Reflections on ‘Dumber and Dumber’ |

Reflections on ‘Dumber and Dumber’

Alan Braunholtz

What were they thinking? Not much! That appears to be the consensus when talk turns to Vail’s infamous “Dumb and Dumber” bank robbery suspects. I have to give the police credit. It took them only about a day to catch these guys. That’s quick work.Hopefully, the next time someone backs into, walks on and (yes) drives over my aging car, the police will be similarly inspired. Even when, a few years ago, I pointed out the child whose shoe prints matched those on the Fiesta’s collapsed roof, little happened. Can’t say I blame them. No damage to the Fiesta could qualify for more than a misdemeanor, and public safety would be a valid defense.Bank robberies are much more sexy, at least in the films where we drool over stylized violence, sex and intricate heists. Guess these guys watched “Point Break” a few too many times. Maybe they overlooked the ending, though, and such Robbery 101 basics as not robbing a bank you frequently use. This avoids those awkward guest service questions, “Would you like to deposit the money from the safe into your account or take it with you, Mr. Jones?”Other smart ideas: avoid small towns where the police know you from past offenses, and oh yes, where you stand out because you have a foreign accent. I wonder if they used their season passes for the getaway up the Vista Bahn. Guess we’ll find out in court if the scan times place them there.Interestingly, there are as yet few Tipsline calls about these foreigners coming over here to allegedly break our laws. Is this because they’re on visas or because they’re not Hispanic, or both?Unlike the movies, this one will likely have a real-life ending of many years in prison. The $123,000 sounds like a lot, but two jobs for 10 years will probably save you that much and you can go out for a drink now and again. Prison never pays that well.Still, it reads like a movie script, although without some doctoring it’s going to be a tragicomedy. Teenagers on a “gap” year abroad allegedly rob a bank of $123,000, run through high-class resort in snowboard gear, dropping bundles of cash, before escaping up a chairlift and then riding to safety down steep avalanche-prone chutes.Maybe a good agent will get them a movie deal that will cover their legal costs and if they’re any good at snowboarding, a sponsorship when they get out. Like the gangsta rap business, a criminal record might only add to the pipe cred of the snowboard and free ski world.Youth culture loves to embrace the rebel rebel, Bonnie and Clyde, gangsta thing. Any identity that mocks the establishment is cool. Che Guevara is now a fashion icon, not a political statement.That’s about all I can think of to explain this: A teenage bragging stunt that got out of their limited imaginations and turned into a real life nasty crime. I wonder when they realized the difference: the scared faces of the women in the bank they allegedly threatened and manhandled. The amount of money, too large to laugh off and they had no plans to deal with such a sum? Likely sitting in a federal prison, wondering how those dreams of an endless summer turned into an endless bummer.It’s a parent’s nightmare. Your child leaves home, travels to broaden the mind, have some fun, and see the world and then wham! Is accused of doing something stupid. I’m willing to bet many parents read the paper every day with fingers crossed, thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I.”Somewhat forgotten in all this are the two bank employees who hopefully haven’t lost too much faith and trust in the rest of us strangers. We all have to trust each other every day. Without it society becomes a scary place and we end up hiding in a hole in Waco, Texas, with a bunch of guns! This is why we have laws that punish those who betray society’s trust. Alan Braunholtz of Vail writes a weekly column for the Daily.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism