October 28, 2001
Going about our business
By ART BUCHWALD
The orders from on high say we must be calm and go about our business just as we did before. I'm not sure this goes for everybody.
The other day a man in a ski mask walked into the Marigold Savings Bank.
He slid a note to the teller which read, "Give me whatever you have in your drawer."
"What on earth are you doing?"
"I'm robbing your bank."
"We've been told to do our normal things. Sticking up banks is what I do for a living. America is not going to let the terrorists scare us bank robbers into stopping doing what we do best."
"Do you mind taking off your mask so that our cameras can get good pictures of you?"
"I always wear a ski mask when I pull a heist. Now hurry up, I have a plane to catch and I'm afraid to fly."
"Do you have photo identification?"
"I do, but what good does it do if I'm wearing a ski mask?"
"You are probably right. Now the suitcase you handed me to put the money in. Did you pack it yourself?"
"Please, just empty out the drawer and let me get on with my job."
"Did anyone else touch this bag before you handed it to me through the window?"
"What do you think I am, a double-crossing Taliban terrorist? I'm for America."
The teller said, "You don't have to get cheeky about it. Osama bin Laden has robbed many banks during his reign. If you are a terrorist, the money you rob from us will be frozen by the Treasury Department and you will not be able to spend it."
The robber said, "I've never dealt with somebody like this. Don't you ever panic when you're held up?"
"I would, but I've been told if I lose my cool I'll be fired. Do you have a permit for that gun?"
"No, you want to make something of it? Give me twenties, fifties and hundred dollar bills. And throw in a hundred Cipro pills."
"We don't have any Cipro in the bank."
"It could cause panic."
"All right, how about a gas mask?"
The teller replied, "You have to have a minimum of $500 in your checking account before we can issue you a gas mask. OK, the bag is full. I hope you have a nice day."
At this moment, the FBI moved in and nabbed the bank robber. As he was dragged out, he yelled, "Why don't the government people let us live the normal lives we had before?"
Copyright 2001 Tribune Media Services