Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Bank Robbery

The lad and his sister were excited that their older cousins were in town. They had been in Germany and were always full of great stories and general smart aleck good fun. This evening turned out to be in keeping with the anticipated good time.

After a couple of hours swapping stories and remembering the last time they were together, the group got a little restless. A scenario was scripted that the cousins were going to rob the bank in the old West; the young boy was slated to appear as the teller, his sister was cast as a patron of the bank, and the world traveling brothers were the bank robbers. The casting done, the next phase was to dress the set. Since there was no budget for authentic bank teller bars, wooden porch, horse rail and dirt street, the decision was made to make do with a small table at the door of the boy’s room and the long hall just outside the door was to be the street.

The robbers were equipped with the requisite Peacemaker replica cap guns, a small bag was used to carry off the “loot”, and the teller was equipped with some authentic-looking paper money and was armed with a “hidden” cap derringer in a wrist strap.

Now, this was a special derringer in that it came with spring-loaded cartridges that had actual projectiles that would fly out when fired with a round stick-on cap applied where normally a primer would reside on real ammunition. This made the ordnance very deadly and thus important to the conscientious teller back while the West was being won. And since it was the pride of the boy, and since he was the youngest of the group, he was allowed to thus arm himself. And just for good measure, he placed two round caps at the primer position of each of the bullets his gun held.

The bank was quiet, as expected. The young teller sat at his post, counting the stacks of real-looking money, the benign young woman milled about the bank lobby. Suddenly, two rough cowboys burst in, brandishing chrome plastic pistols. They meant business. The young woman screamed (and then laughed). The robbers turned their attention to the teller. His life threatened, he moved quickly to put all the folding money into the bag. Then, as quickly as they had come, the miscreants were out the door, and on their way down the dusty street.

The second they turned their cowardly backs, the brave and ever-ready young teller retrieved his derringer and yelled a warning to the thieves to stop. The blonde one spun around, ready to shoot his cap pistol. He was a split second too late on the trigger. The teller let fly the double-capped derringer and sent the plastic projectile flying to its mark.

In the very same (or the very next) second, the blonde bandit’s right hand came up to his right eye, a shocked “aargh” escaped his lips, his body flung to the carpet of the street. His partner froze…and laughed. Hard. Even the wounded cowboy was laughing. The teller, on seeing the outlaw fall, then laugh, began to follow suit. When the poor woman from inside the bank (who had been away from the door, thereby missing the action) realized what had indeed happened, she immediately began to cackle as well.

The production halted, the shooting victim began to recount his last memory of what had taken place over the last few seconds. It seems that as he wheeled to shoot the audacious teller, he saw the derringer barrel, and a flash of gunpowder at the muzzle. The next thing he knew, his eye hurt and he fell, stunned.

There was never a dull moment when their cousins came to town.

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