Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Hear You've Been Robbed. Can I Bring You a Pie?"

New York Times columnist Dan Barry had a great column yesterday about a recent bank robbery in the small town of Carleton, Nebraska (above).

Here in Carleton, the standard greeting — “Keeping out of trouble?” — gleans a “Yep” or a “Nope,” both equally reassuring to its population of about 136. But this man stepped up to the counter, with its rack of candy canes and clear view of the silvery vault open in trust, and greeted the teller with: Give me your money.

The salutation received a classic Carleton response, something along the lines of: Are you serious?

The typical East Coast media take on ...well, on most of everywhere else, but certainly rural America.. plays on the "simplicity" (read: stupidity) of the people. So you might imagine an article like this ends up reading like some Midwestern version of "Northern Exposure".

Hey. Welcome to Middle America. Cool.

But this piece, about life in this small town and the "chubby-fingered" stranger who robbed the bank, is a great little gem. Barry is on a three-year stint writing stories about different places in the U.S. If you're interested in his overall project, you can see where he's been and access those stories here.

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