Ten Things Not to Do Holding Up a Bank

Bank robbery

The inspiration for this list came out of a conversation I had with Charles Yallowitz. He was mentioning a character named Frank who was not very good at bank hold ups. I thought maybe I would bring Frank back at some point and decided to give him some help should he want to get back in the bank hold up business.  Also, it was fun to imagine holding up a bank. I hope you like the list and for all law enforcement folks out there, this is fiction.

10 If you are holding up a bank, do not hand the teller a note written on the back of one of you check book deposit slips, If you do, at best you need to get the slip back. At worst, the all points bulletin will include your name, address, phone number, and the current balance of your account.(Interesting situation having a sheriff car waiting in your driveway huh, Buford?)

9 If you are holding up a bank, do not try to convince the teller your banana is a gun. If you do, at best you will be laughed out of the bank. At worst, Tiny the WWF champ who has just graduated from security school and desperately wants to try his new taser is on duty. (Looks like you will be laying on the floor twitching for a while, Tex)

8 If you are holding up a bank, do not use foul language as part of the process. If you do, at best one of the customers is your fifth-grade English teacher. At worst, the security camera footage will go viral on You Tube, and your mother will wonder where you learned that language. (Kind of hard to explain it was just an act right, Bosco?)

7 If you are holding up a bank, do not try the caper during non-business hours. If you do, at best no one will notice you in ski mask and gloves trying to get in. At worst, if you do get in, all the money will be in a vault, and the alarm system has called the police.(You wonder what those guys mean by, “Come out with your hands up,” Roscoe?)

6 If you are holding up a bank, do not use someone who has been drinking as a getaway driver. If you do, At best you have to wake them up to getaway. At worst, they may plow into the police car on the corner. (The fun part was the cop had no idea a bank robbery was in progress, Buster.)

5 If you are holding up a bank and are successful, do not brag about it on Facebook. If you do, at best you have so few friends no one will notice. At worst, your post will be forwarded to the police, and you’ll be pinched. (At least the office gave you a “like,” huh Putz?)

4 If you are holding up a bank, do not try to push through a door marked “pull.” If you do, at best you’ll figure it out after a few tries. At worst, you keep bashing the door until the police arrive. (I guess you can blame nerves for your actions, Bunky.)

3 If you are holding up a bank, do not shoot your gun into the ceiling. If you do, at best you will make a clean getaway. At worst,  you will be charged with destruction of property in addition to armed robbery. (Too bad you were caught, Pard.)

2 If you are holding up a bank, do not go through a drive through for lunch while escaping. If you do, at best, your order will be filled immediately. At worst, you will be asked to pull over while your sandwich is being prepared “especially for you.” (Seems that policeman behind you in line had the same sandwich and your license number.( Those red and blue lights mean something, Ferd)

1 If you are holding up a bank, do not accept a bag of money that contains a dye pack. If you do, At best it won’t go off until you get home. At worst, the dye pack will go off as you are walking down the street trailing red smoke. (Pretty hard to try to explain the smoke to folks as you had a lunch that didn’t agree with you huh, Ralph?)


  1. Hilarious tips, John! Number five hits home…I see this often in my day job. That cartoon! Too funny!

    1. I know right? There is a laugh a minute on social media.

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    So funny!! As you know, I love these morning chuckles…. Good reminder about grammar school teachers reappearing in our lives at unexpected times. LOL!! Have a great day, John! 🙂

    1. I always think of Mrs. Bice the asst. principal of the grade school. As in ” would I like Mrs. Bice to catch me doing this?”

      1. Gwen Plano · ·

        Ha ha ha…..and I suspect the answer was/is pretty consistent, “no”… LOL

      2. Yes it’s true. I look around when I take a stick of gum.

  3. Ha ha ha!😄 cute post my friend! If the robbers are like me… don’t forget where ya parked the getaway car!

    1. Or have a honking device on the key fob. Thanks, Elizabeth. By the way cheap eats in Port Aransas are hard to come by. Here are tow suggestions. Cody’s and Jay’s Seafood and Spaghetti Works. Both on 361.

      1. I know, I went with cheap and bare minimums with my current car so not an option for me but my next car…it’s a MUST 🙂 ! Thanks for the suggestions!!!

  4. Number 5 reminds me of the dude who called in to a radio show and bragged about holding up a bank. The radio show talked to him for a while and then gave his contact info to authorities.

    Tiny with a taser? No bueno . . .

    Great stuff, Boss.

    1. Thanks, Pilgrim. There are so many cases of dumb criminal antics. Suzanne left a message where a teller told a robber that he had to fill out a withdrawal slip with his real name in order to get the cash. The guy did it. 😀

      1. Of COURSE he did! Hahahaha! I love it.

  5. I’m sure #5 has been done for so many crimes. Social media has led to a major drop in criminal IQ and caution. Not a bad thing. Though it is hard to sift through all of the junk to find the important stuff. The drunk getaway driver reminds me of a commercial where the bank robbers called an Uber to escape. The guy was late and they were caught because he was talking too much when he picked them up. Another scenario I could see happening.

    1. I’ve seen that commercial and I always laugh. (simple mind) Thanks, Charles.

      1. It was definitely funnier than most of what you see. Keep finding those outdoor bathtub commercials. Didn’t realize that was a thing or they had so many side-effects.

      2. It is a thing if you want to have sex but need to clean up first and can’t stand to have someone else in your bathtub and are homeless.

      3. That makes more sense than the actual commercials.

  6. I’ll keep all this in mind if social security doesn’t get an increase next year!!

    1. Ha ha ha. I’ll drive.

  7. I remember your serial with Frank — that was huge fun!
    LOL… but you slayed me with the image of a tazer-happy Tiny! 😀
    OMG I so needed this laugh. I was in stress overload before 7 AM. Thank you John. Hugs on the wing.

    1. Glad to help. Hugs back if I can catch you. 😀

  8. Gee, John, how did you know… I mean… I was thinking I’ll need to rob a bank soon to pay for shoe inserts… Gotta print this one off! Umm… Tiny doesn’t have a work visa for Canada, does he?

    1. Nope on the work visa. In fact he can’t leave the States without permission. 🙂

      1. Yippee! I can quit looking over my shoulder…

  9. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Hilarious suggestions from John W. Howell.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

  10. These are great, John. I was laughing out loud especially at the cartoon. I didn’t know Tiny even needed a taser. That’s double trouble. I read one time about a robber who was told by the teller he had to sign a withdrawal slip which he did with his correct name. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. Ha ha ha. Can you imagine the bravery of the teller. Thanks, Suzanne.

  11. Well – that was fun! Thanks for the laffs, John! 😀

    1. Always happy to oblige. Thanks, Jan.

  12. Loved the banana one!

    1. I want to say if you’re going to use a banana make sure it’s loaded. Thanks, Noelle.

  13. I remember Frank. I read about #5 happening quite often around here.

    1. It is amazing what Social Media can cause people to do. 😀

  14. Fabulous, dear John! Ha-ha-ha! Have a nice Monday! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Maria.

      1. 🙂 Always on Ten Things not to Do guard!

  15. Tiny must have been so excited. Did you know they charge the tasee about $100 per shot for the privelege of being tased?

    1. I did not know that. Well, someone has to pay for the reload. Thanks, Craig.

  16. In the 1960’s there was a legendary bank robbery gone wrong in Washington DC, about a block south of the FBI headquarters – on payday.

    You don’t want to rob a bank when there are 20 guys behind you in line whose suits all conform to the same rigid dress code… They could be from IBM or another organization with a three-letter acronym.

    1. I can imagine the poor planning. Thanks, Greg.

  17. Having never considered holding up a bank, I found your suggestions most interesting. Gee, even the criminal element needs to be prepared and cognizant these days.

    1. I know right. The nice thing about fiction writing you can do almost anything. Thanks, Debbie.

  18. Great list, John. I think some have been tried, but it’s still fun to think about them. I especially like the guy heading to the drive-thru. Maybe he’s been days without eating.

    1. Could be or just a millennial not used to skipping meals.

  19. This was a great one, John! Lots of fun.
    I especially enjoyed #8 and #9. The image I got of Tiny with the taser was hilarious.
    Happy Monday!

    1. Thank you, Mae. Glad you liked it. 😀

  20. Ha Ha!! Hilarious as always. Love the one about putting on FB. Crazy as that seems, there is probably someone who would actually do that.

    1. I’m sure there is, Jan. Thanks. 😀

  21. I’m just waiting for the newsreel showing #2. It has to come… there are too many stupid criminals out there.

    1. It will come for sure. Thanks, Phillip.

  22. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    I would be the bank robber pushing on the door marked pull! Sage advice for the would be bank robber… Lol

    1. I think I have done that in a store. Real embarrassing.

    1. Thank you, Michael

  23. You’re a would-be criminal’s best friend, John.
    Well done.

  24. Hahaha! I’ll keep these things in mind when I get down to just loose change. I can play Bonnie but I’ll need to find Clyde!! 🙂

  25. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Here’s another great top ten list from John Howell. This one on what not to do while holding up a bank. Hey, I’ve got one…don’t hold up a bank.

    1. Thanks for the reblog, Don. Ha ha ha. Good advice.

      1. You’re welcome

  26. This is very good, John. Well done.

    1. Thank you, Robbie.

  27. I can so see #1 happening, John. I knew somebody who once stole a frozen chicken from a supermarket, stuffed it up her jumper and ran down the high street being chased by a store detective. I was in tears.

    1. Ha ha ha. How do your and hold a frozen chicken under your jumper? I heard of a guy who put a steak in his big hairdo. On the way out of the store it fell out and he yelled, “Who’s throwing steaks at me?”

      1. I asked the same question, John. Something about a ‘figure hugging’ jumper. 🤔
        Some of the excuses you hear when somebody has done something wrong and they get caught. My friend said the chicken fell off the shelve of the freezer and ended up underneath her jumper. 🤔 That was her excuse, anyway.
        As for the steak, it’s a better excuse than the chicken one.

      2. Ha ha ha. People seem to be the same don’t they?

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