In any endeavor, you can’t overstate the importance of making preparations in the proper order. For example, it’s best to plan out what you’ll say for your sales pitch prior to sitting down face-to-face with your customer. Likewise, even if you’ve made dinner reservations and meet your date at the exact time the two of you agreed upon, your courtesy and punctuality won’t be particularly appreciated if you neglected to put on a pair of pants before arriving at the restaurant.

Also, should you want to knock over a convenience store, you should actually secure a weapon before you threaten the clerk and ask for the money. Otherwise, your victim might not even realize she’s being robbed, which is what happened to one would-be criminal mastermind in Osaka.

On the morning on May 7, a 54-year-old woman was working the cash register at the Izumi Odamachi branch of 7-Eleven in Osaka. At around 5:40 a.m., a man walked in with his face hidden by a bandanna. Usually, this should set off a few warning bells, especially for workers in a cash-heavy business such as a convenience store.

▼ Even if he was wearing a bandanna mask because he was dressed as a cowboy, that should just raise more suspicion.


Still, the woman was unfazed, even after the man walked to a rack of household goods, grabbed a box cutter, and walked up to the register. He placed the blade on the counter and growled, “Okane wo dashite.”

Literally, this means, “Put out the money,” but 99 people out of 100 would interpret it as “Give me the money” and conclude that this was the beginning of a stickup. Japanese is a highly contextual language though, and a couple things about this particular context didn’t quite fit.

First, it’s strange for a criminal to procure his weapons on-site, since this is real life we’re talking about and not one of the Metal Gear games.

▼ The actual police, for example, will see right through this ruse.


Second, and while this is a little technical it’s completely essential, in order to commit armed robbery, you have to be, well, armed. Letting go of the weapon and putting it down on the counter is counterproductive.

▼ It’s arguably as bad as screwing up the second half of the crime by committing “armed chilling on the couch.”

CR 3

Given the unusual circumstances, the clerk had to put her imagination to use. Since dashite can also mean “tell” (in the sense of “give information”), she figured this bandanna-sporting man must be asking her for the price of the box cutter, especially since he’d brought it all the way to the counter and practically placed it in her hand. Happy to be of service, the hard-working clerk scanned the item and told the man how much it would cost.

Outsmarted, the man now found himself disarmed and at a disadvantage. With escape his only option, he told the woman he’d go and get the money to pay for the box cutter, walked back out to his car, and immediately sped off.

We assume this only confused the clerk even more. After all, why waste time making a trip to the bank to withdraw money from his account when every 7-Eleven already has an ATM?

Oh well, some people just aren’t that astute.

Sources: Jin, Mainichi Shimbun
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