Every once in a while …. or maybe most of the time … the story I want to tell, has no moral or point that I can put my finger on or words to, but still I want to tell it. People give me so many stories.
People who know me mostly as a handyman/ private detective, will sometimes walk up to me at the market or on the Commons, wanting to talk about modern survelance systems, (I am an old fashioned human-based, not electronic practitioner) or about weaponry or they want to discuss their idea for the Perfect Crime.
Wilfred Morrison was his own sort of conceptual criminal, but Wilfred Morrison is not his real name. His real name may have been Rolf Dickerson, He lived for a while on raw eggs and beer, and at other times was a vegan, and may have tried to live on air,although I have changed some of these details to protect his privacy
You may remember "Rolf" from the eighties, when he worked at a German Deli in the Dewitt Mall, where I used to go for the sausage and cheese. He worked also refinishing floors, but he s fantasized about robing a bank.
Most of the bank heist ideas were cartoonish and highly dependent on electronic equipment not yet generally available.
He's just out of jail, not on account of a bank job gone wrong, but because of a floor finishing job. On a job near Trumansburg, he and his partner mopped on the oil to flood the floor, let it sit and soak, than sopped up the excess with rags, and hung them out to air. You always hang oily rags to cure, or keep them in a bucket of water so they don't oxidize. You have heard about oily rags in confinement, where slow oxidation builds heat that eventually bursts into flame. They hung the rags on a ladder to dry for a while that day in T Burg, but jammed them into an empty spackle bucket a while before they cleaned up and drove off.
About when they were passing the bank the bucket in back of the van burst into flame. You knew it was going to happen. Wilfred threw the flaming bucket out of the van as quick as he could , and there was really no choice
The mistake was they kept on going. They went a bit to far.
But there in the deli, after serving a term for what was characterized by the prosecuting attorney as terrorism, he tells me that if he had only thought of it and planned ahead, the flaming bucket incident would have a pretty good diversion, if someone had wanted to rob the bank that day. He didn't see any moral to the story.