Mom has often had trouble with credit cards while on a trip. One time her purse got stolen the night before a trip and she lost her credit cards, which turned out to be a nightmare for her. And several times her cards have been denied in faraway lands because the card company was trying to prevent fraud (even though Mom always tells her credit card companies where she is going…no one ever listens to Mom!). All these experiences have made Mom want to protect her cards, no matter what – even during a robbery.
Mom was preparing to leave for some exotic location by visiting her bank to get foreign currency. She didn’t think she would be very long in the bank, so she left Grandma sitting in the car with our dog while she ran in to get the money. While waiting in line, Mom thought of all the things that still needed to be done before leaving in a couple of days.
Completely wrapped up in her own thoughts (and being a very jumpy person to start with), Mom was caught off guard when the bank was suddenly filled with the noise of two gun shots. Of course, Mom screamed at the top of her lungs at the sound.
The shots were immediately followed by someone yelling at everyone to get on the floor. Mom looked around and saw people start dropping instantly, but Silly Mom thought that she must surely be on candid camera, and glibly watched as others responded to the threatening intruder. Some inner instinct kept Mom from looking directly at the shooter, but she was intensely aware of his presence when he yelled at her (actually swore at her) to get on the floor NOW! All thoughts of Candid Camera gone, she said, “Yes, Sir!” and dropped to the ground as fast as she could.
Now, Mom does not think like a regular person. Rather than paying attention to what was happening in the bank at that moment, all Mom could think about was her credit cards getting stolen again right before a big trip. There was no way she was letting that happen! Mom was determined to keep her credit cards away from this thief at all costs.
Very carefully, and moving slowly so as not to draw attention to herself, Mom snuck her hand into her purse, extracted a credit card, and then very stealthily slipped it into her bra. Card after card was quietly transferred into a place she hoped the robber would never look. And just for good measure, Mom put her wedding ring in along with the cards.
She was so intent on her mission of saving her cards from thievery that Mom didn’t realize the robber had taken his loot and left. One of the tellers had to reassure Mom twice that the coast was clear before she finally realized it was safe to get up.
This whole time, during the robbery and the time it took the police to arrive and question the witnesses, Grandma sat patiently in the car, wondering why Mom was taking so long in the bank. The police noticed her sitting in the car and wondered if she might be a potential witness. Grandma admitted that she had seen someone run out of the bank, but she hadn’t paid any attention to him. The policeman then informed her that the bank had just been robbed. Silly Grandma’s only response was, “Oh, so that’s what’s taking her so long!”
After the police left Grandma, the car phone rang (this was in the days before people had cell phones, but ever on the cutting edge of technology, Dad had portable phones installed in the cars). It was Dad, wanting to talk to Mom.
“The bank got robbed,” Grandma told him, “and Marci is still inside.”
“OK,” Dad responded, “Have her call me when she comes out.”
They were both so used to Mom getting into unusual predicaments, that it didn’t faze either of them.
Mom finally did return to the car and called Dad right away to tell him the news. “Were you worried about me?” she asked.
“No,” he casually responded. “I knew that if you were in the bank answering questions that you must have been okay.” Dear Dad is always so logical!
“Well, I am,” Mom declared, a little disappointed that he was neither surprised nor concerned over her situation. But she was extremely pleased with herself over one thing, and she let him know it: “And so are the credit cards!” She proudly proclaimed.
** As a side note, here is some factual information on the bank robber:
Known as “The Shootist,” Johnny Madison Williams Jr., was one of the most successful bank robbers in American history. He admitted to robbing 56 banks by the time he was arrested in 1994. His method of shooting into the air when he entered the bank was in order to promote terror and compliance. His wife helped him with the get-aways, and she kept all the records of their robberies. He was a very organized and calculating bank robber, who planned his heists well in advance with great attention to detail. It took eight years for the police to finally catch him.