Topic: "Barbie Banditos" (3)
It wasn't so long ago that Frodo told you the story of the "Runaway Bride," the little "chiquita" who got cold feet and blew out of town just before her wedding heading for parts unknown. When finally constrained by lack of funds, she concocted a story about being kidnapped. Remember that? Remember the eyes; how she always looked like she had just sniffed a line of "blow"? Let Frodo remind you, dear reader, that she was from Gwinnett County, Georgia, a territory that gives us 96% Republican turn-out for elections, is almost as white as the gardenias that flower in front of their strip malls, and is named for a guy who signed the Declaration of Independence (but nobody seems to know why). Frodo now has one to top that, and guess where the "stars" in this little melodrama come from?
Two teen-aged girls walk into a Kroger Store, smiling and giggly, wearing designer sunglasses (remembering the eyes of the "Runaway Bride"), and they approach the teller line at the Bank of America branch tactically placed inside the grocery store. They are on video security cameras the entire time. They hand the teller a hand-written note demanding money. They walk away with $10,966. The local media begin to report the story of the "Barbie Bandits," and the video tape of their escapade appears on television screens nationally.
Despite the sunglasses, which proved that even residents of Gwinnett County can learn, the case began to take a few bizarre turns. The stars of the video turn out to be Heather Johnson (19) and Ashley Miller (18), both of whom graduated from Gwinnett County High Schools in 2006 (NOTE: by trading positions with either or both the State of South Carolina and the District of Columbia, Georgia schools are never ranked higher than 49th among 51). Since graduation, both of the alumni had been employed at an establishment quaintly dubbed "Shooter Alley," where they were registered as "exotic dancers." An acquaintance, Michael Chang (27) put the fallen angels into contact with an individual named Benny Allen III (22). Mr. Allen, it seems, was then employed by the Bank of America in a branch located, coincidentally, in a Kroger store.
However it occurred, a plot was established for the four parties involved to make an unauthorized withdrawal from Mr. Chang's employer. Unfortunately, the young ladies had not developed sufficient writing skills in 12 years of Gwinnett County public education to allow them to construct an intelligible demand note. Mr. Chang had to help them write the note when they called him at the bank. Several minutes later, the telephone rang again, and Mr. Chang had to provide directions to the Bank branch since his associates had gotten lost and arrived at the wrong bank.
Several days later, at a routine traffic stop, local police stopped a vehicle carrying Mr. Chang and the young ladies in question. Police found ecstacy tablets and marijuana wrapped inside a wadded-up piece of paper. The piece of paper had directions to the Bank of America branch written thereon. In addition, on the floorboard of the motorcar, the officers found another wadded-up piece of paper, on which was written a "draft" of the demand note. Ms. Johnston had more than $1,000 stuffed into her bra, according to police detectives. The investigators also found receipts for newly-purchased clothes and from a posh beauty salon.
While questioning the young ladies in order to fully account for all the missing money, the detectives reported that Ms. Johnston told them they gave "a lot of money to the homeless." Johnston's parents sat beside their family Minister at the hearing for probable cause. The Mother was quoted as saying, "she got caught up with the wrong kind of people. . ."
At this point Frodo feels compelled to offer the first of two editorial comments. "Excuuuuse me, but your daughter IS the wrong kind of people."
It should be noted, finally, that the police investigation has failed to turn up any trace of the sunglasses worn during the escapade. Frodo adds his other editorial comment at this point, "And who says that Gwinnett County teenagers aren't smart, hiding the evidence like that?"
Frodo's greatest fear is that all four of the miscreants will be spending the next several years doing nothing other than watching the Fox News Channel, uninterrupted.