Bad Roberta Goes to the Bank
One day, Bad Roberta's mother had to go shopping downtown. Normally she did not take Bad Roberta shopping because Bad Roberta always caused so much trouble. This time, Bad Roberta begged and pleaded. She promised to be good. She even put away a few toys and didn't break anything all morning. So, her mother relented. When they got downtown, Bad Roberta said she wanted to play in the park.
"OK," her mother said, "but be sure you are here when I come back in one hour. And don't get into any trouble." Then she set off down the street. As soon as she disappeared into a clothing store, Bad Roberta took off as fast as she could in the opposite direction. She stole candy from the drug store. She untied a dog's leash in front of a shoe store. She kicked over a trashcan at the corner. Then she went into the bank.
There were six people in line waiting for tellers, and two people at the tellers' windows. There was one security guard and a couple of people were visible through an open door that led into the bank offices in back. Bad Roberta went over to the table where the bank kept blank deposit and withdrawal slips. She began folding deposit slips into paper airplanes. A woman finished her business and left, and the man at the head of the line went up to a teller. He pulled out a gun and said "Give me all your money!" The teller screamed and fainted. The security guard reached for his gun, but the robber whirled around and pointed his pistol right at the guard. "Go ahead," he drawled, "make my day!" Bad Roberta had a big pile of paper airplanes now, and she started throwing them. Airplanes arced high above the lobby floor, swooping around the room in lazy curves. The robber was startled and fired at one of the airplanes. The bullet hit a fire alarm and it started to go off. Then another airplane hit the robber in the eye. He fired again, blindly upward as he rubbed his eye, and hit the light fixture directly above him. It exploded and caught fire, and the sprinkler system went off. Bad Roberta kept on making and throwing paper airplanes. Airplanes were flying all around the room, getting soaked by the sprinkler system, and falling to the floor with soggy "plops." The robber fired a couple more bullets in the air and shouted "Stop!" Just then, the security guard got out his gun and shouted "Freeze or I shoot!" The robber saw the guard's gun aimed right at him, and he dropped his own gun. Water dripped off him to puddle at his feet. The security guard made the robber lie down on the floor while a teller called the police. When the guard looked around to thank Bad Roberta, she was nowhere to be seen.
Bad Roberta left the bank and walked on down the street. Soon she came to a movie theater. She saw two teenagers sneaking out the side door into an alley, and she ran up and slipped into the building. The first movie she came to was "Bambi." She stole a big bag of popcorn from a little boy in the back row and ran out again before he could say anything. She ran down the hall and ducked into the next room. The movie was a horror movie about bugs that land on your head and eat their way into your brain while you are still alive. People were screaming and covering their eyes. Bad Roberta stood at the back of the room and tossed popcorn high up into the air so that it fell onto people's heads. It felt like bugs landing. People started screaming even louder, jumped out of their seats, and ran for the exits. Soon the room was empty except for Bad Roberta. She went around the room spilling all the drinks that had been left in the panic, and then she walked out the front of the theater.
Bad Roberta went back to the park. There were several kids flying kites. Two boys were standing side by side. She picked up the trailing string from each boy's kite and tied it to the other boy's shoe laces. Then she let the air out of all the tires of several cars that were parked nearby. Suddenly, the two boys moved away from each other and each one's kite was jerked by the other one's shoe laces. One boy fell down, and the other boy's shoe came off. It went flying through the air as the wind blew the kite across the street. The shoe hit the window of a candy store across from the park and broke the plate glass window. A huge display of gum balls in the window fell over, sending thousands and thousands of gum balls rolling and bouncing out into the street. People slipped on the gum balls and fell. One man was carrying a huge stack of packages higher than his head. He did not see the gum balls. Whoops! The packages went flying. One hit another person in the face. This was unfortunate, because the package had been filled with tomatoes. Bad Roberta saw her mother walking up to their car. Bad Roberta ran over to the car and smiled sweetly.
Bad Roberta's mother looked suspiciously at the confusion and shouting out in the street. "Have you been a good girl?" she asked.
"Oh yes!" Bad Roberta replied, "I caught a bank robber!"
"Yeah, right," her mother muttered. "Let's go home."