A Less Than Smooth Criminal

Makeshift Manny was a poor crook.
He went to the library to check out a book
about how to thieve and how to rob
wanting to improve his skills on the job.

When he got home the police were there.
Seems a cop’s wife cut the librarian’s hair.

“Reading a book is not a crime.”

“I know you’ve not yet stolen one thin dime.
“But it looks like mischief is headed your way;
“best stay out of trouble or you’ll rue the day.”

“I hear what you’re sayin’.” Manny said with glee.
Not knowing all could see his duplicity.

The cop shook his head, and away did walk.
Manny called his friend for a nice long talk
about how he’d rob the old Farmer’s Bank.
Listening in on the line was Mrs. Judy Crank.

Now Crank was a gossip and the town operator.
She heard him talk about wearing ‘a mask like Darth Vader.'”
Crank called Gladys Miller, who called Evan Finn.
Evan called Mildred, and said, “The kids are living in sin!
“And, oh yeah, Manny ‘s robbing the town S & L.”

Mildred thought long about who she should tell.
Who would Mildred call but that same cop’s wife.
Who said, “Honey, Manny ‘s gonna end up doin’ life.”

Officer Willis went around warning the banks

“Bankers lose money!”, now their hearts really sank.

“Don’t be heroes, just let him go.
“We’ll have your money back as quick as you know.”

Manny plotted his crime both night and day.
He saw the problem was making a clean get away.
Those gleaming cop cars were faster than his truck,
and with radios and guns they didn’t need luck.

He thought about it hard and about it long,
but every idea seemed to turn out wrong.
Then it came to him like a bolt from the blue.
“Fast cars and barricades? There’s a way on through.”

Manny went to the bank one day at noon,
and withdrew money to rent a hot-air balloon.
By his way of thinking the police couldn’t fly,
so over their heads he’d sail through the sky.

On the appointed day, the time did come.
It didn’t occur to Manny that his plan was dumb.
He said, “Give me the cash, or you’ll soon regret…!”
Though without a gun this was just a puny threat.

Still, the cashier complied and handed him cash,
and up to the rooftop Manny did dash.
Up-up-and-away the balloon slothfully crawled.

Through squawky speakers the cop’s voice called,
“Manny, get down here this very instant.”

Manny replied, “I applaud you’re bein’ persistent,
“but I think I’ll head on down Mexico way.”

“Manny, I can follow you all night and all day,
“and if the time comes that I reach the shore,
“there’s the Coast Guard, the Navy, and many more.”

As it turned out Manny was afraid of heights,
so he couldn’t raise the balloon up out of sight.
Instead, he flew only just above the trees.
Not knowing a sturdy hook could stop his flee.

So went the slowest ever slow speed chase,
and so happened the dullest ever bank robbery case.

About B Gourley

Bernie Gourley is a writer living in Bangalore, India. His poetry collection, Poems of the Introverted Yogi is now available on Amazon. He teaches yoga, with a specialization in pranayama, and holds a RYT500 certification. For most of his adult life, he practiced martial arts, including: Kobudo, Muay Thai, Kalaripayattu, and Taiji. He is a world traveler, having visited more than 40 countries around the globe.
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