OK, so I was going to write my post this week about Kroger’s ClickList. But then I was updating this blog and looking for a photo to illustrate last week’s post about online banking. So I’m scanning unsplash.com and pexels.com (if you need beautiful, free photography online, these sites are gold) for not-boring pictures about banking, which is nearly impossible, when I come across a photo of safety deposit boxes.
Like, a row of the old-timey kind, made of brass, surrounded by art deco scrollwork, with numbers in Coventry Garden font so that you feel like maybe the 1920s were the coolest decade ever.
So I stare at this photo and then I go to Kroger.com to write about ClickList and then I realize, you know what? I can’t do it. I cannot write about ClickList. I must write about safety deposit boxes instead. I must.
Because you know why?
If I can imagine the best day of my life, part of it would include breaking into a bank and then breaking into their safety deposit boxes and not necessarily stealing anything or anything, but just looking, just looking at what people have inside them.
Wouldn’t that be the best? I mean, wouldn’t that be just fascinating? Imagine the diamonds. Imagine the pearls. Imagine the crisp cash. Imagine the gold bricks. Imagine the keys that lead to buried chests. Imagine the Indiana Jones-worthy treasure maps. Imagine the weird stuff, like braided locks of hair. Imagine the secrets. Imagine the lies. Imagine the stories.
Isn’t that tantalizing?
I mean, if you are a writer and you needed subject matter for a new book, it would take just one afternoon, maybe even just one hour, of digging around in those boxes before you’d have a lifetime’s worth of material. Because you know people aren’t putting things in a safety deposit box lightheartedly. This is stuff that they, yes, want to keep safe, but primarily this is the stuff they want to keep hidden, right? Otherwise, they’d just keep it under their mattress or in their sock drawer.
But if they are making the effort to keep track of a box key, pay for a box and regularly visit that box? I mean, those are soap opera-quality secrets they are keeping inside there.
I think we’ll all agree.
A quick scan on the in-ter-nets showed me that one of the biggest safety deposit box robberies ever happened in July 1987 at the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre. The robbers asked to rent a safety deposit box and, after being led into the vault, pulled out guns and, presumably, threatened to shoot someone if they weren’t given access. They made off with about 60 million pounds of loot. Eventually, Valerio Viccei was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Of course, the story would be cooler if poor ol’ Valerio hadn’t been caught. But being able to type the words “vault” gave me a bit of a thrill. Or dare I say it? A bit of a frisson.
Vaults are nearly as cool as safety deposit boxes, after all.
I even love it when old banks have been transformed into nightclubs or restaurants or something and they use the old vault for some special purpose. I think inside the former vault at the restaurant Lockbox in Lexington, they have a special dining table for exclusive groups of diners.
That’s neat, though it would be even cooler if they kept their bourbon collection in it.
Ooooh, think all of that stolen Pappy Van Winkle is hidden in a vault? Just aging and getting better and better and better in row after row of safety deposit boxes?
I bet it is. I just bet it is!
Can I squeal out loud even though no one’s home? Am I required to?
Please standby …
I didn’t squeal. Why? Because it just occurred to me that, if I had my own safety deposit box, I wouldn’t have much interesting to put into it. Like, maybe my disk of wedding photos would go in there. My boring birth certificate from Winnipeg, Manitoba. But I don’t own a vintage broach or anything. Or even one silver candlestick. Or a lead pipe I used in a crime of passion. Or a revolver. Or anything from the board game Clue, frankly.
But god bless, I do have my Kroger membership. I do have my ClickList prowess.
However, you’re welcome for not writing about it.