back to article Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

There are supposedly two certainties in life – death and taxes – and while we've never seen death by wheelbarrow, Nick Stafford from Cedar Buff, Virginia, has sorted us out on the latter. Stafford had got into a dispute with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and, seemingly displeased by how difficult it was to contact the …

Coat

Re: This is why he got angry.

"And then they "break open the paper rolls of the coins". That would be the rolls they come in from the bank."

I've just read his website and it seems he delivered 5whbs of "UNROLLED" coins, so the "Shear bloody mindedness mascerading as Incompetance.(several sics)" would appear to be on the part of the protagonist (well, the bloody-mindedness part anyway).

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge
Headmaster

He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Pennies and tuppences are only legal tender for amounts up to 20p, precisely to stop shit like this.

Because I know you are all fascinated by this, 5p/10p are legal tender for amounts up to £5, 50p/20p are legal tender for amounts up to £10, and £1/£2/£5 are legal tender for any amount.

I did once write my university 100 cheques each for 50p once, to pay a £50 cleaning "fine" which had unilaterally been applied to each person on my floor because they couldn't work out who trashed the kitchen. It would have cost them >50p to cash each one, so they didn't...

31
1
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

I came her to post the same thing. You can however pay a debt with a novelty 10' plywood cheque.

10
0

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Although cheques written on large plywood sheets can be perfectly legal and accepted. As I understand it, there is no obligation to actually accept them. Kind of a reverse of the coins where large quantities are not strictly legal tender but could be accepted.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

As I understand it, there is no obligation to actually accept them.

I think that banks are legally required to accept written instructions from their customers, the whole reason cheques were invented was to avoid the hassle of having illegible requests written on the back of a napkin, piece of bog roll, or whatever else came to hand. Even so, if you write it down & sign it I think (but IANAL) the bank has to process it.

Makes me wonder what will happen if their plans to put an end to cheques ever happen, since they

ll still be bound by the legal requirement to accept written instructions.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: cheques written on large plywood sheets

I have paid in a cheque to a UK bank on a wooden board, specifically the end from a box of onions (I think it was onions). My late lamented mate Steve was having some kind of disagreement with his bank, and they refused to issue him a new chequebook, even though he had funds in his account (I forget the details - it was a long time ago). So, anyway, we made as good a replica of a standard cheque as we could, except it was quadruple size and on this crate end.

When I went to pay it in the lass behind the counter said "I can't take that" until I pointed out the card number was written on the back. So she called over a superior, who briefly glanced at the ceiling, and said fine, accept it.

Subsequent developments were that they issued a new chequebook, and Steve got a lecture from an acquaintance at the bank who told him what a damned nuisance he was because the wooden cheque didn't fit into any of the various trays and boxes they had for handling cheques.

RIP Steve Dyer

41
0
TRT
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

The first act was the Bills of Exchange Act 1882. Cheques have never been legal tender and banks are not obliged to process written instructions unless it is by a means agreed in advance, that the customer has funds and that the bank is satisfied that there is no fraudulence involved. There were further measures introduced in 1985 to prevent fraud which established some of the features of cheques which would be required for them to be considered "valid instruction" for UK banks. These features have been expanded upon ever since, and there is even a non-standard paper cheque unit at the central clearing house for dealing with foreign cheques and weird-arse shit. It was around 1999 that a legal statute was passed whereby the pieces of paper didn't have to be actually hoiked all over the country in order to have their value transferred. I'm not sure how the pieces of paper felt about this.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

You can however pay a debt with a novelty 10' plywood cheque.

Or, in fiction at least, a negotiable cow.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

banks are not obliged to process written instructions

Thanks for the clarification.

0
0
vir
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Unless you sign your name "Stephen" instead of "S. Maturin".

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Every time I try to recount this tale, it ends up reading like a made up story because of all the details it requires for context, but short version is, I had to get out a loan to pay off my alcoholic mothers rent debts when I was 18 (having been trying to 'manage' them - I lived in the house so she might not have given a toss about eviction, but I bloody did - since I was 13).

Suffice to say I had a bank manager who was sympathetic, a rent officer who was sympathetic, and the rent officers boss, who was, decidedly, not.

The bank manager agreed to the loan based on the fact that I'd been managing her bank accounts too, to an extent (just not legally - this was a local bank, for local people!) so he knew I wasn't taking the piss, and he let me know that he had a whole stock of shitty, dirty, barely legal - but legal - £5 notes that he'd been avoiding using for cashiers as they were such a fiddle to handle. It'd be a real personal favour to him if I could help him use them up.

So, yes, I crippled myself for a couple of years with a £2000 loan for a debt that wasn't mine, but it was worth it. The rent officers manager had used my case as an exemplar of his 'tough love' approach (IE pay the whole fucking lot now, or get evicted, regardless of context or history) and so came down to meet me and accept payment personally.

The shit eating grin dropped rapidly when I emptied a carrier bag of 400 loose, dirty £5 notes over the counter.

"Well, I'm pretty sure that's it. You said you wanted to count it. Off you pop. And don't forget, the girls here tell me policy is to count it twice, so do set a good example!".

Glorious. But not as glorious as my rent officer (truly a good lad who had bent many, many a rule for me) 'accidentally' dropping a pile of folders on the counter (relating to 'our' case) and blowing pretty much every counted note off the table. Just as his boss was finishing counting for the second time.

Oh, and the mother? She died three months later.

She always did have a shitty sense of timing...

The conclusion is, this is how I learned about limits on legal tender - because otherwise a wheelbarrow or five of pennies (or possibly 50ps, because shiny) would have been right up my street.

Anon, because this is - I'm told - still local legend in that (very 'local town, for local people') council housing department even the better part of twenty years later.

32
0

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

"I'm not sure how the pieces of paper felt about this."

Depends upon if they were small & green , shirley?

2
0

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

"Unless you sign your name "Stephen" instead of "S. Maturin"."

I always imagine Sir Joseph grinning from ear to ear when he writes his "apology" to the good doctor.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

I did once write my university 100 cheques each for 50p once, to pay a £50 cleaning "fine" which had unilaterally been applied to each person on my floor because they couldn't work out who trashed the kitchen.

They probably thought having you write out the university's name, the 50p amount, signing your name then writing "NOT NEGOTIABLE" on the cheque, 100 times, was punishment enough.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

"novelty 10' plywood cheque" - I recall a news story about a cheque written on a 10' shark, by a fishmonger to the local council, IIRC.

2
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Plywood (usually) comes in 8 ft lengths. Not 10!

0
0
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Amateur - you write out 50 cheques but for random amounts stated in terms of definite integrals.

Then ask the university to show you where in their rules it is written that payments must be in rational numbers

5
0

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

"Makes me wonder what will happen if their plans to put an end to cheques ever happen, since they will still be bound by the legal requirement to accept written instructions." - Banks aren't stopping ACCEPTING cheques, they are stopping ISSUING them. Specifically many banks don't issue a check-book unless you explicitly ask for it and even then they wont give you a cheque guaranty card, so no-one will take them. Cheques are problematic for banks, since they could be cashed at any time in future. It's an unexpected debt.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

"Cheques are problematic for banks, since they could be cashed at any time in future. It's an unexpected debt."

Cheques are a debt for the issuer, not the banks - the bank just won't pay out on a cheque if you don't have the funds available, plus they will charge you generously in the process - it doesn't affect the banks either way.

The other point is that there's no difference in randomness of money flow between a cheque or a bank card - either is likely to be used at random times to suit the convenience of the depositor - or at least that's how I use mine.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

Although cheques written on large plywood sheets can be perfectly legal

And cows. I seem to remember there was a case involving a farmer to, in the days when it cost more to slaughter a cow than the cow was worth, wrote a cheque on the side of a cow.

At which point, the cow became SEP.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

not any time in the future - banks only accept cheques dated no earlier than 6 months.

It's not an unexpected debt - the account holder knows the money will become due and the bank will not clear the cheque if there are insufficient funds (or an overdraft).

0
0
Silver badge
Pint

Eighty bucks for a wheelbarrow?

Forty quid at Screwfix! Anyway, I wonder if the wheelbarrows are a deductible tax expense?

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Eighty bucks for a wheelbarrow?

They were probably ex-Military Wheelbarrows. Cost $10,000 each to the taxpayer sold at a knockdown price... :)

6
1

the guy sounds a bit of a twunk to be honest... then again, the wheels of bureaucracy need to come up against the odd twunk now and again when they are being really annoying.

12
2

I have to agree. My first thought was that the guy is a bit of an ass.

However, as anyone that has been on the receiving end of any kind of bureaucracy knows, it's easy to get very worked up when dealing government dickheads. Rational thought goes out the door when trying to deal with some of these people.

12
1
Silver badge

Common Sense Lobotomy

Anyone who works for pretty well any Government Department has a lobotomy where all traces of Common Sense are surgically removed.

This is Mandatory for any US Federal/State/County/City department. They only know how to follow the rules to the letter. They will not divert from these rules no matter how silly they are.

Most offices provide a soft pad screwed to the wall for clients to bang their head.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Common Sense Lobotomy

Well yes, mainly because if you work for a government department and apply common sense rather than the letter of the rules sooner or later some idiot and his a******e lawyer will start a lawsuit and your neck will be on the block.

4
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

the wheels of bureaucracy

You mean those squarish things that slide/scrape across the floor when you try to move it?

(and then some conslutant comes along and 'improves' those things into being triangular, so you'll encounter less bumps per rotation)

3
0
Silver badge

It's a highly un-American activity.

The true patriotic way of dealing with idiot bureaucracy is with an automatic weapon

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Strictly speaking what you're talking about is "Going Postal". That requires you to work for, or been recently dismissed from said eponymous entity...

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Common Sense Lobotomy

"Well yes, mainly because if you work for a government department and apply common sense rather than the letter of the rules sooner or later some idiot and his a******e lawyer will start a lawsuit and your neck will be on the block."

What happens when the lawyer simply sues on the grounds of interference BY playing by the book (IOW, using the letter to defeat the spirit)? Sounds like they can get you either way.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Common Sense Lobotomy

"They will not divert from these rules no matter how silly they are."

It's worse than that. Anyone within the organisation who attempts to do the right thing will be harrassed out of the job by their cow-orkers.

0
0
Silver badge

one wheelbarrow shall be known as 1Whb

Pronounces "whub" I suppose? So we can measure Google profits in megawhubs, and government debt in petawhubs.

I suppose by that reckoning my lunch cost me 10 milliwhubs. hmmm.

10
0
Silver badge

Re: one wheelbarrow shall be known as 1Whb

Sorry Phil, a common mistake, like people confusing light-years with speed rather than distance.

Whbs aren't a measure of wealth but rather a measure of frustration or angst.

Usages:

* He was so rude to me, I hope the next guy pays with 2 Whbs!

* These #£&+ mosquitos are everywhere. Every time I get one another starts buzzing. It's like 7 Whbs.

* Is it so hard to put your phone on silent at the theatre. May the parking ticket machine return her 400 mWhbs in change.

3
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: one wheelbarrow shall be known as 1Whb

How many jubs in a Whub?

0
0

Death by wheelbarrow

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-mxowr7KE8s

or did you mean DEATH standing in the wheelbarrow aisle at B&Q?

0
1
Silver badge

"5Whbs shall equal $3,000"

You can do better than that. The obvious unit, from the article, is a mature cow. As the article states that it was actually more than a mature cow rounding has to be taken into account so it's a spherical cow.

5
0
Silver badge

They would have used an immature cow but she wouldn't stay still enough to get weighed.

2
0
Silver badge

Bull!

4
0
Silver badge

Sub-optimal Units of Measurement

Being from the US, I feel it my duty to enforce my own, non-scientific standard of measurement.

I present, the "hoard": https://www.littletoncoin.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Display|10001|29555|-1||LearnNav|Famous-Hoards.html

Examples:

1 Carson ("CChrd"): 8,261 Carson City Silver Dollars = US$8,261

1 Bonehoard ("BNhrd"): 300,000 Buffalo Nickels = US$15,000

etc...

3
1

Actually, he did win...

"He did not win the case, although he did manage to get the taxman's numbers."

From the Bristol Herald Courier (Bristol, Tennessee and Virginia. Think NASCAR)

"On Tuesday, a judge dismissed the lawsuits at the request of the state when a representative of the state’s attorney general handed Stafford a list of the requested phone numbers in the courtroom. The court also did not impose penalties on the DMV and its employees, which could have been between $500 and $2,000 per lawsuit if the employees had “willfully and knowingly” violated public records law."

The guy lives about 60 miles north of me. I caught the tail end of a radio interview with him this morning.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Actually, he did win...

No - he didnt. He just cost himself some more in taxes and tighter bureaucracy.

2
4

Re: Actually, he did win...

The DMV wasn't fined since the judge dismissed the case after he received the requested phone numbers. His tax liability stayed the same, and I hope that the DMV is a little more responsive when a phone number is requested. Otherwise, somebody will pay their taxes in mixed coins.

8
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually, he did win...

"Think NASCAR"

No thanks! NASCAR is merely ice hockey on wheels; the fighting is more interesting than the actual event. If racing is entertainment, NASCAR is like the circus clowns act.

Now BTCC, THAT's real racing! It's like a destruction derby with nicer cars. No opening for you to make a pass at the corner? No problem, just barge though and make one! These drivers can do more than just "hit the gas, and turn to the left sometimes!"

Glad this asshole bothered to pay his taxes and not just refuse. He drove down to the DMV office on a public road, hopefully not destroying it in anger on the way. Other people get to use the roads too, and they are not all angry assholes who can't manage to follow instructions. If you see him, tell him "fuck off" from me!

0
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually, he did win...

"No thanks! NASCAR is merely ice hockey on wheels; the fighting is more interesting than the actual event. If racing is entertainment, NASCAR is like the circus clowns act."

Then please enlighten me how NASCAR drivers negotiate Sonoma or Watkins Glen International (both road courses) with nothing but left turns. Anyway, NASCAR is looking into more road course races but has plans set for several years ahead of time due to existing commitments. There's also an issue that road courses are not as engaging for the live audience (not as big an issue for TV audiences), and like any business NASCAR has to keep paying attention to the audience: thus its focus on keeping things competitive.

1
0
Silver badge

Costs to government??

The article mentions that it took 11 driods from the DMV 4 hours to count the coins. With a little math, that works out to $68/droid/hour (I'm rounding here). Being as this was "overtime", and with generous government labor contracts, and given overhead, (lights, taxes, etc.), one can easily assume that the government lost money on this transaction.

So, opening up all the rolls of pennies (50/roll) was more than a waste of time, it was a waste of valuable taxpayer money as well. Common sense would have dictated that the DMV should have taken all these rolls down to the local bank (they most likely originated there anyway), and said "DEPOSIT PLEASE" and let the bank handle the problem.

Sadly common sense in a government agency doesn't exist, so they did it the "hard" way. (*SIGH*).

1
3
Silver badge

Re: Costs to government??

I think it was Mr Angry who employed assistants to spill out coins from their paper rolls into his wheelbarrows, not the government, but I may be misinterpreting.

3
0

Legal Tender ? Debt?

So, this may not at all be correct but, I was under the impression that "paying for stuff in a shop" is different from "settling a debt".

When you stand at the till and they say "that'll be £11.63 please" then there are limits on what they are required to accept (which, as noted in comments above, are actually surprisingly small so often bigger shops will be more lenient) so you can't give them 1163 pennies and then shout "you're discriminating against me" or whatever if they refuse. This isn't "settling a debt" because you don't owe anything because they haven't given you the goods yet.

But in a restaurant, for example, you are "settling a debt" because at the end of the meal they have given you the goods and so you do now owe them recompense for that. I and thought, perhaps wrongly, that there was a different set of rules about what they were required to accept in payment of that debt. i.e. that they can't refuse to accept because you want to pay a £5.10 bill with 51x10p, for example, because it is actual money of the correct amount and you are legitimately attempting to settle the debt.

Of course all of this is covered by the general observation that life would be so much easier if everyone on both sides of these transactions just resolved to "not be a dick about things".

Which reminds me of the time I donated several years (and Kgs) collection of coppers to the work charity collection and said "You do have one of those coin counting machines don't you?" to which the response was "Yes. But's it's broken. But that's OK because we've got an intern!".

6
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018