I almost got arrested for planting a bomb at Planned Parenthood
Ok, first off, it wasn’t a bomb; it was a bag of cash. But they didn’t know that, and I was too young and stupid to realize that dropping a brown paper bag in front of Planned Parenthood would maybe, possibly, trigger some sort of suspicious response.
Let me back up. I was running my little software company and we were doing pretty well and I’ve always felt a very strong obligation to give to the people around me, but at the same time I hate HATE hate being asked for money again and again and again and then some more.
After the last time I wrote a check to Planned Parenthood, I ended up getting mail from them every couple days for ten years. “YOUR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ARE AT RISK! ACT NOW!” I already acted, OK? I’m the one person in the world you should NOT make feel guilty.
So I hit on a plan, and ran it past my banker and accountant: What if I took $10,000 (in $1 bills of course), stuffed them into canvas bags, and delivered them to charities? Then they wouldn’t have my contact info, yet I could still do some good. And, as a side benefit, it’d probably get some publicity for the charity because it’s so silly, and others would be moved to donate. The banker thought the idea was hilarious, and they contacted the Fed to get the requisite number of $1s. They also found me some canvas bags (actually used for delivering quarters, but as close as we could get to Hollywood).
So a friend and I dressed up in black suits with dark sunglasses, and we drove my kinda-cool car around the city and dropped the bags of cash and dashed out the door. The first two times we did it, it went great; they were kind of surprised at the mission when they said, “Is that a food donation?” and we said, “Nope, cash,” and dumped the money on the counter and ran out the door. Someone followed us onto the street and watched us peel off.
Then came the final, big donation to Planned Parenthood. They were on the second floor of a security building, since they’d had bomb threats before. I know! I know. I was young and stupid, OK?
By this time it was 5pm, so they were closing. We wanted to drop off our cash so I could get to my staff meeting. We saw a lady go to the door and asked her if she could get someone for us. She ignored us and slipped inside. And, unbeknownst to us, called the cops.
We sat there in the hall in our suits and sunglasses feeling like dumbasses. What to do? Well, we’re in a secure building. We’ll just leave the bag of cash by the door. That’s sensible, right?
So we leave the bags. This was pre 9/11, OK? A different time. At the last minute we think, “Huh, this looks suspicious even to us.” So we started slipping some of the bills under the door to make it clear we’re not hostile. Yes, I’m sure that help a lot.
Then we left. The next day we read in the newspaper the bomb squad had been called, and they showed up and found the bags of money. They called us the “Blues Brothers” because of our glasses and suits and actually invented that we were wearing hats (like in the movie).
The police quote was, “We don’t even have a checkbox for ‘Someone left a bag of cash.’”