sketch diary 12/20

December 21st, 2006 | Uncategorized

heist closeup

53 Responses to “sketch diary 12/20”

  1. McAuliflower says:

    Awww- that is sweet!

    I get nervous over giving gifts too. I play this game with my mail-lady. 🙂

  2. Leslie says:

    Awwww… though I’m not sure what I would do: Cookies for my online banking website?

    Thank you for doing and sharing these sketch diaries. They’re truly delightful.

  3. Josiah says:

    Would a reverse bank heist be a tsieh knab?

  4. Xanthe says:

    hee hee I can totally relate. What I’d give to be an extrovert.

    Thanks for these sketches 😀

  5. LM says:

    This sketch is so right. We had a nono meeting on your book tour, and I immediately concluded that (in addition to your intelligence and talent) you were a kind soul (but thankfully with an edge). The best of holidays to you!

  6. louise g says:

    oh my god Alison I love you. that is me.

  7. shadocat says:

    Ya know, I don’t know ANY of he names of the people working at my bank…I think you’ve earned you wings, girl.

  8. shadocat says:

    “the” names. Damn you, proof-reading fairy, where are you when I need you?

  9. Patti says:

    Sweet. I’m a shy person too. Thanks, I really liked this.

  10. […] Alison Bechdel presents “The Reverse Bank Heist.” […]

  11. Angi says:

    Oh, this is hilarious. My partner is a bank teller and she is always so puzzled by her customers giving her Christmas gifts — I’m curious as to your motivation for giving your bank tellers gifts? I hope you gave them something good! (She usually gets fancy soap or ugly pins — apparently they haven’t gotten the memo about her being a dyke, despite the short hair and men’s clothing).

  12. meg says:

    I’m betting they got chocolates (bag in last panel). Myself, I just send cards…

  13. mamacate says:


    That’s so sweet. Thanks for the glimpse into real life.

    And merry everything to you.

  14. silvio soprani says:

    It’s wonderful to live in a neighborhood where you have shops with real people. I don’t have a bank (just a credit union that dispenses no money, so I do it all online without the help of visible human beings), but I DO have a neighborhood hardware store right across the street.

    One of the clerks was my student when he was in high school, TEN YEARS AGO. This summer I moved back into the neighborhood. I walked in the store, and there he was! My hair was 15 inches longer than when he knew me and he had gained about 100 lbs, but we recognized each other immediately. His boss said he had told her stories about his teacher who “wore army boots.” (Docs)

    Now everytime I walk into the hardware store, I feel like family. (But the owner does keep asking me when I am going to wear my “army boots.”)

  15. I never gave the bank ladies gifts before this year. I guess I was just feeling grateful for having an actual bank with actual people in it who know my name. (Not to mention the intimate details of my financial history.) I don’t really think about these women when I’m not at the bank. And when I decided to give them chocolates, I realized I wasn’t even sure how many of them there were, let alone all their names. But after some thought I realized I did know these things. These people are a vital part of the texture of my daily life and I would miss them if they weren’t there.

  16. Ellen O. says:

    I have a similar relationship with the folks at my local post office.

    I have a P.O. Box there, plus I frequently take in packages and large envelopes festooned with a dozen stamps of different denominations to be counted and weighed. After all that, I often end up buying all of 7 cents worth of additional postage. And they still are kind to me.

    They definitely deserve some chocolates this year. Or, this being Boulder, maybe some dried fruit.

  17. meg says:

    Awwwwwww, Alison, that’s sweet!

  18. leighisflying says:

    I’m not sure if it’s better or worse, but I can give gifts with ease…I just feel embarrassed and shy receiving them. Happy Holidays to all!

  19. judybusy says:

    Ellen O. Or, maybe they could use a shovel with the wallop of a storm you got! It’s now coming our way but seems to have spent most of itself itself on you guys. Happy digging!(And maybe a good day to stay home baking….)

  20. silvio soprani says:

    Ellen O.,
    Seeing how Boulder is in the middle of a blizzard, I’d say give ’em the chocolates. Even highly spiritual (or nutritionally superior) people have moments of savoring earthly delights!

    Speaking of Alison’s actual bank people who know her name, is anyone old enough to remember a (now) obscure Broadway play from the ’60s called “Carnival” (NOT “CAROUSEL”) starring Anna Maria Alberghetti? I have never been able to find either a CD or a video or a DVD of this stage musical, but when I was a kid we had a commercially available reel-to-reel tape of the soundtrack.

    THe reason I mention it is because it had a song in it called “Everybody Knew My Name.” (The refrain went, “I’ve got to find a place, I’ve got to find a place, where everybody knows my name.” It’s the story of a young woman who leaves her small town (named “Mira”–must have been in Italy) and joins a carnival but feels lost away from her small town culture. Anybody heard of it?

  21. Deb says:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwww! Alison you are wonderful for recognizing women who work that are usually so invisable in our world…..cashiers, checkers, bank tellers, fast food workers. They usually get treated like shit too. What a sweet person you are for making them visable with your thoughts and scetch. Nice, very nice!

  22. Liza from pine street art works says:

    In my old neigborhood – Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY – if you didn’t tip the newspaper deliverer at Christmas you’d find your paper in the gutter for the rest of the year.

    Here in Vermont, people are actually nice.

    And we have the best chocolates in the US.

  23. AnnaP says:

    I wish the ladies at my bank knew my name, but I guess there`s just too many of them. Maybe I`ll by some sweet to the nice people at my local bookstore and to our paediatrician. I use to be a little girl who spent the xmas morning crying. I felt so guilty getting all those nice presents, when I knew how badly I had behaved all year round

  24. Raffi says:

    Acme National Bank? Does Wylie E. Coyote have an account there? 😀

  25. tallie says:

    that is awesome. ya know, i worked as a barista for YEARS and on my last day, one of my regulars gave me a pen and a little card that said “good luck.” it totally made my year.
    that is just… incredibly sweet.

  26. BoomrBill says:

    Mike Lynch pointed out your journal. Please don’t stop.
    You have such a nice touch, timing and message.

  27. silvio soprani says:


    speaking of baristas,

    the counter lady at our little coffee kiosk here in the college gave me a free coffee the other morning, asked me how my Christmas shopping was going, and told me about how she is giving all her family members books for Christmas this year. It just made my day. Presents make people feel so good. And when I receive one unexpectedly, it always makes me examine my behavior to see what I have been doing right so that I will keep doing more of it.

  28. Danyell says:

    I thought I was the only one who got nervous giving out things like that. Maybe it’s that I can’t stand the awkwardness, especially when you know they won’t have something for you (this usually makes other people feel worse than I do. I don’t care about not getting in return, but other people feel bad about about not reciprocating). Or maybe I can’t stand the praise?(?!) Or maybe fearful that I’ll forget someone or spell their name wrong on the tag.

    Anyway, here’s to people who just love giving!

    (I wish I knew where to send you some of my delicious, home made, vegan gingerbread…)

  29. --MC says:

    Silvio, here’s something I just dug up.

    …I come from the town of Mira
    Beyond the bridges of St. Claire
    I guess you’ve never heard of Mira
    It’s very small but still it’s there
    They have the very greenest trees
    And skies as bright as flame
    But what I liked the best in Mira
    Is everybody knew my name
    Can you imagine that
    Can you imagine that
    Everybody knew my name…

  30. Elisablue says:

    I just love the way your knees tremble walking out of the bank. ..This is exactly what shyness is about … 🙂

  31. Deb says:

    LOLOL Acme National Bank and Wylie E. Coyote! LMAO *ahem* I’m OK now.

  32. Jessie says:


    vegan gingerbread that does not look and taste like cooked cardboard?! I could use that recipe! please do share with this vegan…

  33. Smctopia says:

    I work at a bank and it seems like only the people who barely have money give us gifts vs the people that we know have high balances. The more “high maintenance” they are, the less likely they are to acknowledge that we are actual people.

  34. Ginjoint says:

    I’m half expecting an anvil to come landing on Alison’s head as she walks out of Acme National Bank. Actually, until I got to the third panel, I thought Alison had a crush on the teller and was therefore nervous while giving her a gift! (Nothing like a crush to make you feel like a knock-kneed idiot.) I feel your pain, though, Alison – I was too shy to come to Women & Children First in Chicago for your book signing a few months ago. (Eye roll.) It wasn’t you – I have a hard time being around big groups. Sheesh.

  35. Silvio Soprani says:

    MC!! That’s it! That is the song I was referring to. And the link seems to have the words to all the songs in the show…including another favorite of mine, “The Rich Put Cream on their Berries.” Thank you so much! Now if only a recording of the show existed, but I fear it does not.(except maybe in some producer’s attic!) If you notice in the link, it explains that Robert Merrill, who wrote the songs, also is famous for a lot of other memorable tunes…mambo italiano (a truly stupid but very famous song), Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt did wonders with that one!), and a lot more my brain cannot recall at the moment. Anyway, thanks again.


    I think the most impecunious people give the best presents for the same reason that left-handed people tend to be very creative: both are forced to use their imaginations to function in this world with an acceptable quality of life. I think always having enough money kind of spoils one for invention. (I am not left handed, but I am always broke!)

    I hope everybody from the last thread has made it into this one…I am getting cross-eyed from switching back and forth!!

  36. liza from pine street art works says:

    Silvio, check eBay. “Carnival record album”. It was there a couple of minutes ago.

  37. ? says:

    I’m really liking this new “sketch diary” set-up.

  38. Ed says:

    I was a bank teller for 3.5 years and loved when customers gave me gifts on Christmas. It was a nice feeling that they did think about me, and the funny thing was how some of the customers were often quiet and never said much but they did appreciate me after all.

    You did good!

  39. I see Wile E. Coyote at the ATM all the time. With an anvil.

  40. AnnaP says:

    Gingerbread for vegans
    2dl sugar
    1½dl syrup
    1dl water
    200g margarine/sunflower oil
    ½tbs ginger
    ½tbs cloves
    1ts Sevilleorange(?)
    2ts bakingpowder
    about 1 l flour
    Cook sugar, syrup, water and the spices. Measure up the margarine/oil and mix with the hot spices, mix together well. Let the mixture cool down and add the flour. Mix even and let the dough sit overnight in a cool place. Bake gingerbreads and cook in +175 Celcius about 10-15 min.

    Measurements are on the metric system. European tablespoons are lot smaller than the ones in North-America where everything is bigger.(like paper for the copying machine for example) I had trouble finding the names for the spices used, hope I got them right, not sure of Seville orange, it`s suppose to be bark/peel of something.

    If someone needs a recepy for a vegan ham or turkey, let me know

  41. silvio soprani says:

    Liza from Pine Street–

    Got it! Thanks! (I guess I don’t get out much…I forgot that with e-bay all things are possible!)

    AnnaP–My ignorance knows no limits. WHAT is a “dl” ??
    (Will try your recipe!)

  42. silvio soprani says:

    p.s. Just got the “slow down, cowboy” message for the first time. Nobody ever calls me “cowboy”…that was kind of cool!

  43. Jeffster83 says:

    AnnaP, I am curious about your comment that copier paper is bigger in the US than in Europe. Doesn’t Europe use A4 paper in their copiers and printers? I once had to work on a proposal for a European client who isisted that we submit it on A4 paper, and I remember it being bigger than the letter-size we use.

    dl is deciliter, isn’t it?


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  46. Joeywashere says:

    Pretty Cool Place.
    I like your style too.

    Cya again,

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