Monday, March 31, 2008

Like a stack of dimes

For as long as people have recorded history, and probably dating back long before that, there have been members of our society that have tried to find ways to get things that they want without the full cost. From the thieves who break into stores in the night to the person who "accidentally" scratches a display model to knock a couple hundred dollars off the price, there have been plenty of people who understand the term "deal" better than they comprehend "fair value". Or, at least, there have been people who are searching for the deal more often than not, and, obviously, a number of them have resorted to illegal (or at least dishonest) means.

Of course, for many, these little schemes backfire, sometimes in big ways. Even when the idea seems so clever at the outset. Take, for example, the idea of paying for things with fake stacks of dimes. Now, it should be noted that, at least in this case, the stacks were actually stacks of pennies, sandwiched between two shiny ten-cent pieces. And the total "purchase" was right around $21.

Being who we are, you just have to know that the story didn't end there. Of course not. After all, this incident happened in 1990, and if it had ended there, we'd barely even know about it. But when the man suspected of using the false stacks got arrested recently for disorderly conduct and had his earlier offense returned to the light, it started picking up coverage. When we found out the original bond that the man had been asked to pay, we just had to grab it.

After all, who would've known that the price for buying $21 worth of stuff with mostly pennies (that the clerk thought were dimes) was a $1M bond? Certainly not us.

Now some of you are probably thinking what we're thinking. Maybe, with the way the economy has been looking as of late, the number can be justified somewhat through inflation. Oh, no, gentle reader. That $1M to keep the man out of jail? That was what was imposed at the time of the original crime. Apparently, in 1990, $21 was worth $1M.

We're just thankful that the guy wasn't trying to get pants back from a dry cleaner, otherwise who knows how high his bail would have been?

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