What Was Your Childhood Dream Job?

Remember the question what do you want to be when you grow up?

For boys, it was typically a fireman, policeman, astronaut, or maybe even a cowboy. All of those were worthy callings.

But did anyone list international jewel thief? I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that it was high on my list.

I’d seen my share of heist movies at that time, and there was something thrilling about cutting glass and disabling an alarm system to gain entry. Or cracking a safe before guards made their rounds. Or dangling from a high ceiling to steal priceless valuables in some museum. I’d see these men attempting these daring exploits, and I thought: cool!

The only trouble was, they always got caught.

I seem to recall that there was some movie code where the bad guys — the guys trying to pull off a clever robbery — could not get away with it, no matter how much the audience rooted for them. Don’t want to set a bad example.




The original Ocean’s 11 film from 1960 hewed to that rule, and it made for a disappointing ending. They didn’t get caught, but they didn’t get the money, either.







Thankfully, the 2001 remake wasn’t beholden to the same sensibilities. They got away with it. And the nice thing about it was that none of them started killing off the others to get the whole prize. That’s a typical plot element in similar movies.

The 2001 Ocean’s 11 was a feel-good movie. In the end, the good guys — the guys trying to pull off a clever robbery — watch a fountain in Vegas, to the tune of Clair de Lune. These newly financially independent friends enjoyed their shared moment in self-congratulation for a job well done.


I never took up that line of work. That’s probably why I’m enjoying my freedom today. But, if you like, you can vicariously live out that fantasy by clicking on the title of my new short story:

Excalibur 2: The Theft of an Arthurian Legend


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