Sometimes people will do anything to get a little extra cash. The average person might play the lotto with very limited success. A few people might even fudge the old taxes a little to squeak out or squeak back a few bucks from Uncle Sam, depending on the exemptions they claimed, of course. Others might stand at the punch clock until the next minute turns to get a few more cents. And still others might try to pull major heists to rein in the cash – cue the music for Ocean’s Eleven. The moral evaluations we might make for these particular cash-advancing techniques range from obviously wrong to “now why’d ya want to do that?” However, none of these people are completely incompetent. Below, I will detail a list of people who are completely incompetent.
It’s 8 am on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at a convenience store in Madison, Wisconsin. A clerk at the Open Pantry is counting the store’s cash for the day when two men enter. The first asks the clerk for directions and the second slips behind the counter. Once the clerk realizes it is a robbery she demands that the robber give the money back. After she asked a second time, probably very nicely, he places a wad full of cash on the counter and then he and his accomplice flee in a light blue Chevy Lumina (one of the ugliest cars around). The distraught clerk then calls the police who come. They investigate the scene only to determine that the store has $1 more after the robbery than before. One of the two men must have thrown an extra buck into what he had originally taken. So now there are two men on the lam for charitably giving a dollar to the Open Pantry in Madison, Wisconsin. Hilarious!
At least those two guys got away. Now consider a bank robbery at 9 am on Monday, October 22, 2012, in Syracuse, New York. A man, whose name I suppress out of respect for any further embarrassment, walks into an Alliance Bank location. He then approaches the teller and demands $20,000. The teller simply refuses his offer: “Sorry sir, I can’t help you. Next in line, please.” So our unnamed bank robber-to-be demands again. This time the teller consents and hands him a bag of money. Now Mr. Moneybags departs happily on his way. After a few blocks of counting his money, however, he realizes that the teller got him again by severely shortchanging him of the $20,000. He is now one frustrated cowboy. So what does he do? Mr. Unnamed marches right back to that bank and knocks on the doors, which have now been locked because the bank is a crime scene. All he wants is the rest of the $20k which he politely requested. All he gets is a bunch of laughs from the police and some nice shiny handcuffs. Incompetent I tell you, incompetent.
Lastly, we examine the case of a Dartmouth man who tries to kidnap a Halifax mining executive. I guess if you are not able to steal a man’s money the next best thing is to steal him (and hope for some wisdom, words of advice, or the exec’s personal stash of mined silver and gold in return). So the Dartmouth man, whose name is concealed for similar reasons as the aforementioned bank robber, tries to abduct the exec from his waterfront home in Nova Scotia on October 16, 2012. That is wonderful, but would you like to know where they caught the perp? Well they obviously caught him at the exec’s waterfront home. Pretty standard so far, I would say. The only problem is that they did not apprehend him there on October 16, 2012, but rather on October 22, 2012. The personal security guards at the mansion caught the would-be-abductor as he tried a second time to either rob the mansion or abduct the exec. Obviously, when the police came they wanted to perform an evaluation of the perp’s ability to think about what he had done. Well the results are in, and they have determined that he is an idiot.
The moral of the story is when you try to make an extra buck or 20,000 of them the rules of common sense should still apply. Take hand and generously apply with a whack to forehead.

Michael Jackson is a fifth-year senior in the Riley Dual-degree program. He wants to be a lion-tamer when he grows up. Contact Michael at