As schools abandon penmanship across the country, Alan Slattery, 67, may be the ultimate example of the costs of bad penmanship. In this case, a sentence of four years in the pen. Slattery sought to rob a bank but his handwriting was so bad that the teller could not make it out. Eventually either his writing or a teller’s reading improved because (after failing a second time), he succeeded in making off with $3,300 before being arrested, according to the Sussex Police.
Slattery is retired and tried to rob the Nationwide Building Society on the morning of March 18 but the teller was stumped in reading his writing. He is not the first to encounter this problem. Another bank robber of note was foiled in “Take the Money and Run” by a note that seemed to say “gub” rather than “gun.”
Notably, after getting his handwriting right with a teller on the third try, Slattery took the $3,300 and boarded a bus. He was later identified by the photo on his pass. Not exactly John Dillinger.
It may be true, as Plato said, that “Handwriting is the shackle of the mind.” However, it is also true that the lack of handwriting can lead to actual shackles.