Blogger's note: Perhaps the most ill-conceived blog ever.
If I ever decide to pursue a life of crime, I have already chosen a mentor: The "Burley Bandit."
Yes, I know bank robbery is illegal (jokes about interest rates and loans aside). Yes I know the "Burly Bandit" was captured due to some of the very factors I find interesting, inspiring, and more than slightly humorous.
The Burly Bandit's story first caught my attention in a very short -- two or three paragraphs -- news brief. I will admit my fancy was more taken with what wasn't said about the case than what was. Just the facts Ma'am: a Greyhound bus driver was arrested for allegedly robbing 11 banks along his bus route. He spent most of the money at strip joints.
I do hate to let facts interrupt a good story, so let me just replay how my imagination ran away with those tantalizing tidbits.
It was estimated the Bandit stole nearly $100,000, but had only $10,000 at the time of his arrest. He blew close to $90,000 on a car (or car stero, depending on the source), strippers and steaks. Sure he broke the law, but he had a damn good time! Yeah, he's goin' to the big house, but he's gonna have stories to tell....
That was my main inspiration. If I ever do something stupid and illegal, I'm not gonna buy diamonds or furs or fancy trips. I'm gonna have fun NOW, damnit! Forget goin' to the casino, I'm just not the gambling type. And I doubt I could find $90,000 worth of male revues. I'm more the immediate gratification type anyway.
Second, he (allegedly) robbed banks along his bus route.
Think about it.
Helloo! No one noticed the big, silver bus idling outside the bank while the alarms were going off? No one on the bus thought it was a little strange when the driver made an unscheduled stop at a bank, then came running out wearing black and white stripes and a black mask, carrying big, white bags with dollar signs on them? (What, real life isn't like a Bugs Bunny cartoon?) Maybe he spent some of that ill-gotten booty on strippers and beer for the bus! ("No, Ocifer, we didn't notice anything unusual. 'Course Fantasia's set had just started....)
Nah, I just had to go and burst that little bubble of rampant imagination by doing a little Google work (yes, I wasted time Googling this guy). Turns out he didn't use the bus for the heists (so they say...). But he did rent a U-Haul truck for one job -- his last, as it turned out. Note to self: never use a U-Haul as a get-away car.
So, what did my demented little mind see as guidelines in this story? Immediate gratification and the old Realtor's mantra: "location, location, location".
I'm not concerned about sharing my plans for my criminal escapades, because I fully expect to be caught. Burn bright, burn brief, have some fun. I've already picked out a fugitive name: The Waddling Bandit.
I will chose which banks I rob based on their proximity to donut and/or coffee shops. I envision a pattern of concentric circles, with each heist getting closer to the crullers. When I hit the last job I will truly be the "Waddling Bandit." I'll have to ride my motorized scooter from the bank to the bismark (little "b") because I'll get winded just thinking about walking.
I'll be a folk hero by the time they get my case on CSI (my eyebrown twin, Brooke Shields, will play me). My undoing? Not an idling diesel, but a trail of chocolate sprinkles and powdered sugar finger prints.
The real genius of my plan? A naive dependence on the old stereotype of cops hanging out at the donut shop. I'll be hiding in plain site.