Bradford & Buck (1)

Bradford liked to have a nap, especially in those October afternoons when everything seemd too melancholic. He didn’t like such complex feelings as melancholy and believed that the basic feelings are more than enough – love, hate, happiness, sadness and a few others like them. Therefore, he slept through the rest. That was the case today, when at around ten to three Buck suddenly started speaking to him.

Buck liked to start speaking suddenly. He did not recognise such unwritten rules as ‘a man should be left in peace while sleeping’. When he got a new idea, Buck shared it without caring about the condition of those around him, even if that included a nap in a melancholic October afternoon.

– Brad, let’s rob a bank.
– Alright, now?
– Not right now, in about 20 minutes.
– Alright, I will take a shower then.

Bradford and Buck were third-year students, but, having in mind that the lecture attendance at their university was not compulsory, and that they didn’t find hard what they were studying (as they already knew it), their daily schedule was relatively easy.

They were not rich, but they did not live in misery either, as their parents were benevolent enough to send them small sums at the beginning of every month. Bradford and Buck spent the money in about 3 days (sometimes in 2, if they had just met new girls), and the rest 27-8 days of the month they spent in the flat, cooking, reading, watching films and thinking. Bradford worked part-time at a nearby supermarket – placing the products on the shelves, and Buck was a freelance journalist. Whhat they earned was enough to live through to the first date of eveery month, when they received ‘the salary’, as they called the small sums. Nevertheless, Bradford never refused to follow Buck’s ideas and earn something extra.

Bradford got up, grabbed his towel and clean underwear and entered the bathroom. He put the towel on the hot-air pipe, and the underwear – on the towel, and took a shower. He reached for the towel and swore abruptly – once again he had just made the mistake of putting his underwear on the towel. Now he had to take it with his wet hands and put it somewhere else, drenching it in the process. Bradford really hated wet stains on his underwear.

He left the bathroom in exactly 11 minute, and in 2 more he was ready to leave. He had to wait for another 7 minutes for Buck to finish with whatever he was doing, and it took Buck exactly that amount of time to do it. They put on their leather jackets and sneakers and left.

– What’s the plan, Buck?
– It is quite simple – we visit Lloyds and we rob it.

Buck was studying psychology and computer science. The combination had taught him to express himself laconically, and his words always sounded logically and answered accurately the questions asked.

Bradford and Buck reached the bank and entered. Bradford was walking shortly aside and behind Buck, but the two of them were almost shoulder to shoulder anyway. Buck went to the nearest free employee:

– Ms, do you see that window?
– Yes, what can I do for it?
– Well, it wants to open a bank account with you. It is a student at the University.
– Very good. In order to do that, it needs to present a personal ID card or a passport, as well as a document issued by the University that confirms its address.
– But it lives here, in the bank.
– It makes no difference, if it is a student at the University, it needs to present a document confirming its address with a University stamp on it.
– Alright, the thing is that I was not perfectly honest with you. The window doesn’t actually want to open a bank account with you.
– Oh, that’s a pity. Perhaps the gentleman should be informed about our overdraft opportunities?
– In fact, the window is female.
– In that case, it needs to present a document confirming its sex.
– But why? It is female and everyone knows that.
– It makes no difference, if it is a student at the University, it needs to present a document confirming its sex with a University stamp on it.
– That’s fine, we promise to tell it all about your overdraft offers and what documents it needs to present in case it wants to take advantage of them.
– Thank you.
– You’re welcome. The thing is, however, that behind this female window studying at University, there are two of our friends, sharpshooters, who keep you and the guard at gunpoint.
– Oh, that’s a shame. May I ask of your friends study at University?
– Yes, they are our colleagues.
– In that case, it is necessary for them to present documents from the University, confirming that they are sharpshooters.
– Of course, the documents are with me.

Buck had struggled for three years with the British bank system and was ready for any situation. He reached in the inside pocket of his jacket and took out two A4 sheets folded eight times, unfolded them and presented them to the employee.

– Very good. They look fine. Do you happen to have the gentlemen’s documents?
– Of course, they are here as well.

Buck took out two ID cards on which Bradford recognised Peter and Rob – their two closest University friends. Peter was from Bulgaria – that small country north of Turkey where they went to enjoy themselves every summer in that seaside resort – Sunny Sand or Golden Beaches – whatever its Bulgarian name was.

– Thank you. Ah… Wait a minute.
– Is there a problem?
– I think so. On the ID card of Mr Milenoff, Peter Aleksandroff I can see three names, the first of which is a surname, then a personal name, and at the end – a father’s name. On the University documents there are only two names – Peter Milenoff – first the personal name and then the surname. That doesn’t seem right to me.
– I am sorry, but the documents the University issues for the confirmation of sniper ownership are standard and contain only two names.
– Yes, I understand you, but on the personal ID card there is a third name. We are not used to working with personal ID cards from Bulgaria and I need to check if the documents are in order in the way they are now. Then I will be able to make a phone call to the central office in London and ask if I can accept them in the way they are now, or if you will need to fix them.
– Alright, I will wait.

– The employee entered the bank website, clicked on the section ‘Fraud Prevention’, ‘Fake ID Cards’, ‘ID Cards from the European Union’. She scanned the page two times but failed to notice Bulgaria.

– I need to check, I am really sorry.
– Yes, no bother.

It turned out that for Bulgaria one needed to click on the little button ‘Personal ID Cards with a High Fraud Risk’. After finding them and closely comparing Peter’s card with the one on the monitor, the employee turned to Buck again.

– Perhaps you have Mr Milenoff, Peter Aleksandroff’s passprt? In that case I will be able to make sure that that father’s name should really be there and that it is the real father’s name, and I will be able to call the central office in London and ask whether to accept the documents.
– The problem is that Peter’s passport is at home, and you are closing soon. Isn’t it possible to show you his Student ID card?
– I am sorry, but our bank does not recognise the Student ID cards as a reliable source of verification.
– I also have his driving licence, maybe that will help?
– No, I am sorry, I need his passport in order to confirm the possibility of the documents being in order.
– Alright, I understand. In this case, maybe I can bring the passport tomorrow and then we could process the documents?
– Of course. Meanwhile, I will copy these two folded documents as we cannot send them creased to the central office in London. I hope that tomorrow one of our specialist will have a free appointment. If that is not the case, I will arrange one for you later this week and then the gentlemen will be able to open bank accounts.
– But they do not want bank accounts. They are there with their snipers in order to help us to rob your bank.
– Of course, if that is the reason for your visit, we will do everything we can to ensure your satisfaction. I am afraid, however, that without Mr Milenoff’s passport…
– Yes, I understand. See you tomorrow then.
– See you tomorrow. I wish you a good day.
– Thank you. (Buck)
– You are welcome. (The employee)
– Have a nice day. (Bradford)
– Have a good day. (The employee)
– Thank you. (Bradford)
– You are welcome. (The employee)

Bradford and Buck started for the exit of the bank.

– I hope your visit has been beneficial? (The guard)
– Yes, thank you. (Buck)
– You are welcome! (The guard)
– Bye now. (Bradford)
– Have a nice day! (The guard)
– Thank you. (Bradford)
– You are welcome! (The guard)
– See you later. (Buck)
– Enjoy the rest of your afternoon. (The Guard)
– Thank you. (Buck)
– You are welcome! (The guard)

– Brad, let’s rob a bank.

For a billionth time in their three-year mutual coexistence, Buck interrupted the nap of Bradford in a most offhanded manner. Bradford hated this habit of his firend, but he was not angry with him, because he was a good roommate anyway, and in most cases the wakening was worth it.

– Alright, now?
– Not right now, in about 20 minutes.
– Alright, I will take a shower then. And you, meanwhile, don’t forget Peter’s passport.
– How do you know I am planning to bring Peter?
– It doesn’t matter. Also, bring the University documents confirming Peter and Rob’s addresses.
– How do you know I am planning to take Rob?
– It doesn’t matter. Don’t forget the folder with the documents of the second window on the left opposite the employee on desk number three. They may come in handy.
– Okay, that’s a good idea.

Bradford got up, grabbed his towel and clean underwear and entered the bathroom. He put the underwear on the hot-air pipe, and the towel – on the underwear.

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