Jerry looked at his hands, a farmer’s hands. They were once. Now he stole to survive. He chided himself. It wasn’t so bad, really. But this was to be his last job, his last score. He was tired of this life. Just a little bit more and then he could retire to that sunny cove with the beautiful beach in a non-extradition country. Bliss.
There was only one problem. His regular crew wasn’t available. He never liked trying out a new guy but this one came highly recommended. Intimidation, that’s what a bank robber needed.
Jerry had planned their first face-to-face meeting in the park. That way he could see him coming, check him out. But regardless of his appearance, he needed him. This was a two-man job and it had to be done today. Tomorrow the money was being transferred. The job had to be done today.
While Jerry had been immersed in his thoughts a large menacing looking man, unshaven, tall and muscular approached him. Jerry was startled out of his reverie but when he looked up he smiled.
“You must be Ben, I’ve been looking forward to this meeting. Did you get everything I asked?”
Jerry’s new companion broke into a huge grin and opened his large hands. He was excited.
“What the! Ben I said nondescript! This they will remember. We’re supposed to be forgettable! “
Jerry was small and wiry but he seemed to be the leader of the two.
Ben lost his smile immediately. He seemed to shrink into himself. When he spoke it was almost a whisper.
“I thought you said not to quit! I ain’t never quit on nobody!’
Jerry could do nothing but stand there with his mouth open. This had to work.
“Ben I’m sorry, I was startled. The idea is not to have your face showing. That way you won’t get caught.”
“But I really, really like this hat.”
Ben spoke very quietly and Jerry was pretty sure he could see tears in his eyes. He decided that he had to make the best of what was turning out to be an odd situation. The beach was calling to him.
“Okay, okay let me think. You wear the balaclava and I’ll wear a scarf over my face. That will work. Did you bring a gun? “
“Does that mean I can still wear my hat?” Ben was scowling just a little but on him it was scary.
“You can wear your . . . hat on top of the balaclava, uumm, the knit hat with eye holes.”
Jerry was pretty sure this was going to be long day. Or least it would seem like it. White sand, ocean breeze, a few clouds in a perfect sky.
“The gun Ben? This is a robbery we must have guns.”
Jerry was not prepared for what he was about to see. It defied all logic and yet somehow it made perfect sense.
“I don’t like real guns they are real loud. So I got this really cool replica. It looks just like a real gun don’t you think Jerry?
It was purple. He was a 7 foot, 300 pound man with a bright orange hat that had a huge pom-pom on top and two earflaps, carrying a purple gun.
Jerry closed his eyes. White sandy beaches, Peanut coladas. Soon, I hope.
30 minutes later our two antiheroes we’re standing outside the bank. Jerry was carefully checking his watch. The bank guard usually left for lunch at 1:30. He planned on entering the bank at 1:35.
Ben was twitchy, he didn’t like waiting. He had been told that he had to do his very best for Jerry. Otherwise he would be angry and Ben didn’t want that.
At 1:36 two miss matched men entered the bank.
“THIS IS A ROBBERY, EVERYBODY ON THE FLOOR, NOW!”
These words spoken with such vehemence might’ve had more of a desirous effect had there actually been people in the Bank. Unfortunately it was a very slow day. There were two tellers and two bank robbers. But that didn’t stop our intrepid warriors.
“DOG, GET THE MONEY!” Our long suffering leader handed the moneybags to Ben.
“Why you calling me a dog? Did you forget my name?” Ben was a little confused.
“No, No! I don’t want to use your real name. Just get the money!”
The two tellers looked at each other and shook their heads. This was not an ordinary bank robbery.
Ben did as he was instructed and handed his cloth bag to the first teller. He knew he was supposed to be intimidating so he straightened himself up and growled: “MONEY!”
The teller looked suitably surprised and started to tear up.
“I’ve never been robbed before! I’ll get your money! Please don’t hurt us!”
For about three seconds Ben remained scowling. And then out of the blue:
“You have such pretty eyes. I’ll bet you date a lot. If it makes you feel any better this is my first time too. I ain’t gonna hurt you, promise.”
Jerry watch the two conversing and realized that this day was not going as planned. He also realized he’d forgotten a few things. Just as the realization hit him he heard the sirens.
“Oh Jerry there’s more people coming! It’s going to be a party!” Ben was excited.
When the police burst through the front doors, summoned by a silent alarm, they saw four people. One large man and one small woman we’re animatedly discussing cookies. A small man was sitting cross-legged on the ground with his hands on his head. Over him stood a large woman with a gun and a hand on her hip.
Jerry turned slowly towards the police officers. His eyes were pained.
“Please take me into jail. Please don’t leave me here. Nothing happened the way it was supposed to. I think I need to lie down.”