My son Travis has a saying that I have appropriated from him more than once – Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Basically, it means that when people do stupid things they should not be surprised at the negative results. But, of course, we all know they are. Here are a couple of recent examples that have come across my desk:
About three years ago a gentleman who lives in Minnesota contacted me and another well-known RV blogger asking our advice about forming a Montana LLC to save paying taxes and registration fees on the big diesel pusher he was in the process of buying. Both of us advised him not to do that, especially since it’s a vacation vehicle and he is continuing to live and work in Minnesota.
While on the surface Montana LLC’s look like they are a great deal, in reality they can bite you on the butt big time. I have talked about it in the blog and in seminars I present at RV rallies, but all people see are dollar signs and think they’re going to save a fortune. And some of them get away with it, at least for a while. But when they get busted, it can be very ugly.
I just heard from the fellow mentioned above, and the State of Minnesota has nailed him for over $25,000 in fees and penalties. In addition, he was told he may also be subject to jail time for tax evasion,because it is illegal to domicile in one state and register a vehicle in another state to avoid paying sales taxes and registration, no matter with the clowns pushing LLCs told him. When he contacted the legal firm that set up his LLC, he learned that they are basically just paralegals, not attorneys, and they cannot or will not do anything to help him. Yep, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
All these outfits care about is getting your money to set up the LLC. Over the years two of them threatened to sue me when I wrote about the dangers of these scams in the Gypsy Journal. Both times I replied that if they were willing to put up a $250,000 bond to protect me from whatever legal peril I might fall into, I would set up an LLC with them and I would print a full retraction. Neither one ever took me up on it.
The other example is a couple who contacted me wanting me to tell the world never to go to New Orleans, and in particular the French Quarter. It seems they went there with their two Bichon Frise dogs, and one of the things they wanted to do was eat at a certain restaurant they had heard about forever. But when they got to the restaurant, management told them they could not bring in their “emotional support dogs” because only certified service animals are allowed, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act, emotional support animals do not qualify.
So what did these folks do? If you think they simply went elsewhere, you would be wrong. No, they tied their two dogs, which they told me cost over $1,000 each and have pedigrees that apparently stretched back to Marie Antoinette, to a light pole and went inside to have lunch. They were shocked when they came out to find their beloved dogs missing. Yes, their “beloved” dogs (those were their words) that they left tied to a lamppost on a busy sidewalk in a strange city. And of course, it’s because of all the thieves in the French Quarter. They are not accepting any responsibility for their own foolishness. How could they possibly be at fault? Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Ohio town in 1951. I have 28 mystery novels out, as well as about 10 nonfiction books, and I have to say that Dog’s Run is my favorite. It’s a gritty tale that is loosely based upon an actual crime that took place in that part of the country when my father was a young police officer there, and I warn you in advance that there’s some rough language, but it’s appropriate to the time and place. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Great, I clicked on “Start Your Free Trial” and the next thing I know, I’m convicted of second-degree murder.