Date: Saturday, February 45th.
Time of Day: 9:00, Afternoon.
My eyes were the size of the moon that day. The day that would change my life. That day, was the day of my BIGGEST heist ever! One I still have trouble talking about today, due to its insane danger and high-stakes! But I will relay this story for those prepared, both physically and mentally, to listen. Our story begins in the heist city of America: Las Vegas.
I was staying at the most refined hotel in the gamblin' town, 'La Casa de la Basura Caro'. I was trying my hand at a humble game of blackjack, unfortunately I was never the greatest at casino games. Though this might have been due to the fact that I was apparently not playing blackjack, but poker, as the kind dealer informed me of. "Ah, right. Thank you sir for...telling me ten rounds in. Probably would have not...not lost all that money."
I excused myself from the casino floor and headed towards the bar. Truth be told, I wasn't here to live out the American dream of driving to a city with lights that never shut off and plenty of games, souvenir shops and Hawaiian T-shirt stands for you to spend your money on. I was here on a mission. A mission so dangerous, daring and downright devilish that I couldn't possibly complete it on my own. I needed a partner, so I journeyed to Las Vegas; where I knew a suitable teammate would be, thanks to his easily stalk-able Twitter page. And that suitable teammate had just entered the hotel lobby. I set my drink down, and went into spy mode. When I was in this mode, I was like a cat hidden among the raccoon's! Near-invisible!
I followed the suspect around the hotel for a little bit, just to see how he worked. The first thing he did was check into the hotel, exactly what I thought he'd do. Next, he had his bags taken up to his room, and proceeded towards the casino. I carefully and clandestinely followed him; making sure every step I took was as quiet as an ants. He played a couple games of craps, all the while enjoying complimentary drinks. Funny, when I asked for drinks, they were twenty dollars. Well, technically I just gave the waitress twenty bucks and told her to get me as much Sprite as she could carry. So she might have just thought it was a tip. But who accepts a twenty dollar tip? That's ridiculous you're not supposed to—I'm getting besides the point.
After he won every single game (beginner's luck, obviously), he retreated to the sit-down area. That's where I made my move. I sat down next to him, grabbed a newspaper, and without looking at him, I silently uttered, "The frog croaks at dusk." He must not have heard me, so I spoke up. "Ahem. The frog croaks at dusk." He turned towards me. "What?" he said. "I said, the frog croaks at dusk." He had a look of confusion on his face. "The hell are you talking about?" he asked. "Oh come on! That's thief 101! It's in the codebook I got from the gift sho—Nevermind. Are you Charlie Croker?"
Indeed he was. Charlie Croker, former thief and a part of the famed "Italian Job". Everyone on the thief's market has heard of him, and his revenge-bent and ironically titled heist (in was in Los Angeles, not Italy..)! "Mr. Croker, I have a proposition for you," I said. "No, no way. I'm retired, I'm not doing heists anymore." I was shocked, he hadn't even waited to hear my awesome proposition! "Well then, perhaps you'll change your mind, after seeing my insane parkour skills!" I leapt up, and performed an amazing and graceful parkour technique that I had learned from Indian monks. It looked something like this:
"I...I don't what that was supposed to—"
"Say no more Mr. Croker. I imagine you're ready to hear my proposal now?" He simply nodded his head and shrugged, no doubt speechless and dumbfounded after witnessing such a beautiful stunt. "I am looking for someone to help me pull of the biggest heist in history! Bigger than even your Italian Job." He seemed somewhat intrigued. "Look, I don't care. I told you, I'm retir—" "Shush now Mr. Croker, I'm not finished. Now, this job is full of danger, action and has a huge payoff!"
That got him. "Payoff? What are you talking about? Like, money?" I shook my head. "Gold?" he asked.
"Better than gold Charlie. MUCH better!" He sat up straight in his seat. "Alright, maybe I can...come out of retirement. Just this once." I was practically jumping for joy inside my head. Finally, I could complete my mission!
Time: 12:00, Afternoon.
Noon, it was time. I had already explained the plan to Charlie. First, we needed to identify the target location. Our place of business was: The Palazzo.
The Palazzo may look like some little hotel right in front of another one oddly shaped like a storybook, but it was also home to the most valuable treasure on Earth. "And that treasure is leaving the world for good tonight," I explained, "So we have to get to it before that happens."
"Ok, you haven't actually told me what this 'super valuable' treasure is yet." I turned to him, a single tear full of pride and meaning drifting down my face. "It's better if you see this spectacular spectacle for yourself. Now, let's do this shall we?"
Charlie was on top of the rooftop of a building that was straight across from The Palazzo. I was entering the hotel in my amazing costume. The first part of our plan involved Charlie ziplining to the top of The Palazzo, and sneaking into the building's security office (conveniently located on the top floor of The Palazzo). While he did this, I'd distract the guards. How would I perform such a challenging task? Well, it's no secret that The Palazzo's security loves two things; Polish dance and song numbers, and Elvis Presley.
So I, having purchased an Elvis costume and taken exactly 2 1/2 singing lessons, attempted to distract them with my dancing/singing prowess! "Ok, you're on Charlie," I said inbetween singing a Polish rendition of Elvis Presley's 'Blue Suede Shoes'.
"I don't know man, it's been awhile since I've ziplined across anything," Charlie told me. "Don't worry, it's just like riding a bike. You do it once, and you could do it in your sleep!" He gulped and grabbed hold of the zipline. He slid down the wire with ease. Until it snapped that is. Luckily, he was able to use the momentum to swing across and crash through a top floor window. "What kind of faulty wiring was that?!"
"Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you. They didn't have ziplining wire, so I made my own out of dental floss and industrial glue."
"DENTAL FLOSS AND GLUE?!"
"Ah ah," I interrupted him, "Industrial glue. There is a difference. Now, stay on target." He muttered some rather hurtful words that I chose to ignore, and he made his way to the security office. He made it to the office and walked in. "Ok, I'm here."
"Good, now be careful. The guards in there are probably highly trained officers. No doubt they're ex-cons, rehabilitated into society by becoming dangerous and lethal upholders of hotel law! They might have tasers, and police dogs, and—" "No, they're asleep," Charlie said. "O...Oh. Alright then, easier for us!" I walked back on to the stage and proceeded to sing the Polish version of 'Jailhouse Rock'. It's a good thing these guards didn't speak Polish, because neither did I.
I finally finished my set, with a standing ovation I might add (it counts if they get up from their seats and leave!), and gave Charlie more instructions. "Alright, you need to disable all cameras and means of communications up there. We don't want them talking to each other when this goes down." He nodded and disabled the cameras, alarms and walkie-talkies. I made my way to the power room. "Ok, get ready, because when I flip this switch, it's lights out. Then we can sneak around the hotel using our hi-tech night-vision goggles." Charlie pulled his goggles out. "This is just a pair of glasses with a mini-flashlight on each side." "Exactly, it's effective and a money saver!" He groaned and put his glasses on. Suddenly, two guards entered the security office. "Whoa, whoa!" Charlie yelled. "Go?" I misheard. "Got it pal!" I turned the lights off and turned my "goggles" on. "Hey! Hey! Turn em' back on!"
"I can't hear you clearly Charlie, there's a lot of background noise coming from your end." The background noise was bullets. Charlie was in a blind firefight. He put his night-vision goggles on and proceeded to fire back at the guards. Unfortunately, one of the guards had managed to shoot Charlie's glasses off and break them. He was now completely...in the dark.
Charlie scrambled in the dark, fighting the equally vision-obstructed guards. He finally managed to gain the upper hand. "Ok, I dealt with the guards," he informed me. "There were guards?"
"...Yes! Yes there were guards!" I didn't know what kind of bug crawled up his backside, but Charlie seemed incredibly cross with me right now. "Well now that they're dealt with," I said, "We can finish the job. Make your way to the bottom floor, there you will find a door leading to a staircase. Those stairs lead straight to the vault room, where the treasure awaits!"
"Ok, turn the lights back on."
"Why would I do that?"
"Because my glasses broke!"
"What? Those were hard to get. You really have to be more careful about other people's things Charlie." He proceeded to say a bunch of words, half of which were curse words, the other half were either gibberish or a different language. I'm not sure. "Ok, ok. I'll turn the lights back on." I flipped the switch, but nothing happened. "Nevermind, the light switch is broken, you're going to have to proceed carefully in the dark." He wasn't too happy about that.
He stumbled through the dark, making sure not to miss a single coffee table or lamp during his crusade! I made my way to the vault room as well, meeting Charlie at the door. "Alright, now what?" He asked me. In all honesty, I didn't think we'd get this far. This was the most dangerous mission I'd ever attempted, surely it couldn't have been this easy to get to the vault room. Unfortunately, I was right! I attempted to open the door to the vault room, but in doing that, I caused an alarm to trip. About fifty ninjas jumped out of the shadows, all of them carrying weapons and a stern face!
The ninja leader stood in front of the rest, he looked at me and Charlie and began to speak. Unfortunately, due to the tightness of his mask, whatever he was trying to say came out as "Mflfle! Mmmffflmle!"
"What did you just say about my mother?!" I was appealed and shocked at the accusations this shinobi was making about my mother! I went into attack mode, performing many different mantra poses that I had learned from a kung-fu master I met behind the Shell gas station! The ninja was understandably confused, as my techniques are meant to stun the enemy. "No weapon you own could possibly match these incredible ninja skills!" It was in that moment, that the ninja leader pulled out a death machine.
"What?! That's cheating! You're already a ninja for God's sakes!" And then his ninja army pulled out lightsabers...
"Those don't even exist!" The ninjas charged at me and Charlie! Charlie dodged a swipe from one of the ninjedi (ninja Jedi) and shot him. "Guns beat sabers," he said, all cool like.
We battled the ninjas for what seemed like hours, until only Charlie and the ninja leader were left standing. The other ninjas had been defeated, and I was using the incredibly difficult possum technique to fool my enemy....The ninja leader fired his death machine at Charlie, who ran behind the cover of a conveniently placed bulletproof table! The ninja leader kept trying to penetrate the table's forces, but he ran out of ammo. Charlie noticed this, and took advantage of the situation. He jumped out from behind the table and charged at the ninja leader. He tackled him to the ground and pointed a gun at his head!
He fired, but all he heard was that gut-wrenching sound, 'click-click'. He was out of ammo! The ninja leader laughed and jumped up. He kicked Charlie to the ground. "So," the ninja leader started, "You are the thieves trying to steal our product? Pitiful! I thought you'd be more of a challenge." It was at that moment that I leapt up and charged at the ninja leader. Everything was in slow motion, I could hear the sound of my own battlecry as I sprinted towards the shocked ninja leader. Unfortunately, I had neglected to tie my shoelaces that day. I stumbled, but kept running at him!
I prepared to strike the ninja leader, but his reflexes were too fast! He side-stepped out of the way, causing my face to have an all too impromptu meeting with the wall. I may been outsmarted, but my distraction was enough for Charlie to catch the ninja leader by surprise! He got behind the ninja and knocked him unconscious. "Perfect, just as I planned it!" I exclaimed.
"Right, sure you did." How could he doubt my amazing planning skills? They were, well, amazing! "Let's just get this treasure already." We entered the vault room, and after dodging tons of lasers and booby-traps (well, he did anyway), we finally made it to the vault. The glorious vault filled with the glorious treasure. It was...glorious!
"Ok, we need to figure out how to open it. Perhaps there's some secret keypad that requires a code input. Or maybe it's voice activated. No, that can't be it. Ah, maybe there's a secret panel on the floor that—"
"Got it." Charlie had managed to get the vault door open!
"How did you do that?"
"I just opened the door, it wasn't locked."
"Ha! I should have known! Anyway, let's get in that vault and claim our prize!" And that we did. We entered the vault to find the greatest treasure known to man. A treasure so amazing, so glorious, so absolutely stupendous, that the Gods themselves praise it! THIS TREASURE IS SO ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THAT EVEN ALL CAPS CAN NOT PROPERLY REPRESENT HOW AMAZING AND WONDROUS IT TRULY IS! It's...it's....it's....
I was in awe! Finally, the thing I've been waiting for ever since I thought up this ingenious heist! I looked at Charlie, expecting to see the same face of shock and awe that I was wearing. But instead, I saw a face that was less "WOO HOO!" and more "BOO HOO"! "Isn't this great Charlie?!"
"What...is this?" He said, his nostrils flaring. It looked pretty unhealthy, but I read the room and decided not to say anything about it. "It's the treasure!" I said with joy. He looked at the book, placed in a glass case on a pedestal in the middle of the room, and then back at me. "This, is a recipe book for Italian Ice!"
"Not just ANY recipe book, Herr Croker," said a figure in the shadows. The man walked out of the shadowy corner of the room, revealing himself to be my arch-nemesis, Dr. von Ivan! Wherever I went, he was close behind. He was an eccentric treasure hunter, and a cold-blooded murderer! He looked like pretty much any generic supervillain.
He also switched between German and Russian accents, despite being ethnically Australian. "What are you doing here von Ivan?!" I asked. "I am here for the recipes." Charlie just sat down and placed his palm on his forehead. "This...this is all a dream. I'm dreaming right now, I hit my head or something." Clearly he wasn't used to being in such a daring situation. "Oh yeah? Well how can you do that when I've got the recipes?!" I threw down a smoke bomb that I had been saving for a special occasion, and grabbed the recipe book. "Come on Charlie!" I yelled as I ran out the vault room. Charlie was close behind. "Gah! Curse you, this may be dasvidaniya, but not forever! I will find you!" von Ivan yelled a lot for a man currently in the middle of a smoke cloud, it's actually quite impressive.
We had managed to make it out of the hotel unharmed. I thanked Charlie for helping me recover the recipe book, and gave him his cut of the deal; half of the recipe book. He immediately proceeded to throw it on the ground, and spurt a plethora of curse words my way, before leaving. Oh well, more for me I suppose.
And that, is how I spent a day with Charlie Croker, one of the world's greatest thieves, and retrieved an awesome and important recipe book for italian ice, God's greatest gift! I came in contact with Charlie again exactly two hours later. I had found him and tried to convince him to take his cut. He asked me why this recipe book was so important. I told him that it was the last remnant of my favorite Las Vegas italian ice shop, 'Mama's Italian Ice Emporium'. MIIE was shut down two weeks ago, after it was revealed there were termites and rats in the walls. The fabled recipe book was being sent to a museum in China for safekeeping, but I couldn't live without the deliciousness of italian ice, so I needed to steal the recipes!
I then told him that MIIE was being rebuilt, in North Las Vegas. And there was NO WAY I was going all the way to North Las Vegas for some italian ice cream! He punched me...several times. We never saw each other again after that. But I knew that we had both learned something from that virtuous journey.
So that was my day with Charlie Croker! It totally happened! Yep, every single part of it. Totally. Not lying. Trust me dude.