Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Law Come to Get You If You Don't Walk Right

Decades ago, my brother Barry with the aid of our Dad, purchased a cheap car from some Asian guy...Mr.Kim...paid cash.. about $5000. When Barry registered the car with the DMV, he said he paid about 2K in order to owe less tax.

We all do it, don't we?

Well, a couple of months go by and Barry gets a formal letter from THE MAN saying a car of that nature could never sell for that little, he is lying. They determined that he owes more tax based on their valuation.

The only out would be if he could get a letter from the Asian saying that the car sold for 2 grand.

Of course, that letter could never be produced...

So this was the beginning of the concept known as "The Mr. Kim Letter"

Barry and I sat down and wrote a letter as if we were the seller. We explained that the car needed to be sold at a fast deal because we bought it for our daughter and she was unable to drive a manual transmission. Total BS.

Then we had to go thru the note and make it sound more Oriental or Korean.

Our favorite phrase went something like" My daughter, she no can drive stick so I sell car to Mr. Barry for $2000."

We signed the letter sent it in....and never heard from DMV again. Scoreboard!

The "Mr. Kim" letter has proven to be a useful tool ever since. Basically it is a phony document full of falsehoods that sound true. Most institutions only want a letter for their records so they can cover their own asses. I have written Mr. Kim letters several times after that with great success.

However recently, Mr. Kim was totally disrespected by the long arm of the law and it still pisses me off.

In February, just days after Dad passed away, Kimberly and I went to San Francisco to see Brandon, Vanessa and the new baby. It was also Vanessa's birthday. We were all trying to be happy and ordered a cake from a fancy shop that was very busy. I jumped in Brandon's car and ran down to pick up the cake, but the street was packed and there were no parking spaces. I whipped into a spot that was a bus stop, left Kimberly in the car with the motor running and asked her to move it if a cop came by.

I was in the store for about 3 minutes. When I came out a policeman was writing a ticket. He did not allow Kimberly to move the car and was very cold hearted to an old recently orphaned grandfather. I took the ticket and went back to the car. Kimberly read it and the fine was...

$250.00!!!!! for parking in a bus stop.

By the way, the buses stopped running already for the night.

I could not blow off the ticket and head back to NZ because it was Brandon's car and he got the ticket, not me. Believe me, if I had gotten the ticket personally.... well, you know.

So out came the pen and another Mr. Kim letter was born. It was full of pathos and drama, touching upon Man, Woman, Birth, Death, and Infinity. A whole Ben Casey episode wrapped in an envelope. I even agreed to pay, but simply asked for a reduction of the fine.

The mother****ers shot me down like a Kamikaze pilot. No sympathy whatsoever. I should hit Barry up for part of it due to Karma payback.

This whole story brings me now to a parking ticket Kimberly just got here in Nelson. Nelson has a bit of a black mark because it is one of the few small towns in New Zealand where they have parking meters. It costs about $1.50US for 2 hours. They have these meter maids who go around on foot all through the town checking all day. But locals hate paying for parking. In fact, a really boring suburb, Richmond, to attract shoppers uses the slogan, "Richmond - where you always park for free".

The ticket cost is a whopping $15NZ, or 12 if you pay in 28 days. That's more like it. If Kimberly worked, I would take every last dime out of her paycheck. But it looks like the 12 bucks will have to come out of the family coffers. Unless Barry wants to do the right thing.

Either way, it is not worth getting Mr. Kim involved on this one.


At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Barry he no can pay. He no have job and no give a shit about some old man in country he no can find on map.

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous robin said...

Didn't know about Mr. Kim. Too funny! Anyway, I was outraged by the Mr. Kim letter just so "the king" would not have to pay more to our wonderful government, so I am forwarding your blog to the appropriate authorities so they can properly collect from "the king!" Mr. Barry can figure out where to put the stick-shift now :)

The parking ticket w/Brandon's car really must have sucked and you could have easily forgotten about that little ticket if it had been a rental. Remember daddy had racked up tons of tickets in CA and never paid until he realized mom wanted to be there 1/2 the year and he finally had to pay up. I remember having the same discussion upon the sale of the CA condo and reducing the sales price due to taxes...well, you know how that goes. Love living in the 'grey'


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