May 29, 2012

Trivia Blog: Darth Banker

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

That's some hometown pride, right there...

These are tough times we found ourselves in these days.  Money is tight.  Unemployment rates are still abysmally high.  Familiar bursts loom on the horizon for our tech and real estate markets.  We all know this.  And we all know that in times like these, some turn towards criminal activity to fatten up their stacks; turn towards the dark side, if you will.

That concept has never been made as clear as in this story about a man who robbed a bank in Toledo, Ohio... dressed as Darth Vader... and then rode away on his bike.  Now, a few things about this story:
  1. This happened in my hometown, which... Way to go, guys.
  2. The idea that Darth Vader had to make his getaway on a Schwinn strikes me as a sadder fact than his downgrade to petty crime.  I know that with gas prices being what they are, it's hard to justify ever taking your star destroyer out of the garage, but where's your dignity, man?  I like to imagine that as he pedaled away, cape billowing behind him and loose $20 bills fluttering in his wake, he was making spaceship noises with his mouth.
  3. Choosing Darth Vader as the villain persona to adapt whilst robbing a bank is inspired, sure, but flawed.
Let me expand on point #3.  I'm sure that this guy had a vision of striding through the bank doors dressed as Darth Vader, like a motherfucking boss, and thought everyone would drop with fear and start throwing money at him left and right as the trumpets of the Imperial March blared away.  In reality, though, that mask is going to be a severe hindrance to your ability to see a guard or some hero bank-goer sneaking up behind you.  You're also pretty easy to spot in a police lineup, given the black getup and the heavy asthma.  Also, what if your cape gets stuck in the revolving door as you make your escape?  And although it might not affect you, but think of the disappointment you'll instill in your hostages if you reach under your cape and pull out not a lightsaber, but an ordinary gun.  That's no moon, Darth.  That's just shameful.

Instead of going the Vader route, then, consider these other movie villain bank robber personas:

Hannibal Lecter
Pros:  Your razor-sharp mind gives you a psychological advantage over the bank teller, leading to the potential of getting money without ever raising a gun.  Plus, if you need a getaway identity, you're handy with making a mask out of anyone who A) is nearby and B) has a face.
Cons:  If you go for the big entrance, someone's going to have to wheel you in strapped to that furniture dolly, and if shit get's real, you're going to have a problem getting away quickly.

Freddy Krueger
Pros:  Your knives-for-fingers gloves are totally scary and badass.
Cons:  Your knives-for-fingers gloves make handling paper money treacherous.

Zeus or Hades from those Clash of the Titans Movies
Pros:  You'd be a god, which probably makes getting around bank security pretty easy.  Also, yelling out "Release the kraken!!" as you burst in to rob a bank is pretty sweet.
Cons:  You're Greek.  So that money is useless to you know that your economy has devolved into a system of rock- and hug-based transactions.

Johnny Lawrence from Karate Kid
Pros:  Your ability to sweep the leg instills the kind of fear in a bank manager that can get you the cash you want.
Cons:  Billy Zabka isn't exactly doing great these days, so he might already be suspected in a bank robbery or two, making guards wary of your presence as soon as you walk through the doors.

The Shark from Jaws
Pros:  No one's going to play the hero when a goddamned shark is asking for money.
Cons:  The lack of underwater branches offered by most major banks is going to wreak havoc on your whole "need water to breathe" thing.  Also, no thumbs.

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