Stealing Sins- Part 3
by Jerry A. Sierra
It’s a good thing I’m not superstitious
The job (I love calling it “the job”) is set for Thursday. Even though I’m not superstitious, I have to admit that Thursdays have been good for me.
I seem to recall that I first had sex on a Thursday (or was it a Tuesday? I sometimes get those two confused). And I’ve never been fired, or fired upon, or kicked or dumped by a woman on a Thursday. I’ve never had a waitress spill a half-eaten Western Omelet on my lap or add an extra side order to my bill on a Thursday.
Those things, when they happen, are usually on a Friday, as the masses focus on ending the work week and not on what they’re actually doing.
But wait. If we’re doing the job (I really love calling it “the job”) at 3 am, doesn’t that make it Friday?
Fridays can be bad news… I learned of Health Department layoffs on a Friday, at the end of the work day, and my boss usually saves her worst acts of disciplinary terrorism for late in the day on Fridays, as taught in management seminars all over the country (it gives the victim a weekend to plan a juicy revenge).
In LA, years ago, I had my car stolen from my garage on a Friday.
I’ve also learned that on Fridays it’s best to switch Adobe Dreamweaver from code view to design view to avoid hand coding mistakes.
Friday; it’s a good thing I’m not superstitious.
At work, during a Network Procedures meeting, I review the details of the job in my head;
- • Home from work, shower,
- • Meet the usual crowd for Thursday night dinner (a ritual)
- • Get home a little early
- • Sleep by 9:30 pm, alarm wakes me at 2:10 am
- • Get up, get ready, coffee (ready to drink)
- • 2:45 am, receive coded text message from Hector: “Afghanistan banana stand”
- • Go outside as truck pulls up, climb in, we’re all quiet, concentrating on the job
- • 2:51 pm, truck turns right on Valencia, we park, get ou
- • Chico opens the lock in 45 seconds, we go in, 55 seconds
- • Scout the location, 1 minute 45 seconds, examine the boards, 3 minutes
- • Outside, I place a large tarp on the sidewalk while Hector and Chico work on detaching the various pieces, 5 minutes,
- • I secure the area, watching out for cops, graffiti taggers and zombies
- • The frame begins to come off, moving forward, and I see that it is heavier than we anticipated, 6 min 30 sec
- • We place it over the tarp face down and Chico begins to remove excess 2 x 4s from the frame, 7 min
- • At 8 min we’re ready to remove the right-side panel (with the signature) and Chico counts down; three, two, one, and we pull the panel off very carefully (I hold it in the center, Chico and Hector at opposite ends)
- • We wrap the larger piece like a burrito, load it on the truck, 10 min
- • We load the right-side panel, cover them, collect the tools, 10 min 35 sec
- • the job goes like clockwork
- • We are a good crew: “What the cops never figured out… and what I know now, is that these men would never break… never lie down… never bend over for anybody… anybody.”
- • We’re a block away, 11 min
- • Four minutes later we pull up in front of my apartment, I exit the truck, they go on and turn right at the corner
- • I go into my apartment, proceed to the back door and turn on the light in the utility area (not seen from the street)
- • The truck stops around the side (where it’s dark) and my partners bring in the wrapped pieces through the back door, standing them against the wall
- • They exit and I turn off the light
- • The next day they arrive about 11am
- • We carefully bring the pieces up the back stairs
- • We reattach the right-side panel
- • We stand the mural in its new refuge
It’s a good plan. I review it in my head a dozen times, tossing in obstacles and elements of the unknown; graffiti taggers, gang members, neighbors walking home from wherever they parked, zombies… Planning is key, as revealed in The Italian Job; first you see the whole picture then you cover all the angles.
"We're more like the crew in The Usual Suspects