Here Thar Be Monsters!

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Repo Men

"A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations." - Bud (Harry Dean Stanton), Repo Man
The following story is alleged.  No one has been tried or found guilty yet...yet.  Charges are pending and Jakarta police say they are taking the investigation "seriously."

I feel much more relieved now.  Especially since the perps, if they are found guilty, could get as much as FIVE YEARS in jail!  Whew!  And I thought this was a serious crime.  Glad to know different.  Read on...

The next time a debt collector rings you up at work (assuming you still have one of the three left in North America), just remember what's coming, and you'll feel better.  I promise.

So, anyway, this guy walks into CitiBank in Jakarta.  Seems his credit card bill, which he thought should be around $4,000, was up around $10,000.  He had a problem with that.  After all, if $6,000 magically appeared on my CC statement, I'd be moderately upset, as well.

This guy meets with a bank representative.  Word of mouth has it that it was a buxom young thing who's had multiple surgical 'enhancements.'  She proceeded to listen to this guy's story.  She was so moved by the tale of woe that she called over three debt collectors, who are contracted by the bank (CitiBank, and American institution, by the way) for the purposes of encouraging debt repayment.

Before I go on, you should know that debt collecting in Indonesia is somewhat more...physical than in other parts of the world.  No pussyfooting around here.  These guys go straight to the problem and right the wrongs.  No sense in being nice, just in case there might be a mistake in the debt process, you see.

I'm aware of this one hypothetical situation where a business associate of someone I may or may not know, absconded with about $500,000, which was a down-payment on a deal of some sort or another.  Well, the Indonesian legal system being what it is alleged to be, this acquaintance decided to circumvent the police and courts, which could take years to process a complaint like this (with no guarantees, of course).  Instead, this person gives a photo and all known details about the associate to a friend, who may or may not be a high ranking military type.

This supposed high-ranking type turns bloodhound, and tracks the fellow down.  Unable to politely recover the goods (we assume), the dogs are slipped and proceed to pummel the fellow until the money is recovered. We are given to assume that the fellow found the Lord and will never do such a thing again.  The End.

Good thing its only a fairy tale, right?

So, anyway, this buxom young thing sees that the guy is not going to fork over the dough without some investigation into the charges.  Oh My!  That'll take time and effort.  Can't have that.  After all, while we wait, the interest is racking up and he might complain about that, too!

She calls the debt collectors over, whose names are the South Pacific version of Guido, Bugsy and Knuckles.  They take the guy up to the 5th floor for a review of his credit history.  In the process of reviewing said history, there is a lot of table-banging and raised voices.

Later, around lunch time, one of the staff walks into the room to check on things.  The debt collectors have taken a break, presumably.  She sees the guy lying on the floor, huddled in a ball, with foam coming out of his mouth.  This is usually indicative of a punctured lung, which can happen when investigating debts in Indonesia. Easpecially at American banking institutions.  Very emotional, these things are.

The staff member immediately notifies Guido, who displays grave concern by laughing.  He goes into the room, takes the guy's cell phone and calls (we presume) a random contact.  Guido tells the contact to come fetch the guy and take him to the hospital.

Well, not wanting to waste time, the contact calls for an ambulance, which given Jakarta traffic, probably takes an hour to go one mile to get there.  Upon retrieving the guy, we can imagine that it takes two hours to get back to the hospital, since it's later in the day and traffic is even worse now.

The guy dies en route, so the story goes.

Later on, the police are called, who come to the scene of the investigation and start poking around.  Well, as you can imagine, the emotional stress of having one's credit history being examined left blood stains on the walls, drapes and floor.  Apparently, the office staff was not very thorough when cleaning up after the investigation.

Thus, a police investigation ensues.  Photos on the front page of the paper have detectives displaying window covers allegedly stained with blood from the guy (victim seems so harsh in this instance).  We are assured by Jakarta police that a complete investigation will uncover the facts, and if Guido and the boys were acting on orders from superiors, heads will roll.

However, this being Indonesia and the institution being a Very Large Bank, we can assume that sufficient amounts of re-direction will be applied in all the right places.  We can assume that all the blood was from a ritual sacrifice and had nothing to do with beating the poor guy.  We can also assume that the debt (remember this was about a credit card balance?) will devolve onto family members, who in due course will be approached by debt collectors to review the facts of the case.  We can only think that all the charges are valid and that someone didn't run off with the number and start buying stuff on-line.

One must stand in awe of stories like this.  After all, it makes perfect sense that if you want ot collect a debt, you simply pummel the guy to death so that he can't possibly repay it, right?

We can all relax, though, knowing this is only an alleged event, and that a full investigation is still pending.  After all, WE have all read the micro-print on our credit card agreements, right?  WE know that all disputes will be handled by the Guido, Bugsy and Knuckles department, don't we?  WE can all rest assured that CitiBank doesn't operate this way in the NORMAL course of business.

Thank God the banksters reformed the bankruptcy laws in good, ol' US of A.  WE all read the fine print in the law, didn't we?  WE know that they would never behave like that in a civilized country like Merica!  So WE don't need to have any concern about carrying cards with the word "CITI" on it.

And WE know why the word "banksters" was coined.

Why is it that these bedtime stories are always so gruesome? Like cradles rocking and falling out of trees, baby and all.  Or red riding hoods being a marked target for wolves?  Sure, they're supposed to be cautionary, but do they have to be so graphic?

I, for one, am relieved that these things never happen in real life.

Next time, we'll talk about the recent alleged events in Medan, where a gang of youths packing serious firepower (in a country where guns are banned) gathered around the car of a family as they arrived home from work, and proceeded to riddle the car with bullets, killing mom and dad instantly.  Their crime?  Being of Chinese decent.

Ah, more bedtime tales for the aware child.  And people wonder why Texans love packing heat.

Oly: You want some help with that beer, kid? 
Otto: You're all repo men. 
Oly: What if we are? 
[Otto pours his entire beer on the floor] 
Bud: [standing up] You know, kid, uh, usually when someone pulls shit like that, my first reaction is, I wanna punch his fuckin' lights out. But you know something? 
Bud and Oly: YOU'RE ALL RIGHT.
- Repo Man (1984)

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