“It’s perfect for us. Easy to get in and out of and good for a quick getaway, straight down this entry and away.” said Harry in earnest tones pointing down the empty alleyway with a sausage. “We’ll hit the bank at 12 noon. That’s when they’re busiest stealing money from the unsuspecting public.” He shook his head and grimaced.
Roger looked at Harry with a doleful expression. He didn’t share Harry’s enthusiasm or his concern for the bank’s customers.
“Don’t look so worried! You distract them while I do the business. The usual routine.” said Harry as they both tucked into the leftovers. “I’ll need to stock up on liquids.”
Harry reached for a bottle of water.
They had been together for about a year. The friends had met in traumatic circumstances. Roger was taking his morning stroll through the woods on Hampstead Heath when he saw Harry lying in a heap on the ground with a rope round his neck. He was almost dead having tried to hang himself. Roger raised the alarm and saved Harry’s life.
When he had recovered Harry came looking for Roger, who, as ever a creature of habit was walking the same route at the same time. They sat down on a park bench and after the pleasantries and thank yous Harry just unburdened himself to Roger. He seemed to know that Roger wouldn’t say anything. Harry also reckoned that Roger deserved an explanation for why he had tried to kill himself on Roger’s favourite route.
It transpired that this smelly tramp had been a senior bank executive. When the crash happened it was Harry’s job to call in loans from customers to recover money quickly. The bank weren’t particular which loans were recovered. Harry had some tough targets to meet, but to Harry if the bank said jump he would ask: “How high?” He was the bank’s man through and through having been with them since university and attained some seniority.
Then disaster struck. Harry foreclosed on a family business in Exeter that had borrowed heavily to finance their hotel expansion. The client’s marriage fell apart followed quickly by the business. That was par for the course Harry reckoned: collateral damage. People could rebuild their lives. The marriage and the business were on the rocks anyway, he reasoned.
But what happened next could not be rationalised even in Harry’s hard banking head. It finished Harry with the good life and began his slide into living on the margins of society while engaging in violent crime against the very banks he had worked for.
The bank’s client killed his entire family and then killed himself just outside Harry’s office with a shotgun. Harry had refused to see him, luckily, or he may have taken Harry as well the police reckoned. The poor man may as well have taken Harry with him that day as Harry was a shattered man.
He turned his back on everything. Left the bank, gave his house away to a homeless charity for a shelter and lived in his car for a while. Then torched it and took to the streets living rough. It was then that he tried to kill himself.
Harry and Roger quickly developed a rapport and continued to meet. For Roger there was something about Harry’s desperate plight that drew his attention and sympathy: while Harry grew to depend on Roger’s reassuring ways.
Harry claims that it was Roger that helped him turn his life around. Not just by saving him, but by inspiring Harry to find a new purpose. Roger didn’t think that Harry had turned his life around at all. His new purpose was nothing more than targeting banks in an angry campaign of revenge into which he had dragged Roger. Harry also argued that these acts of revenge gave his anger a focus after the awful events. He claimed that it was Roger himself who had given him the idea when he got caught short one day and urinated outside a bank on Fulham High Street. Roger regrets that indiscretion to this day.
“Its 12. I’m full to bursting.” said Harry. “I’m ready. Are you?”
Roger could only mumble through his food in response.
“Right lets go, Kemo Sabe!” yelled Harry putting on his Lone Ranger mask. Roger yelled back. It was their battle cry.
It was Roger’s job to run into the bank shouting his head off and running around to distract everyone while Harry did the business. Pandemonium ensued very quickly. People ran out of the bank because Roger looked deranged, even dangerous. Nobody challenged him. Before security could be called Harry was up on the counter and in a flash was urinating into the shiny metal trays used to pass money and cheques through to the bank staff.
By now people were screaming. The bank alarms had been set off. Harry and Roger knew they only had a couple of minutes before the police arrived. Roger kept up his shouting and running around. Harry kept urinating and shouting:
“I piss on your bank and all your money. No one will touch your money now!”
Then quick as flash Harry was zipped up, down from the counter and with a yell of “Hi ho Tonto away!” they were gone leaving devastation in their wake.
Harry could run fast, but Roger with four legs could run faster. It was the thought of ending up in the dog pound that motivated Roger’s escape. Besides he knew that Harry always had a treat in store for him after a heist: bonios or maybe even a chop stolen from Tescos.