27 Comments

  1. This just doesn’t work, on multiple levels. In addition to Bill’s objections, why in the world would he be carrying around a “large part of his savings” as pocket cash at an amusement park?

  2. P.S. Sorry, credit where credit is due: the subtitle was probably also from B.A., just like the headline.

  3. @ Bill – My first comment initially included a completely different P.S.:
    Just from reading this one strip, I have absolutely no interest in learning anything more about either of these two characters (not even their names). However, since this is Funky Winkerbean, maybe they will get cancer and die before the next installment shows up here.

  4. I think the Comic Curmudgeon refers to that guy as “Mopey Pete”. A prime example of the “loser guys get women way out of their league” trope that is heavily present in the strip.

  5. And an FYI for those who aren’t dedicated/masochistic readers of the Batiukverse: The blonde is Mindy from Crankshaft, all growed up.

  6. Feeling fortunate I read the comic before anything else. I love those setups; it had me crying.

    (True, I had stopped in the last panel to look at her expression; (When I finally got to Pete’s final expression… well, I can only hope that was supposed to be a transition to something resembling joy. I send him my best wishes for his writing for Marvel comics to pay off in a big way before his retirement.)

    (Bill started this site saying we should only evaluate each strip on its own (actually he said something along the lines that it should stand on its own). Even non Sequitur and F Minus have their moments that I have to concede are humorous or touching.)

  7. Even if it took him $100 to get that tiger, what kind of ring was he expecting to get with a few hundred dollars? The marriage-industrial complex has created an emotion-based ecosystem to part people from their money (Disney theme parks and the funeral industry have done the same) and they’d never sell him a ring for a few hundred bucks. There is a ridiculous amount of money wasted on weddings and one of the biggest rip-offs is the ring.

    First, diamonds are so common that DeBeers has to use cartel practices to inflate prices (and this is for gem-quality stones).

    When I was working an an insurance adjuster and had to replace stolen jewelry, there was always a fight with the clients. This is how it would go:
    1. I’d ask them if they had an appraisal for the item and ask them to send a copy (a picture would do) to me. If they didn’t have one, I’d try to get as many details as possible on the piece, including colour, cut, clarity, and size of the stone, setting, type of gold, etc.
    2. I’d provide these details to one of the wholesale jewelers we used.
    3. Jeweler would source equivalent pieces (if available) or equivalent stones and metal to manufacture the piece
    4. Jeweler would give me a quote for what they would charge me (the insurance company) to replace the piece
    5. I would advise the client that they had two options:
    A. pay their deductible to the wholesaler and I would pay the balance and the jeweler would replace the piece
    B. they could take the replacement cost for the piece (less their deductible) and I’d pay it into their bank account by direct deposit
    6. Client’s who actually wanted their jewelry back would take option A and be delighted (seriously, nobody who took this option was every unhappy with the results)
    7. Clients who thought they’d won the lottery wanted option B but would argue that I should pay them thousands of dollars more than the piece was worth because they paid more than that for it. They had a receipt! They had an appraisal that valued it as even more than they had paid for it!

    Retail jewelry is a scam. The margins are huge. They give appraisals that grossly overvalue the piece to make the client think they got a deal. As insurers, we know they do this and we’re not stupid. We offer what it will cost to replace the piece. They’ll argue and say “I can’t replace it for that” and I tell them “Yes you can. I have a jeweler ready to do the work.” Or they’ll tell me how they have a special jeweler that they like doing business with. I’d tell them that’s fine, they’re free to do business with the guy but the extra $5,000 is going to come out of their pocket, because I’m not going to pay it. There’s nothing magical about rocks and metal.

    This poor sap in the comic has probably saved up a ton of money and he’ll buy a ring that is worth maybe 60% of what he pays for it.

    I always tell single men I know to visit one of the wholesale jewelers I worked with if they insist on buying a ring and to not go overboard. At wholesale, a few grand gets you a nice ring.

    I also tell the young men to let their lady know that they want to get married at city hall. If she throws a fit about being robbed of her special day, they should break it off. She doesn’t love you if she won’t marry you at city hall.

  8. The current Mrs. Shrug and I did indeed get married at city hall, and our wedding rings (we didn’t bother with engagement rings, since we got married only a few days after she proposed to me) were supplied a couple of years later by an artisan friend for, I forget but perhaps a hundred or a hundred and fifty dollars each. (Plain silver, with a slightly raised design of an open book with the number “42” displayed on the page: Life, the Universe, and Everything.)

    Which is why I found the delighted “It’s my engagement tiger!” line so touching, even though I realize that the situation in the comic, when thought about for a few moments, doesn’t make much sense. They’re our kind of weirdos!

  9. Maybe he gave the guy a credit card, and maybe every ball he throws is basically an in-app purchase.

  10. Some 8 years into our marriage, when I was going to law school as a “mature” student, surrounded by young whippersnappers, I was suddenly a little insecure about how to define and position myself — it’s a thing I go through occasionally, where no matter how I present myself (OK, OK, I’m not German, I’m American!), people perceive me the opposite of how I intended (“What do you mean you’re not German? You speak German without an accent..?”) (OK, OK, I am German!) (“What do you mean you’re German? You are so obviously American in your bearing and clothing…”)… So I was unsure if I should play up the obvious age difference, ignore it, not mention it, pretend to be old and wise, pretend to be one of the gang… A confounding factor was that a couple of times people had reacted with confusion to the fact that I was married yet wore no ring — I had never had that problem ever before, and considered it quite normal not to wear a ring, especially as a guy. But like I said, my confidence was momentarily shattered, so I mentioned to my wife I was considering getting a ring, just to make it easier for others to slot me into society. She leapt at the suggestion for some reason (she too doesn’t wear a ring), and happily researched and found me some possibilities.

    All this to say: my ring is a simple titanium band, and cost all of 7 dollars.

    I wore it for a while (but on my right hand, because, damn it all, I am German!), but then my confidence returned, and I put the ring aside mostly, because it is not comfortable, and to hell with what other people think, anyway. (I still don’t know why the sudden confusion about my not wearing a ring — is it a younger generational thing? Or was it just because I was in a jewish school, and there tend to be more conservatively upbrought people in such a setting?) Then, a few years ago, I inherited my grand- father and mother’s wedding bands (matching simple unadorned gold bands with their respective names and date inscribed on the inside), so now we both have wedding rings we can wear….

  11. I was in favor of a backyard “garden” wedding. My wife preferred “city hall”, but when we went there to pick up the license, she discovered that the “wedding” facility looked more like a “funeral parlor”, so we went with the backyard.

  12. The first Mrs. Shrug and I had a backyard wedding. That marriage only lasted nine years (though we’re still good friends). Second Mrs. Shrug and I had a city hall wedding, and we just passed 35 years on that one. So clearly the latter is the more cost-effective option. . .

  13. I don’t know. If an insurance adjuster wanted to give me the wholesale value of something that I had replacement coverage on, I’d be pretty steamed too. When my Weber kettle got dinged with hail [this was one of many things], they just looked the retail price and gave that to me. Why should my choice have been them giving me a grill or the wholesale cost of one (probably about half)?

    In my case I used the insurance money and more to get a better grill.

  14. I’ll assume you didn’t read the whole thing due to length. You must have missed the part where we would replace the item with an item of like kind and quality. What we would not do was hand over more than the market value for commodities, which rocks and metal are. That’s a recipe to being defrauded into bankruptcy. Same thing with your grill. It’s easy enough to find same/similar model and check prices. If you want to shop at a store that charges 45‰ more than everyone else for the same grill, go ahead, but I’m not paying you that much for it.

  15. Why is wholesale the “market value” rather than retail? The market value should be what the insured would pay, not what you can get it for.

  16. The items are insured for replacement value. As commodities, they have a market value on the appropriate exchanges. It’s very easy to determine their value. They’re rocks and metal and maybe a thousand bucks for labour on a very elaborate piece. Why would we pay more than the value of an item? If you want a ring worth $5000 (which will get an appraisal of propably $8500), we would pay to replace it. Nobody is getting short-changed. If you want to overpay for the same thing by shopping in the mall, we’re not going to pay above the value of the item. Same as if you want $1000 for your grill that has an average price of $600 in the market. If you wanted a cheque for $20,000 because you’d found a jeweller to give an inflated receipt so you could commit fraud, not doing that either.

    The purpose of insurance is indemnification of the insured, to make whole the loss. Replacing the lost items fulfills that. It is also a principal of insurance that one cannot profit from insurance (for doing so would not be indemnification). Profiting from insurance is called fraud.

  17. Paying retail is not more than market value. For a consumer, retail IS the market. The fact that you, as a large company, can get them under retail is irrelevant. Does the policy actually read that way? “We will give you a similar item or wholesale price”?

    You keep talking about the consumer overpaying, but how is that the case? Unless there are options for the insured to buy the items at the lower price, then reasonable retail outlets should be the value. It’s always the case that the retail cost is more, that’s what keeps stores in business

    I agree that appraisal value is not the actual value in many cases, but retail is.

  18. You have missed salient points. Members of the public are free to walk in and purchase from the jewelers we use and they’ll receive the same price we did. I imagine most reasonably sized cities will have such jewelers. Furthermore, the price we paid to replace a ring, for example, is irrelevant to the client if what they want is a ring of the same quality. If they want cash for it, they’ll get the market price for the stones and metal (which is more than they would get trying to sell a ring back to their mall jeweler).

    It’s also notable that one numerous occasions where clients have said their jeweler of choice said they couldn’t possibly make a piece for the claim amount, we’d advise the client to take the written quote into them, show them that it is indeed possible to do so and they change their tune when they see they’re going to lose the business. Making a 20% margin on a sale instead of 80-100% is better than making nothing.

    Another piece of advice for young men is that they do not take the lady with them to any jeweler when buying a piece. The jewelers know you can’t negotiate when you’ve got her drooling over the baubles.

  19. “Another piece of advice for young men is that they do not take the lady with them to any jeweler when buying a piece. The jewelers know you can’t negotiate when you’ve got her drooling over the baubles.”

    That is very cynical and very sexist.

    When, after 22 years together, Hubby and I decided to make it legal, we had our rings made by a local artist. I brought it in some of my favorite rings, both gold and silver; as I’m a fanatic about wearing only gold or only silver, he made the engagement ring out of yellow and white gold, so I could wear it at all times. 22 small diamonds and then one largish one for the 23rd year.

    I sent my two rings to him to have one small diamond replaced and have them both cleaned. He lost the wedding band part (the two fit together). Oh well, 15 years was a good run for the ring, I guess; I’m just glad it wasn’t the engagement ring he lost.

  20. I don’t want to argue with you Singapore Bill. I’m not sure that a place that the public can walk into is really selling wholesale.

  21. Brian in STL: It seems to me that the point of insurance is that I don’t lose out when something bad happens. If I lost a diamond when my house gets eaten by a giant bear, it seems to me that I’d be satisfied if the insurance company replaced it with an identical diamond. Why would you feel that you should also have a second option of getting the amount of money it would take for you to buy a diamond? Any second option seems like a bonus when I have a first option where I don’t take any loss.

  22. These are not things I’d buy, but in general it’s a fairly personal purchase for which the original shopping and selecting might have been a significant process. The insured might not want the insurance company deciding what is an equivalent replacement. Now, if the cost is actually something like the retail price then that’s another story. That isn’t how it was originally presented, but maybe that’s reasonable.

    I have only one experience with insurance and personal property. As I said, they just looked up the retail cst and gave me that much money. I wasn’t required to do anything specifically with PP money. In general, that worked in my favor after the hailstorm. For instance, when I bought the house the previous owners left some old wrought-iron furniture on the deck. It was peeling and rusting in spots. I had scraped and sanded it a bit, and sprayed it with Krylon.

    After the storm, the adjuster looked at it, and things went something like:

    Adjuster: Looks like there are some dents in the table top.

    Me: Hmmm, OK.

    [Adjuster consults something].

    Adjuster: Let’s say $600 for replacement cost.

    Me: Oh. Sure.

  23. My “insurance” experience went something like this:

    Insurance company: We can’t find an equivalent to your truck. So, here’s what we’ll do… here’s a different model, that has a bunch of features you don’t have. So we’ll just adjust the value down by 80% (because of the features you don’t have), and so here’s lowball value estimate #1. Here’s the same truck, two model years newer. We’ll just adjust the value down by 80% because this one’s newer than the one you had. That’s lowball estimate #2. Here’s another one that’s three model years, and we adjust for that, and that’s lowball estimate #3. So we just average those three estimates, and here’s our offer.

    Me: You’re offering me about half the blue-book value.

    Insurance company: Yeah. Is that a problem?

    Me: Well, your insured ran a red light when he hit me, in front of a bunch of witnesses, and isn’t currently licensed to drive. Plus the cost of my lawyer, if you make me sue.

    Insurance company: Will the blue-book high value be sufficient?

    Me. Yeah.

  24. I did not want an engagement ring. I did not want a wedding. I thought the marriage was more important than the wedding. I talked Robert, if he was going to buy me an engagement ring anyway (as his parents insisted) into buying a an antique dinner ring (diamonds and blue stone) which was maybe 1/4 or less of the price of the engagement ring especially since we went to one of my clients. His parents for some years kept apologizing to my parents for my engagement ring.

    I wanted to just get married by an official and then go out to lunch with the immediate families – but since we were mixed (Jewish- Roman Catholic) my parents were concerned that people would think that they did not approve of him that we were getting married that way – and both sets of parents wanted a wedding. (My poor parents paid for 2 weddings and a bat mitzvah within 10 months.) Typical conversation with someone doing something for the wedding – person: “and what does the bride think?” Mom or dad – “no one cares what the bride thinks”. The moms and Robert did the planning.

    Wedding bands – I wanted thin, plain gold – I got a 1/2 inch wide decorative band – Robert picked it and the matching one for him. Two years later when it no longer my finger, I got the ring I wanted – which is the one I usually wear (or I wear the third one when my finger was even bigger, a silver ring from Colonial Williamsburg – depends on what size my finger is on that day. At home the second two rings sit in in a plastic pocket on the fridge. (He does not wear his – does not fit.)

    Just had our 40th anniversary – the marriage lasted despite the rocky wedding start. Where did we go for same? The day before we drove to PA and went to a history event, had dinner at one of the Amish buffets we like and drove home. on our actual anniversary we went to Ikea as we do on Sunday nights.

  25. James Pollack – Waaayy back (before we married) we were riding in husband’s Mercury Capri – a rather small car. We were stopped at red light. (Coincidentally we were in front of the catering place we had picked for the wedding, but of course the wedding was not there as the parents did not like it.) A car hit his car in the rear. The car that hit us did not have a front grill and was much larger – so most of the damage was on the sides of the rear – not at the actual rear of the car.

    His insurance company contacted us and the fellow as confused about how if we were hit in the rear, the damage was on the sides. I explained. He asked me if it was legal to not have a grill on the front of the car. I replied that he should know if it was as it was his insured who had the missing grill, not us. We got the full amount of the repair without any questions. (About a decade or so later we received a request from the police asking if we had any objections to his being released from jail – huh? No one told he went to jail.)

  26. Real estate taxes here are based on the assessed value of one’s home. This is suppose to be the current price for which one could sell the house. (And I should explain that real estate taxes here are LARGE and cover all sorts of things with sub categories & separate lines for everything (police, police station, police cars – , sewers, sewer treatment plant – and so on. One can appeal the assessment of one’s house if they think it is wrong. We (and lots of others ) have done so annually.

    So it has been decided for some years that a new assessment of all the houses in the county which was recently done. Properties were suppose to be compared to other similar properties in one’s school district, etc. that are substantially the same. We live on a four lane road (which is described on the re assessment paperwork as light traffic (takes 5- 8 minutes to pull out of driveway and make a right turn). Houses listed were from the same builder/subdevelopment on the road behind ours – a one quiet side road. Then it was updated to houses on our road from same development. Our house has not been updated since the 1960s (we bought it to do it as we wanted and then grew to like it as is -plus 30 years passed in a wink). We have the original 1949 furnace. I looked at the assessments for the other houses and what work has been done on them – much newer work done. Two of the five have a second master bedroom. One has 2 full baths (ours has 1.5). Two houses have 3 full bathrooms. One has a deck. Our has a detached garage – three of them have attached garages which could be used as additional living space (and the one next door to us seems to have an illegal tenant in) – we have a detached garage behind the house. All have much more curb appeal than ours.

    So are they equivalent houses to ours? No. (Same as are two cars the same when comparing to find the value of the car that was damaged.) This is such a mess year to year that there are companies which exist to file and represent property owners appeals of the assessments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s