The other day, I was taking a walk during work. You know, getting up and stretching out my ol’ legs, taking in a breath of fresh air, enjoying the scenery from the top of my new office’s five story parking garage. The view is beautiful, and it’s always great to warm up in the sun a bit.
But as I was walking back down the ramp toward the fourth floor, I noticed something strange on the ground. It seemed to be moving, twitching. It looked a bit like a leaf, fluttering gently in the wind. But as I approached, it jumped into the air and flew straight toward me. ‘Fucking hell!’ I said as I swatted it away. I also did a little dance and flailed my arms around a bit. Luckily no one saw.
Once I composed myself, I noticed that it was not, in fact, a leaf. It was a big, gigantic grasshopper.
Now, I’m not one to judge. I’m sure this grasshopper is a great guy and is a gas to hang out with on the weekends, but what the fuck is it doing on top of our parking garage?! It doesn’t drive. It doesn’t work here. Hell, it’s about 70 feet up in the air right now in a place with absolutely no food, no protection, and no way down except for the way it came.
As important a question as what it’s doing up there is, I’d also like to know how it got up there. Did it fly? I mean, grasshoppers don’t really fly for long periods of time, do they? So that’s probably not it. Did it hitch a ride on the back of a car? Did it cling to someone’s jeans while they weren’t looking, only to be shaken off when they noticed?
I’d like to think this is how it happened.
It was 7:15 a.m. The grasshopper, Steve, is running through his plans one last time. Today is the day: the day that he’ll finally break into the bank headquarters.
He’s been planning it for over a year, since before they broke ground on the new building. He’s studied the coming and going of all the employees. He knows when how to get in, how long he has before the locks on the doors engage, and where he needs to go to get into the computer system. And today at 7:42 a.m., his plan will go into motion.
Step one: He’s already in position, waiting a the second intersection of the roundabout.
Step two: He waits for the green Ford Focus with the busted out headlight to come driving by at 7:42 a.m. The busted headlight gives him a perfect hiding place as the car makes its way into the parking garage. Why the green Focus? Because they always drive up to the fifth floor of the garage before coming back down to the third. They like to smoke a cigarette before work, but don’t want anyone to know.
Step three: After hitching a ride in the headlight, he’ll jump out on the roof of the garage, right in between stairwells B and C. He’ll make his way over to the weep hole on the side of the garage, which will give him a perfect vantage point for the next phase of the plan.
Step four: At 7:58 a.m., an armored vehicle comes in through the side entrance of the building. Before it makes it to the loading bay, Steve will hop from the fifth floor of the parking garage and fly down on top of it just as it comes to a stop. This will allow him just enough time to jump into the building unnoticed. He chooses Wednesday because the two guards, Marco and Kay, are best friends with the two guys at the loading dock. They’ll talk for at least 15 minutes about football, which will give him just enough time to make a getaway.
Step five: Steve will dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge his way through the basement of the headquarters to the desk of one Sharon Karlsberg. Sharon has worked here for a little over two months, and isn’t officially on the payroll. She handles the dark net transfers, the seedy underbelly of corporate banking that only the most hardened criminals can navigate.
Step six: Once he gets to her desk, Steve will wait until Sharon’s regularly scheduled coffee break at 9:48 a.m. Once this happens, he will have exactly three minutes and forty seven seconds to make his next move.
Step seven: Steve will transfer $18.6 million into 14 offshore accounts he set up with a broker in Switzerland.
Step eight: With the door still open, he’ll crawl his way out through the gate one last time and jump onto the side step of the truck. From there, he’ll ride it to an undisclosed location, hop off, and be picked up by a driver who will take him to the airport with a passport, a plane ticket to Brazil, and $1,500 in non-sequential bills. From there, he can access the accounts and live the rest of his life in the lap of luxury.
But that morning, not everything went according to plan. The driver of the green Ford Focus called into work sick, so Steve missed his jump by three minutes. He had to wait for the red Silverado to come around the corner so he could jump onto the step under the door. The red Silverado only goes up to the second floor, not the fifth, so Steve had to try and hitch another ride halfway up the garage. It didn’t work out like he thought, so trying to keep with his schedule, he decided to start climbing up on his own.
He made it as far as he could, halfway up the fifth floor ramp, but he was already so off schedule that the armored car was long gone by now. Now, on top of all that, he’s got a giant walking straight for him. In a last ditch effort to save his life, Steve jumped and tried to karate kick the giant in the mouth, but the wind got the better of him–and the giant fought back. His arms flailed and knocked Steve out of the way. Dazed, confused, and terrified, Steve sat motionless on the ground.
It was too late for him. His hopes and dreams were dashed. He had no way of succeeding now. He was too far in. He was tired, hungry, and thirsty. It was too late.
So, instead of making his way back down the megastructure, he sat baking in the sun. His life flashed before his eyes. He looked up into the sky and saw the mockingbirds begin to circle. He thought of his wife, Petra, and their kids, all 3,500 of them. The biggest bird swooped down toward him and picked him up off the warm concrete.
Thus ended the ballad of Steve the grasshopper.