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July 15, 2007 6:18 AM   Subscribe

"I'd been a fugitive for too long and it was time to turn myself in." the sicilian misadventures of a Reuters journalist with Agrigento's police department.
posted by darkripper (26 comments total)

 
SPOILER: This story is really boring and anticlimactic.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:30 AM on July 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Needs more garlic.
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:38 AM on July 15, 2007


they would break his kneecaps if the batons weren't on backorder
posted by pyramid termite at 7:31 AM on July 15, 2007


What was the purpose of this story? When I got to the end of page three I went to click on page four expecting some amusing conclusion, and behold no page 4. It was like reading someones boring Livejournal post.
posted by Timey-Wimey at 7:40 AM on July 15, 2007


Did we really need another reminder that Italy's infrastructure is terrible? I'm sure it's a very relaxing place to live if you're of a certain personality type, and hell if you're of another. I didn't need a deeply personal, deeply boring story to tell me that.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:42 AM on July 15, 2007


Before it's news, it's Reuters.

What a total waste of column space.
posted by three blind mice at 8:08 AM on July 15, 2007


Yeah, I don't get it. Why didn't he just mail a check or money order? That's normally how bills are paid in the U.S, people don't normally give out their routing numbers, since routing numbers can be used to withdraw money.

In fact, normally electronic transfers are done by giving a person your routing number, not by getting theirs.
posted by delmoi at 8:25 AM on July 15, 2007


That was disappointing.
posted by The World Famous at 8:58 AM on July 15, 2007


Yeah, I don't get it.

You're the opposite of this guy. I swear, people. Banking systems work differently in different countries. In some countries (like Germany) the Anglo-American idea of a personal check doesn't even exist. And even in countries like Italy where it is, a direct bank transfer is much easier and more common than it is in the U.S. Here in the UK, businesses frequently assess extra fees for paying via cheque.

That's normally how bills are paid in the U.S, people don't normally give out their routing numbers, since routing numbers can be used to withdraw money.

In countries where personal checks are used, people frequently give out their account and routing numbers since they're printed on all of their checks. Despite your belief that this is all that is needed to make a withdrawal, we seem to go on without massive numbers of phantom withdrawals.
posted by grouse at 9:08 AM on July 15, 2007


"Ha ha! Here's a cute little story about my life, but because I'm a journalist, it will be read by millions of people! Since I have a unique avenue of communication with the masses, I can coyly relate my misadventures in a way the plebes can only dream of!"

I remember pieces like this being far more amusing two decades ago. Nowadays, it just serves as a reminder of the way Livejournal and its ilk have transformed the internet into a massive shitstorm of tiny Andy Rooneys.
posted by phooky at 9:39 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


In related new, Paris Hilton Jeanna Jeameson Nicole Kidman and your sister still had absolutely nothing to say about my Italian cock.
posted by elpapacito at 9:44 AM on July 15, 2007


Amen, phooky. As if having one, actual size Andy Rooney wasn't fucking tedious enough.
posted by psmealey at 9:47 AM on July 15, 2007


In countries where personal checks are used, people frequently give out their account and routing numbers since they're printed on all of their checks. Despite your belief that this is all that is needed to make a withdrawal, we seem to go on without massive numbers of phantom withdrawals.

What I mean is, people don't normally give out their routing numbers to receive money. When was the last time a corporation or government agency gave you their routing number, normally it's the other way around, which is what I said.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 AM on July 15, 2007


I suspect a competition to write the most boring story. I'm serious.

It definitely ain't FooC.
posted by humblepigeon at 10:48 AM on July 15, 2007


There are reasons why Kafka is held in high regard as a writer besides his biting satirization of a hopelessly labyrinthian bureaucracy, not the least of which was his actual ability to write.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:55 AM on July 15, 2007


This is nothing. Try getting a temporary residence permit in Tajikistan (achtung: self link). The process is designed to make the $100 bribe when leaving without proper documentation the more attractive option.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:58 AM on July 15, 2007


What I mean is, people don't normally give out their routing numbers to receive money.

I get paid via wire transfer (since my employer is in the US and I'm not). I had to get my bank to tell me what the various routing numbers were to send to my employer so they could send me money. When they overpaid me and wanted me to wire the difference back to them, they sent me their routing numbers in order for me to the transfer. So it seems to me, even in North America, electronic transfers are generally done by knowing the destination banking numbers. Since the recipient doesn't necessarily even know a wire transfer is coming in, how else would they receive it?
posted by jacquilynne at 12:00 PM on July 15, 2007


When was the last time a corporation or government agency gave you their routing number, normally it's the other way around, which is what I said.

Let me look at my current bills. Well, it's on my credit card bill. And my gym payment form. It was on my phone bill when I had a landline. If I paid tax to the city council, I could use their published account number to send them money directly.

In the U.S., there's no point in giving out account numbers, because there's usually no way for a consumer to cheaply and easily credit to an account number. Of course, if you use electronic bill pay, that's what might happen behind the scenes, but it will be set up without the consumer needing to know account numbers, etc.
posted by grouse at 12:01 PM on July 15, 2007


Let me look at my current bills. Well, it's on my credit card bill. And my gym payment form. It was on my phone bill when I had a landline.

Are you talking about your routing number or their routing number?

I get paid via wire transfer (since my employer is in the US and I'm not). I had to get my bank to tell me what the various routing numbers were to send to my employer so they could send me money.

Err, right. I get paid by direct deposit as well. I should have been more clear, normally the person gives the large organization their information, not the other way around.
posted by delmoi at 12:48 PM on July 15, 2007


Are you talking about your routing number or their routing number?

Their account numbers. Yes, the various account numbers of these large organizations. Yes, they give them to me. Just like the guy in the article (remember the article?). That's what I keep saying. It shouldn't be so hard to believe.

Err, right. I get paid by direct deposit as well.

Jacquilyne does not get paid by "direct deposit" as it is commonly understood in the U.S. (an ACH PPD entry). Rather she is paid via wire transfer. To initiate a wire transfer, you need to have the account numbers of the receiving account, not the "large organization" (there may not even be a large organization involved). Just like when jacquilynne sent money to her employer, she did it by giving her bank the employer's account number. The employer did not just take the money out of her account.

None of this fits with your limited experience. But what we keep trying to tell you is that the financial system and business customs work differently elsewhere. That's why he didn't just mail a check.
posted by grouse at 1:10 PM on July 15, 2007


So this Reuters, it's some kind of group blog?
posted by dhartung at 2:08 PM on July 15, 2007


I too have a boring story about an unpaid parking ticket.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:24 PM on July 15, 2007


Actually, there are occasional stories of sketchy .com's taking money back out of payroll -- direct deposit really is bidirectional. Doesn't happen too often, but it does occur.
posted by effugas at 4:48 PM on July 15, 2007


Jacquilyne does not get paid by "direct deposit" as it is commonly understood in the U.S. (an ACH PPD entry).

Right. I actually do know the difference between a wire transfer and a direct deposit. The main one for me being the $10 per wire transfer fee that the bank charges (or did, until I deposited a significant sum of money with them and they decided they'd rather have my retirement account than my $20 a month in service fees and started waiving them). But, also, that there was a set of account and routing numbers required to initiate the process that went far beyond the 'send us a cancelled' cheque process that it took to set up direct deposit with my previous employer.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:34 PM on July 15, 2007


Perhaps his brief was to "write a story that closely resembles a blog entry".
posted by rhymer at 1:31 AM on July 16, 2007


Cheques in Italy are not as common in day to day life as the US.

They are generally thin, long booklets of 25 cheques, IIRC. The cheque has two parts: the actual cheque and the ticket-stub like register. The cheques do not have the account owner's name or identifying information printed on them.

They aren't used for small purchases, like at the grocery store. In many cases there is a approx. 2% fee to cover administration and/or authorisation costs of the cheque. Bills are commonly paid by either wire transfer or (more recently) direct deposit from your bank account, or by paying at the post office (which has it's own banking system).

Credit cards & debit cards have only come into (slightly) more frequent use as of recently - I remember when I first arrived, everything was very much cash-based and very few small businesses could afford to have credit card payment services. Getting a credit card here is still not the easiest thing in the world. It's a far cry from when I turned 18 and was flooded with offers for credit cards for my presumed first year of college.
posted by romakimmy at 3:00 AM on July 16, 2007


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