Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bank Robbery

Based on a true story.  

Scene:  Third National Bank, Monday.  

TELLER:   Welcome to Third National Bank, how may I help you?

ROBBER:  (Pointing gun.)  This is a hold up.   I need all of your cash in this bag.  (Hands bag to teller)

TELLER:   Oh dear.  Are you currently a customer of Third National?  

ROBBER:  What?   No.   I'm holding you up.

TELLER:  So what brought you in?  

ROBBER:  I..... AM..... HOLDING....... YOU.....  UP

TELLER:  I understand sir.  Do you have a credit card?  

ROBBER:  Several, I'm maxed out and so is my patience.  The money.   

TELLER:   Well our gold card protects you from identity theft and you'll have no liability should someone falsely make charges on the card.  Ever had that happen?   It's awful.  

ROBBER:  The money?   Please put the money in the bag.

TELLER:   Do you own your own home?

ROBBER:  What?  Yes.  And I'm about to be foreclosed on.  

TELLER:  Have you considered refinancing?  We've got low interest rates and no closing costs.

ROBBER:  Are you kidding me?   

TELLER:  It seems you need a little extra cash, how about a home equity loan?


TELLER:   Yes sir, and a very pretty gun it is, what did that run you?

ROBBER:   It was handed down to me by my dad.   THE MONEY!

TELLER:  Oh, so it's an heirloom.  You'd hate for that to get misplaced.   We have lots of nice safe deposit boxes to keep your valuables safe.   I can show you one if you'd like.   

(Sirens are heard in the background)  

ROBBER:  Lady, I would like for you to put the money in the bag I just handed you.  Hurry.  

TELLER:   Wow, this bag looks really old.  Doubt that would hold all the money.  Would you like a new Third National tote bag?  It can be yours for opening an account.   


(Robber runs out.)   

(Cops run into bank.)


TELLER:  Certainly officer, but before I do, can I interest you in our no fee checking?    

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: Personal

Personal by Lee Child

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was a Lee Child fan before Lee Child was cool (my hazy recollection is that I started reading him around the time of his first novel), and as such, I have spent a lot of time recommending his novels to people. Each one seemed as crisp and exciting as the last. But in the past several years I've started to worry. Child seemed to be falling into the problem so many series authors have. How do you keep the formula fresh to the reader and interesting to the author? The absolute rock bottom was Nothing to Lose, the weakest Reacher novel, in which Lee Child's personal politics (no matter how much I agree with them) overtook his need to create a compelling story. Subsequent books have been okay, but have felt more like eating a bag of potato chips than a satisfying meal you want to tell your friends about.

That's why it is great to see Child rebounding with Personal, a book in which, following an assassination attempt on the President of France, Jack Reacher is called upon to help track down the man believed responsible, a former sniper that Reacher once arrested. In a novel that spans several countries, Reacher teams up with rookie agent Casey Nice to help track down the sniper and accomplices and bring him to justice before he can create havoc at the G8 summit.

Child is back in top form here, creating a novel that is less action thriller than a satisfying suspenseful whodunit, with credible plot twists, interesting local color, and a great cast of characters to keep it entertaining. The result is Child's best novel in several years. Highly recommended.

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