COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A man who couldn't find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for police.It's sure not the kind of financial planning they advertise during the football games -- but I have to admit, the plan has a certain appeal.
On Wednesday, Timothy J. Bowers told a judge a three-year prison sentence would suit him, and the judge obliged.
"At my age, the jobs available to me are minimum-wage jobs. There is age discrimination out there," Bowers, 62, told Judge Angela White.
The judge told him: "It's unfortunate you feel this is the only way to deal with the situation."
Bowers said he had been able to find only odd jobs after the drug wholesaler he made deliveries for closed. He walked to a bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash in an envelope. Bowers then handed the money to a guard and told him it was his day to be a hero.
* * *
"It's not the financial plan I would choose, but it's a financial plan," prosecutor Dan Cable said.
While I have no immediate plans to rob any banks, I must admit that there are days when a nice long stretch in a minimum security, white-collar crime Federal prison farm seems attractive.
A lot of disgraced Illinois politicians reguarly spend time in the Federal prison and spa in Oxford, Wisconsin and many seem to return looking tanned, rested and fit.
Now this may be entirely inaccurate speculation on my part; except for a brief sojourn in a Milwaukee lock-up nearly 30 years ago, I have no personal prison experience. But I do recall that one of my ex-partners had a client who once did a stretch in the Federal pen.
This client was not a politician. He owned a restaurant in Rosemont and an "adult" bookstore. I don't remember what got him sent away; I'm pretty sure my ex-partner was not his criminal attorney. We didn't handle that kind of work. I am pretty sure we represented this client in a matter concerning the bookstore. Another of my ex-partners, a very sober, conservative person, married to a graduate of Wheaton College, was drafted to write the brief and argue the case in Federal Court. That's why I remember the incident: I've often wondered how he explained that case at home.
But back to our story: I do not wish to insinuate that my ex-partner's client was a member of any... organization. However, if only because of his career choices, he could not help to become, uh, acquainted with persons who perhaps may have been. If you know what I mean. And I know you know.
Anyway, when this guy called the office from prison -- collect -- it behooved my ex-partner to take his calls.
The client was really excited when he called one day. "You'd really be proud of me, Matt," the client said. (Matt, of course, is not the actual name of my ex-partner.) "I'm associating with a much better class of people here."
Matt had to ask. Wouldn't you? "What do you mean?"
"I've been invited," the client gushed, "to dine tonight at the Governor's Table."
He was not referring to the person in charge of the prison. No, he was referring to a former Illinois governor, then a fellow inmate.
Apparently, Matt told me later, dining at the Governor's table was akin to dining at the Captain's Table on an ocean voyage: A true social honor. Perhaps the client was going to be asked to provide subscriptions to some of his best-selling magazines for the other guests. I never did find out how the dinner went.
A challenge -- and absolutely no prizes of any value will be awarded
Now, lest I have to resort to criminal activities in order to maintain a roof over my head, I am going to stop goofing around and get to work. But I leave you with a challenge. It's called "complete the sentence." Today's sentence is, "I'm so out of it that...."
I got the idea yesterday, when I was looking for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin before going to court. Among other things, the Law Bulletin lists the court calls in all the different courtrooms -- and one of the places I was going to yesterday always has a lot of cases on the morning call and I wanted the handy guide to see where I was and how long I'd be stuck there.
Anyway, it was cold in Chicago yesterday -- so cold that we had our earliest measurable snowfall... ever. So I was going through the stack of old papers, finding only October dates, and becoming increasingly agitated because I was sure it must be November and why didn't someone throw out these really old papers already?
Eventually I realized what month it was (and still is, I notice) -- and I realized also just how out of it I am.
Anyway, I'll go first:
I'm so out of it that I thought Paris Hilton was a place you might stay while visiting the capital of France.
Now it's your turn. Keep it clean.