Craig's List and Inner Tubes- A Bank Robbery by William Hrdina

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SUMMARY: Reality is far stranger than fiction these days... BTW- You can subscribe to my short story audio podcast at http://whrdina.libsyn.com/ “Where the Fnords Linger- A Short Story Collection”collects 27 of my most popular stories. To order:www.williamhrdin

Craig's List and Inner Tubes- A Bank Robbery
By William Hrdina
Inspired by real events

I woke up on Monday morning with a hangover. I don't know if you've ever had a hangover- but take it from me- they really suck. Okay, not the most profound observation- but give me a break- I have a hangover. Anyway, as I walked to the bathroom with the sound of blood pounding in my temples, all I could taste in my mouth was a combination of cigarettes, whiskey, and a half pound of cotton balls- all of which made me consider being dead as a preferable alternative to my current state.
Getting up wasn't easy- I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't even want to move. But in the back of my head, I couldn't help thinking about my rapidly dwindling bank account. Since I'm a fairly new member of the unemployed masses, I have not yet given up hope. That combined with the fear of homelessness got me up and moving even while my body cried out in protest.
I used to be a road maintenance professional, working primarily on the I-405 corridor, but exactly one month and 8 days ago I was called into my boss's office and summarily laid off. It was supposed to be some measure of relief to me that there were several hundred other guys laid off at the same time- but I found no joy in the sharing of my suffering. Still, in many ways, I knew I had it better than most- I was still young, single, and didn't have the burden of hungry children to worry about- a whole lot of other guys weren't so lucky.
After a few minutes in the bathroom trying to straighten myself out into a human being again, I sat down with my laptop. I had to walk around my apartment a few times, waving the computer around, before I was able to tap into my neighbor's un-secured wireless internet connection. I didn't know exactly who my wireless benefactor was- but I was grateful for the connection- without it- I would have to walk three blocks to the Starbucks in order to check my email and continue my ongoing search for employment.
As per my routine, the first place I went was to Craig's List. After flipping through 3 pages of crap, I found the following unbelievable entry:

WANTED: Road Maintenance Workers
Great Pay $28.50 an hour!
Hiring will be done outside the Bank of America branch in Monroe, Washington at 11am on Tuesday October 1st and work will begin immediately- expected to last 3 days- maybe 4. Please come with safety goggles, a respirator mask, yellow safety vest and preferably a blue shirt- gather on the block around the corner from the Bank branch and await Mr. Crowne who will be your contact.

I couldn't believe it- $28.50? That was seven dollars more than I was making as a road maintenance worker for the state of Washington. I quickly did the math- that would be $400 for an 8-hour day- $1200 total. Assuming I got paid in cash (hope hope) that would be enough to pay my rent and my bills for another month. You better believe I was excited. It was only temporary so I kept searching throughout the day- but I didn't find anything even half as lucrative as the Maintenance job promised to be.

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