America is so beautiful, from sea to shining sea. That is until I set foot into the lobby of a bank. All those money holders, being potential breeding grounds for crime and a possible end to loan officers' careers. I sure wish God would shed His grace on thee by crowning thy good in all brotherhood, but not before He knocks some sense into criminal minds. For decades I have wondered if I’d ever be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Precisely, within a gunman’s range in a teller's line. I’m not fit to be tied, or gagged, or killed. I’d rather be fondled by a creepy gynecologist than an embalmer.

John F. Kennedy said that society must set the artist free to follow his vision. I doubt he was referring to those with loaded weapons descending on pallets of dough and innocent bystanders while hurrying to make off with valuables. Good luck getting rich with my account balance! And the Starbucks coffee that is complimentary to customers is far more valuable than my diamond-encrusted watch from Marshall’s, and not really worth stealing … just in case any thieves feast their eyes on my bling. But I won’t give up my BCBG Max Azria handbag, not for anything. Especially since I purchased that thing myself. No one else bought it for me for Labor Day. What’s up with that?

If I’m ever held captive, and request permission to leave, I’m afraid I’d be shot in the foot or something. Murphy’s law will tell you that those who go to a target range are less apt to hit their mark as those who have never fired a single bullet before. Forget the 7 percent annual annuity returns. I want a 100 percent jumbo rate of reassurance that I will return home safely from every bank visit.

My daughter now works in one of these cash filled establishments, which presents a whole new set of worries. I have seen people do crazy things for money, even work for it. Even though my ultra-efficient 22-year-old can bully punch with the best of them, she can’t bypass the barrel of a revolver. Knowing her, she would step in front of a customer or coworker if it meant saving them. Or maybe she’d turn into a cheetah and just bolt out the back door, I don’t know. Or maybe, just maybe, she’s really a vampire fully prepared to bite the bandit in the you know where. I suppose I should be buying her a bulletproof vest, ballistic helmet and ball peen hammer for her birthday. She can’t carry around a 12 gauge! She told me one of her branches was recently robbed at gunpoint. This could be as bad as "Shameless," when Frank gets arrested for drunk and disorderly again while Fiona fends for her siblings again in the midst of romancing Adam and Jamie has the tendency again to sleep walk.

I wandered off in a daydream that imitated the dreaded dilemma of a robbery in progress. I was the teller and was holed up in a vault-y transaction and close encounter of the rotten kind. Because clearly, some of these thieves are far too busy to bathe. A shower wouldn’t kill a person. I’ve done it once or twice myself. And I needed to discuss an exfoliate with the larcenist. Personally, I swear by the Egyptian adzuki bean dermaplaning.

Anyway, my lunch hour turned into a hostile takeover. I had a code blue alarm button that read: HAVING A BAD DAY with  Excederin next to it. The code red alarm button read: HAVING AN EXTREMELY BAD DAY with a bottle of Jack Daniels next to it. Since the conspiratorial henchman didn’t have the same finesse as the mafia, he tried writing the demand letter on his own personalized stationery, then asked me for my car keys. I told him “no” but would be tickled extra pink to call him a cab. I withheld any indecent hand gestures and asked if I could help downsize his emotions from being in such an erratic place. All I got was a blank stare, then some unwarranted verbal expletives. With the proverbial gray cloud looming over me, I asked if he was a seasoned shooter. I also mentioned that we weren’t an equal opportunity lender. Because, with what I was about to give him, he could live high-on-the-hog for about eight minutes.  Mister moneybags took off the hankie he used as a headband and shoved it into my mouth rather abruptly. Such joy overcame me. What if he had lice? Then he pointed a pistol at my mug. So I did what any other would-be captor/crime preventer would do. I faked a seizure. To which he announced, “I have good news!” I asked, “What news? You’re just about to win the flippin’ lottery and you want to share?” He replied, “No, I’m gonna let you go.” He got away, with a pile of loot and my BCBG purse and my watch. Needless to say, I came to in a cold sweat, but was free to run to the store for that Jack Daniels.

Financial institutions are where the anxiety, pulse and love for the great outdoors reside. And robbers are ridiculously reliable, more so than contractors, cellulite removers and washing machine detergents. The next time I need a plumber, I may have to call a crook. But to all you would-be robbers out there, if I do hire you, I have this message: I don’t keep cash on hand, ever. I don’t even know what it’s like to feel the many faces of George Washington, much less Benjamin Franklin or Grover Cleveland. You are not welcome to my great-grandmother’s silverware as parting gifts, unless you know how to outsmart barbed wire. And shame on you ahead of time for even considering my well-earned penny jar. In addition, may the alarms pierce your eardrums, the surveillance cameras show your bad side, your guns backfire and the wool ski masks give you hives.

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