldn’t rob the Food Bank, let alone an actual – “Money in the vault, Can I see some ID, please,” type of bank. This group would be called the “Don’t forget to take your meds gang.” Even so, they would be a bigger threat than a person I once knew who really did try to rob a bank.

About ten years ago B.R. (Before Retirement) a female coworker whom I knew and liked working with, called in to her Supervisor one sunny morning. She said that she was going to be in a little late because she “Had some business to take care of.” Little did we all know that her “business” was knocking off a bank.

While I and everyone else at work were getting ready for another day on the job, she was out pulling into the parking lot at a local bank.

From later reports it went down something like this –

My coworker drove to the bank, checked her .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun to be sure it was loaded (it was), got out of the car and walked up to the front door of the bank. At this point things began to fall apart for her.

She pulled the handle to open the door – nothing. It wouldn’t budge. The door was locked. It was locked because, in an effort to rob the bank and still get to work, she got an early start to her day and arrived, fully loaded, before banking hours. The bank wouldn’t be open for another half hour.

There is an old adage that says, “Plan your work and work your plan.” My friend, the would-be bank robber, skimped on the first part of that. If this plan was to be as easy as 1 – 2 – 3 you can’t skip the 2 and go straight to 3.

So, there she is – standing at the front door of the bank, holding her shooting iron, and she can’t get the door to open. It was then that she made the decision to try again another day. Perhaps it was best to just go on to work like nothing had happened. No harm – No foul.

No way.

While she was standing there contemplating her “Plan B” the people who worked in the other bank, just across the street, witnessed this entire fiasco and had already called the Terre Haute Police Department. Terre Haute – that’s French for, “Mama don’t ‘low no bank robbin’ round here.”

Before she could get back to her car and go off to work, she found herself surrounded. It was not even 8 AM and her day was not going to get any better.

Since she never really robbed the bank, they couldn’t charge her with that crime, but they had a list of others to present her with.

It turned out, upon further investigation, that she had lied on her job application – in that part about “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” She had done some hard time a few years back for some other failed misadventure. This, of course, made her possession of the .45 caliber semiautomatic weapon a serious “No – No.” Added to that – she had no Concealed Carry permit for the gun – which was not registered anywhere. At least she did have a valid driver’s license – but the car wasn’t hers.

Fast Forward about three years –

I was tooling up and down the aisles of a store in town when I hear a voice behind me call out, “Hey, John!” This happens a lot to me. It is usually a former client or parent thereof – not this time. I turned around and there was our own local Bonnie Parker Wannabe.

“Hi, John. Remember me? We used to work together.”

Now this was one of those moments when you really don’t want to say the wrong thing. So, of course, the first words out of my mouth were,

“Sure, I remember you. Where you been keeping yourself?”

“Oh, I’ve been out of town for a while.”

Courtesy of the State of Indiana.

I really don’t remember the rest of the conversation.

I always enjoyed working with her. She was friendly, confident, and easy to get along with. Lucky for me she never needed an accomplice.

Advertisements

Throwback Thursday from July 2015 – Let’s Play, “Spot The Flaw In This!”

Throwback Thursday from July 2015

Let’s Play, “Spot The Flaw In This!”

inverted JennyABOUT EVERY SIX MONTHS or so we get a piece of mail from the Postal Service touting their “Stamps by Mail” service.

This Postal Service program supposedly can save us time and gasoline by sending postage stamps directly to our mailbox on the front porch. There would be no need for us to get out of our jammies and drive all the way (four blocks) to the Post Office to buy stamps.

OK, I get the concept, but with the advent of the internet there are now millions of people paying their bills online, communicating with friends and family online, and sending birthday cards, etc. online. Currently I write an average of two checks per month that require me to use postage stamps.

I’d wager that since the demise of the Columbia Record Club (look it up) that the number of stamp bearing mail items has diminished greatly. Almost all of the mail that we get is catalogs and other pointless junk mail – and virtually all of that is metered mail with no stamps at all.

We still get the “Stamps by Mail” advertising thing, but let me tell you the real reason we don’t bother signing up.

About a year ago an old friend told me this story and I believe him.

He runs a small business and thought that the “Stamps by Mail” thing might be a good time saver for him. So- he signed up and anxiously awaited the delivery of his first load of postage stamps from Benjamin Franklin’s favorite government service.

A week or so later when my friend toddled out to his mailbox he discovered one of those little pink slips of paper telling him that there was a parcel waiting for him to pick up down at the Post Office.

He told me that this was not unusual, so he got out of his jammies, put on some adult clothing and fired up his car to go get his parcel.

Of course, when he got there he had to wait in line behind the usual collection of people sending sweaters to their grandchildren in Florida and manuscripts off to publishers who will never read them or will just slide them under a table leg to take care of that annoying wobble.

He had to wait about fifteen minutes to get to the head of the line. He presented the pink slip to the clerk who then disappeared into “The Back” for another five minutes. When the Postal Service clerk returned he handed my friend an envelope which would have easily fit inside the mailbox at his home. He took the envelope over to the empty counter out by the P.O. Boxes and tore it open. Inside was another envelope proudly announcing that it contained his delivery of “Stamps by Mail!”

What a time saver.

When my friend first told me about this I too was skeptical. It was just too – too – Post Office for even the Post Office to do.

He swears that it is a true story and as time passes and I read of other Masterpieces of Governmental Ineptitude my skepticism fades into a head-shaking “I’m surprised they didn’t send it to him “postage due.”

Throwback Thursday from July 2015 – “Randall The Candle”

Throwback Thursday from July 2015

Randall The Candle

candleIN 1997 THERE WAS AN EPISODE of “Law And Order” (An American Cops and Robbers TV show set in New York City) that had a character, an arsonist, who went by the moniker of “Randall the Candle.”

Cut to 2015 in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Change the battery in your smoke alarm.”) and a conversation with one of the “Usual Suspects” during services at the Chapel of St. Arbucks.

The “Suspect” – a former resident of New York City and the son of an NYPD Detective and I were discussing the recent fire at a café across the street from St. Arbucks that destroyed the place within 24 hours of their “Grand Opening.” He hinted that it looked a little suspicious and that maybe “Randall the Candle” was in town.

Egads!

Read more…

Pass The Popcorn

  movie1WE’RE GOING TO THE MOVIES TODAY. It has been about a year since our last trip to the 1,437 Screen Cineplex Monster Theater at The Mall.

Going during the day in the middle of the week can get you in at a lower price. Being a Senior Citizen doesn’t hurt either. Of course, once you are through the door it is time to start checking your credit score. If you stop at the refreshment counter you have to make a choice – Do I want that popcorn, Diet Coke, and Raisinetes or do I want to continue living indoors? I’ve paid less for cars than I have for some movie theater snacks. Oh, well.

Read more…

Do You Smell Something Burning ? 

question1aWELL, IT’S HAPPENED AGAIN.

I was getting myself settled into my “writing corner” at St. Arbucks yesterday morning. I had my iced coffee and I opened my little wad of Kleenex containing my morning meds – a little Vitamin D, a Fish Oil capsule the size of my thumb, and an assortment of Blood Pressure meds – a total of eight pills. That is when it happened.

I had just downed my Fish Oil when a complete stranger (I hesitate to call him a “perfect stranger” because he certainly wasn’t.) walked up to me and said, “That’s quite a load of pills. What’s wrong with you?”

Read more…

A Maximum Insecurity Facility

YOU GOTTA GIVE THEM CREDIT for sheer nerve – or maybe for just unfathomable stupidity. Or a little of both.

About a week or so ago at the State Prison in Carlisle, Indiana (just a handcuffs throw from Terre Haute [That’s French for, “I’ve got a good idea.”] somebody, or more likely somebodies, broke INTO the prison.

Read more…

We Are Not Amused

2I’M WARNING YOU. I don’t respond well to “April Fools” jokes. I may respond, but not “well,” if you catch my drift.

The urge to pull stupid pranks on people on this date passed when I was about six – about the same time I quit telling “moron” jokes. 1

I think my daily exposure to the Sisters of Divine Providence may have had something to do with it.

Read more…

Throwback Thursday from 2/9/2015

Throwback Thursday 3

“I’m Gonna Be A Little Late Today”

Indiana_Department_of_Corrections

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.

Read more…

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

20160107_131631ANSWER: EVERYTHING.

Our car was stolen last night.

During the night some knucklehead, with a key, got into the car and took it out of our driveway. I noticed it was gone this morning at about 8:15 AM.

I called the Terre Haute Police Dept. and spent 11 minutes and 24 seconds listening to a fine man try to type my information, one finger at a time. After that I really needed my morning coffee. So, I headed to St. Arbucks for a sip and a prayer. I used the SUV that my wife, the lovely and as mystified as I, Dawn, drives.

I ordered my usual and before I could even sit down – my phone rang.

Read more…

Let’s Lift A Cold One

Liquor Store 1I DECIDED, DECADES AGO, that the people we elect to governmental offices, are, generally, unbelievably stupid. Those that aren’t stupid are as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Fortunately, the stupid outnumber the crooked.

Here in Indiana, including Terre Haute (That’s French for, “I need a drink.”) our elected officials have risen to a new low. For a town that once had the reputation as a House of Ill Repute with a State College, it has some truly silly laws concerning a simple beer.

Read more…

A Christmas Story on Throwback Thursday

Today is “Throwback Thursday” from 12/24/2014

A Christmas Story

FloridaWith this being Christmas eve and all, my thoughts turn to Family. Today, in particular, makes me think of my late Uncle Paul and Aunt Nellie.

It wasn’t that many years ago, on a Christmas Eve, when they seared themselves into both my memory and my gag reflex. Let me explain.

They were both in their late 90’s and living the Retirement Dream down in Florida – in St. Petersburg (AKA “God’s Waiting Room). Unfortunately, they both also had cataracts and couldn’t see a darned thing. For them those 60” plasma TVs were just really big radios.

Unfortunately, they also liked to drive and in Florida you are legally entitled to drive up until three days after death.

It was few days before Christmas when I got a call from a family member in Ohio. It seemed that Aunt Nellie and Uncle Paul had announced that they were planning to drive up North for a Holiday visit. Their plan was to get onto the Interstate System and drive 1000 miles from St. Petersburg, Florida to Cleveland, Ohio, blind as a pair of bookends.

Naturally, the family in Ohio was as frightened as a jeweler seeing Lindsay Lohan come into his store.

The family asked me to intercede. Against better judgment, I did, and soon I became truly scared.

I called Nellie and Paul and voiced the family’s concerns, what with the two of them being in their late 90s and blind as midnight in a coal mine.

Uncle Paul said that he had it “all worked out.”

When I gently said to him, “Uncle Paul, you’re blind. You can’t see and neither can Aunt Nellie. You two could play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” for a week and no one would win! Your wife hasn’t seen you in 12 years! You haven’t bought a light bulb since the Carter Administration! How can you expect to drive 1000 miles from St. Petersburg to Cleveland?

“Johnnie, Johnnie, Johnnie, you worry too much.”

That’s how he talked.

The man moved here from Germany in 1933. He still sounded like he just sneaked off the boat.

“Johnnie, Johnnie, Johnnie, you worry too much.”

Now, my friends, this sounds like a punchline, but, with Larry The Cable Guy as my witness, it is a true, verbatim quote.

 “Johnnie, Johnnie, Johnnie, you worry too much. I have it all worked out.”

Here it comes. Wait for it.

“We know we can’t see very well… “So we are going to drive extra fast so we’re not on the road as long.”

Oh, sweet Jesus!

They left St. Petersburg early, before dawn. That would have made no difference to them, I suppose. All I could do was watch CNN to see if they made the news.

Late on Christmas Eve they arrived in Cleveland. How they did it I don’t know.

A couple of years later Uncle Paul was killed in a traffic accident in St. Petersburg – a 19 year old drunk driver T-boned him in an intersection.

Believe it or not, there was a happy ending to this saga.

A year after the accident, widowed Aunt Nellie remarried. She became the bride of a 93 year old neighbor. Since she was almost 100 by this time, we accused her of Robbing the Walker.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Here I Am – There I Go — Throwback Thursday!

It’s Throwback Thursday from Dec. 11, 2014

Here I Am – There I Go

Harpo_and_Lucy

I THINK OF MYSELF AS A PRETTY ORDINARY looking person, not at all unique. However, I think things might be better for me if I did look less ordinary. Let me explain.

On a disturbingly frequent basis I am mistaken for someone else. It seems that I have a number of doppelgangers walking around out there.

Read more…

My Barista, My Hero

YESTERDAY AS I WAS GETTING SOME TEA at St. Arbucks I was told an interesting and true story.elder abuse

Don’t expect a lot of laughs today.

My Barista said that something upsetting had happened to her the evening before.

Read more…

Let’s Play, “Spot The Flaw In This!”

inverted JennyABOUT EVERY SIX MONTHS or so we get a piece of mail from the Postal Service touting their “Stamps by Mail” service.

Read more…

It Didn’t Hurt At All

bad haircut

FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS I’ve been putting off getting a haircut. It had gotten to the point that, no matter what I did, my hair was looking like I had stuck my toe into a wall socket or I had inadvertently seen Lady Gaga up close and personal – and mistaken her for Tony Bennett. I was starting to look like an exploding Death Star. I did not like that.

Read more…

“I’m Gonna Be A Little Late Today”

Indiana_Department_of_Corrections

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.

Read more…

How NOT To Go To College

College Radio SITTING HERE IN THE CHAPEL at St. Arbucks I am eavesdropping on a conversation taking place at a nearby table. The content is mundane, but one of the men has a voice (and a face) made for radio – baritone with great enunciation and good breath control. It puts me in a reminiscing mood. Let me explain.

Read more…

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: