The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bailouts

So I get this call last night. The Caller ID comes up on the TV screen in this house and it gives me "Unknown Caller" and an 800 number. I pick up the phone, say "hello", and get a recording about accepting a collect call from an inmate. These are always interesting, of course. Not that I get them all the time, mind you, but it happens.

Anyway, the caller turns out to be a friend who works for me from time to time doing those odd jobs I dislike intensely. You know the kinds of jobs I am talking about, the ones requiring some actual physical labor. Or climbing around the attic.* Or having some clue about what I need to do to get the job done right.

Currently, he is putting in a cement pad to be used as a permanent location for my backup generator (used when we lose power during a hurricane and it appears it will be hours, days, or weeks before it is restored). He is also running a LAN cable from one side of the house to the other. Both projects are unfinished as yet.

He was supposed to drop by yesterday morning to continue work on the pad now that the cement has set. He didn't show. Now I had a good idea why.

Seems he had a little car accident where he ran off the end of a road, down into a ditch, and into a fence. This damaged the car and the fence. His OnStar failed to work and he did not have his cellphone with him. He wasn't hurt but the car was not going anywhere without a tow truck. And so he struck out on his own, finally getting a ride from someone who got him to his home.

He calls Onstar to notify them and notifies the police and calls a towing service and his insurance. And then settles down for the evening, thinking about the
new issues in his life. A couple of hours later, a couple of Sheriff's Deputies appear at his door. And arrest him for leaving the scene of an accident and for damaging private property.

Imagine his confusion. In any event, he sits in jail for a couple of days with a $4000 bail. He doesn't have it. Nor does he want to pay a bondsman $400 (nonrefundable) to get it posted that way. But some good fortune strikes and his bail is lowered at a hearing yesterday to $1000.

It is a bit later when I get that call. Apparently, he is getting desperate.

I don't often bail people out of jail. In fact, I have never done this. That means I haven't a clue what is needed. But I also don't like to know that someone I like is sitting in a cell somewhere. I know these are unpleasant places, not like a hotel rooms. Therefore I agree to come down and bail him out.

Arriving at the jail, I soon learn I cannot use a check and they don't take plastic either. Cash and Carry only. He is out of luck. I do not keep that kind of cash around. I also learn they cannot inform him that I am unable to bail him out and that I cannot "visit" him (via handset, TV camera and monitor) to tell him myself.

I go home and wait for the next "Unknown Caller" when he calls to find out why I have left him languishing in his dungeon cell.

This morning, I drop by the bank, get the cash, drive back downtown to the jail, bail him out and then drive him home. He's grateful. Imagine that.

He'd better do an awfully good job on that cement pad.

* We don't actually have an attic, we have an non-air conditioned, fiberglass insulation covered, crawl space in the area between the roof and the ceiling.

14 comments:

Neo said...

reminds me of Alice's Restaraunt
when Alice comes down with a few nasty words to Obey on the side, bails us out of jail, go back to Alice's Restaraunt have a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat...... lol

The Logistician said...

I has often said that everyone needs two things in life: (1) At least one person who is your biggest fan; and (2) At least one person who will come out in a blinding snowstorm and pick you up, or bail you out of jail, but not both.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Sounds like the whole thing should never have happened, he notified the police.

He was lucky to have a good samaritan, albeit a day late. Kudos.

AV

Douglas said...

Neo - "What were you arrested for, kid?" And I said, "Littering."


Log - Friends help you move. Great friends help you move bodies. I'm just a friend.

AV - It might have been avoided if he had left a note on his car with his name and phone number and a promise to return in the morning. One never knows.

HektikLyfe said...

Interesting story. I'm sorry that happened to your acquaintance and that it added so much strife to your life.

Unexpected events can suck sometimes.

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

I agree with AV, if he notified police didn't he tell the sheriff and didn't they check?

My wife and I were just discussing bail and decided that I would be sitting there because who DOES keep cash around the house? And with ATM's limiting withdrawals, resources are limited.

So I guess I'll just keep obeying the law.

I think you're friend got a raw deal.

Douglas said...

Hektik - Though they are, on rare occasion, pleasant, you are right. It was only a minor interruption in my normally boring life.

Going- Though I like the man, I am always wary of any story told by anyone. You only get one side. Having had more than a few interactions with the police over my lifetime, I find his story plausible. That does not mean it is entirely true, however, but I give him the benefit of the doubt.
Undoubtedly, I will learn more as time goes by since I am now involved.

Alan said...

Oh man, that's one you will laugh about- YEARS FROM NOW!

Funny story, told well as always.


I work at an apartment complex and we get several calls like that each week! Once the manager was out running errands and we got a few in a row. We were about to accept just incase when she walked in. Whew!

Alan

uought2b.a.dog said...

That is crazy! Must be more to the story than that, for the police to take him in.

Butler and Bagman said...

Good for you! Good story too.

Michael said...

Wow, you learn something new everyday, and I never knew they inform you first before you get a call from prison. Is the bailout process really just as simple as that? How long does it take?

It's weird, but I can't wait to see if I ever bail anyone out...

Michael.

uought2b.a.dog said...

That is crazy! Must be more to the story than that, for the police to take him in.

Michael said...

Wow, you learn something new everyday, and I never knew they inform you first before you get a call from prison. Is the bailout process really just as simple as that? How long does it take?

It's weird, but I can't wait to see if I ever bail anyone out...

Michael.

The Logistician said...

I has often said that everyone needs two things in life: (1) At least one person who is your biggest fan; and (2) At least one person who will come out in a blinding snowstorm and pick you up, or bail you out of jail, but not both.