Friday, April 08, 2005

All Debts, Public and Private

Well, to start off with, screw blogger. I sure tried to post this about three dozen times last night, but to no avail. It seems to be working so far at work, but, of course, if something goes wrong you won't be reading this anyway.

So, onward to content.

PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta's place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.

For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest.

Finds himself, in front of a store full of customers at the Best Buy on York Road in Lutherville, locked into handcuffs and leg irons.

Finds himself transported to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, where he's handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service is called into the case.

Have a nice day, Mike.

"Humiliating," the 57-year old Bolesta was saying now. "I am 6 feet 5 inches tall, and I felt like 8 inches high. To be handcuffed, to have all those people looking on, to be cuffed to a pole -- and to know you haven't done anything wrong. And me, with a brother, Joe, who spent 33 years on the city police force. It was humiliating."
And then...
"I'm just here to pay the bill," Bolesta says he told a cashier. "She looked at the $2 bills and told me, 'I don't have to take these if I don't want to.' I said, 'If you don't, I'm leaving. I've tried to pay my bill twice. You don't want these bills, you can sue me.' So she took the money. Like she's doing me a favor."

He remembers the cashier marking each bill with a pen. Then other store personnel began to gather, a few of them asking, "Are these real?"

"Of course they are," Bolesta said. "They're legal tender."

A Best Buy manager refused comment last week. But, according to a Baltimore County police arrest report, suspicions were roused when an employee noticed some smearing of ink. So the cops were called in. One officer noticed the bills ran in sequential order.

"I told them, 'I'm a tour operator. I've got thousands of these bills. I get them from my bank. You got a problem, call the bank,'" Bolesta says. "I'm sitting there in a chair. The store's full of people watching this. All of a sudden, he's standing me up and handcuffing me behind my back, telling me, 'We have to do this until we get it straightened out.'

"Meanwhile, everybody's looking at me. I've lived here 18 years. I'm hoping my kids don't walk in and see this. And I'm saying, 'I can't believe you're doing this. I'm paying with legal American money.'"

Bolesta was then taken to the county police lockup in Cockeysville, where he sat handcuffed to a pole and in leg irons while the Secret Service was called in.

"At this point," he says, "I'm a mass murderer."

Finally, Secret Service agent Leigh Turner arrived, examined the bills and said they were legitimate, adding, according to the police report, "Sometimes ink on money can smear."

This will be important news to all concerned.

For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."
Now, I really don't even think I can comment that much here. I mean, sure I could ramble on with Verney for a good long while, fueled by fine gin and cigars, and becoming ever more heated and belligerent in my commentary until the entire chain just explodes on its own from the anger and hatred dripping from my jowls (you know, actually I think this is the plan -- Verney, you buy a couple of Dunhills and I will bring the Bombay Sapphire). But as far as real comment, this story needs little. Best Buy basically decided they needed to donate several million to this gentleman, and went about finding the most efficient way to do it. Because, you know it's coming.

I think my favorite part of this is the implication that if you pay with $2 bills, you are helping the terrorists. Bin Laden WANTS you to pay with $2 bills, I guess.

In any case, I do hope this guy wins lots and lots of money from these asses at Best Buy. He needs to be set FOR LIFE. That cashier and that manager need to be terminated -- immediately -- and neither of them should be able to find gainful employment for a long, long time. I believe that the police also need to do some explaining and some heads need to do some rolling. I mean, leg irons?! THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE.


At 3:43 PM, April 08, 2005 , Blogger Hunter said...

At the very least, a great deal of floggings are in order.


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