Funny Stories from the Mountains

At?Mountain Peeks?we hear many humorous stories from readers about bizarre or funny things that have happened to them or members of their family; things that are so odd they have to be true because no one could make them up. Here is the first one we received. Send your best funny story for us to consider publishing in future issues.

The Bank Heist, A Blind Date, and A Big-Hearted Family

A well-known Southwest Virginia outreach minister recently recalled his younger days and how he met his future wife under very peculiar circumstances.

As a young, single man, a fledgling minister lived in a small community on the Clinch River and worked out at a local gym. After doing so one day, he cleaned up for a blind date with a young lady in Abingdon who he had heard about from mutual friends. He called her, and they agreed to meet at her parents? house and see what happened from there.

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On his way to her house, he decided to cash a check at the local bank just in case his visit resulted in a date at a local burger drive-in, where many a new couple shared their first gourmet meal. He cashed his check, put the envelope of seven five dollar bills in his gym bag, placed the bag back on the passenger?s seat, and set out for his destiny.

Just as he topped the last rise to Abingdon on Route 19, three speeding black sedans with determined occupants raced to his side, front, and rear, the one in the middle veering over to force him from the road as one of the officers inside pointed a gun in his specific direction. A police helicopter whirled overhead. He pulled over, they rushed to his driver?s side door with guns drawn and beaded, and demanded he get out of the car with his hands up. He complied and soon found himself flung to the ground face down and wrists cuffed.

One of the officers demanded to know where ?the money was,? and he quickly told her it was in his gym bag on the passenger?s seat. She raced to get it, counted the loot, and again demanded to know where the rest of the money was. He responded that was all he got from the bank.

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He was then arrested for bank robbery, and his captors called into the sheriff?s dispatch office with the exciting news that they caught the thief red-handed. From the conversation the petrified suitor overheard, it was clear that a robbery had just taken place at the same bank where he had just cashed his modest check. He tried to explain, to no avail, that he was a minister and was trying to make his way to a blind date. The officers reported to the anxious dispatcher that the silver colored car that fit the description of the robber?s vehicle had been stopped, and that the occupant had been apprehended but only had thirty five dollars of the purloined money.

Then the dispatcher asked the arresting officers for the suspect?s name, and the response caught not only his attention but that of the county prosecutor who was standing nearby. Upon hearing the name of his minister, the prosecutor asked for a description and address. Sure enough, they matched. ?That?s not a bank robber, that?s my preacher!? he exclaimed. Then he made a comment that puzzled the arresting officers and did not flatter their captive: ?He may be aggravating sometimes, but he?s no thief.? After a few minutes of verifications, the young man was released. The true robber was never found.

Scratched, scraped, bruised, scared, and late, the lucky lad finally made his way to his blind date?s house. He tentatively knocked on the door and she opened it, looked at his mussed hair, rumpled and dust-stained clothes, and red face.

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He told her the story and immediately detected some doubt on her part. Eventually, he was invited in to meet her parents, and the rest is history. They are now married, have a house full of kids, including two spirited and gifted siblings they met during a church mission, and work daily with the region?s young people who have fallen into a world of challenges.

As the now middle-aged couple hears one bad luck story after another from old and young alike, they retain a healthy skepticism. They also leave room for the possibility that things are not always as they appear.