Thursday, September 13, 2007

LEGALHYPE: Breaking It Down Equitably

I was reading some "Odd News" a while back, and the following story reminded me of something I came up with a few months ago. First, the story from Reuters:
Man Chainsaws House In Two In Divorce Split
© 2007 Reuters

A 43-year-old German decided to settle his imminent divorce by chainsawing a family home in two and making off with his half in a forklift truck.

Police in the eastern town of Sonneberg said on Friday the trained mason measured the single-storey summer house -- which was some 8 meters (26 feet) long and 6 meters wide -- before chainsawing through the wooden roof and walls.

"The man said he was just taking his due," said a police spokesman. "But I don't think his wife was too pleased."

After finishing the job, the man picked up his half with the forklift truck and drove to his brother's house where he has since been staying.
I think that's pretty damn funny. Never mind all the clichées about German precision, although perhaps he should have divided the house into one large piece for his soon-to-be ex-wife and a smaller piece for himself. We'll leave that up to the judge.

Anyway, that story brought the following piece to mind. I wrote it in May 2006 after the news of Paul McCartney's divorce from Heather Mills broke. I was trying to get my head around how much that amount of money would be worth in everyday terms. At work I throw around figures like these on a regular basis, but when it's other people's money or a thoroughly analyzed investment opportunity, it's a little different.

USD 390 million for what, exactly?
"Lawyers believe the divorce would never be allowed to degenerate into a messy court case but they said McCartney's decision not to seal a pre-nuptial deal could cost him dear in a private settlement."
(quoting a Reuters story)
Let's crunch some numbers here...

If she gets just a quarter of his loot, she'd have $390 million. As the article stated, that's $1,875,000 million per week for the 4 years they were married.

What else could one get for that much money per week, spread over 4 years?:

The life of Riley in Brasil with a huge house on the beach, with several girls ready to go at all times (i.e., "Here was the cock. Take care of it."), partying every day, eating the best steak and seafood every night, and renting out the biggest clubs every night, with a Hummer limo convoy to and fro for you and all your friends - a rough estimate would be well under $250,000 a week.

A lap dancer at a high-class strip joint (the Mitchell Brothers Eros Center in San Francisco, for example) - $20 for 5 minutes = $40,320 per week. At a lower-class joint in a smaller town (e.g. Raider's Reef in Tucson), it's something less than half of that ($14,112).

A top-class hooker in one of the big American cities (no experience here, but this is what I've heard) - $5,000 for 12 hours = $70,000 per week.

I've heard stories of the idiots at Scores in New York City being surprised that their tabs were so high that their Black Amex cards exploded, but I've never been there (or to the similar-level places in Las Vegas), so do your own math for those. Speaking of Vegas, even after adding booze, drugs, fine dining, gambling, random helicopter rides, private jets, detox, and several trips to rehab, Heather Mills was way more expensive.

Come to think of it, comparing the prices of the lap dancers at the EC and the high-class hookers, we ought to save our money for the hookers; they're apparently way more cost effective!

P.S. - If you haven't heard Chris Rock's piece on divorce, you should. Here's the transcript. It's part of his "OJ, I Understand" routine.

Update: As it turns out, he "only" had to pay her 32 million pounds sterling (about 64.6 million bucks). Cheap! Get 'em while they're hot!

1 comment:

ad said...

What a great pic!