Comes Down On The Operation!
A nice, long story that involved
the Gord, the police, and some of the City's laws being tossed
out. And it also guest starred an idiot mother and her
genetically repressed child.
Our story begins on a quite Tuesday morning a little after 11
am. The scene, the shop keeper (Gord) has just opened up and
he is reading the mail and sorting night returns. Enter the
scene, a child who looks the age of 14.
"Excuse me, do you have any Gameboy games?"
"Sure. Here's the box of them. You can look through
them. If you need anything, just let me know."
Child paws through the box for a few minutes then asks "what
is a Gameboy Colour worth to trade in?"
"About $45. A bit more if you have the box and such."
"I'll take the cash please."
"Are you sure? You get more for credit than you do for
"Very well then. Here you go."
Child exits the scene… Per usual, Gord filed the Gameboy into
the drawer in case the parents got pissed or something.
...9 days later…
"Yes, my son sold you his GameBoy Colour a couple days ago."
(in a friendly tone)
"Yes, I was here for that transaction."
"I would like it back."
"Very well then. It's here. Just bring down the $25 I
paid him for it and you can have it back."
(friendly tone becomes evil tone)
"I'm NOT paying for it! You're going to give it back to me!
I'm going to keep your $25 to teach you a lesson!"
"Teach me a lesson?"
"Ripping off kids!"
"And just how am I doing that?"
"Give $25 for a machine worth $100!"
"Ma'am, I gave $25 cash for a used machine that sells new
for $100. However, I offered twice to give him $45 credit for
the same machine. Your son decided he wanted the lesser
amount in a cash form."
"I'm coming down right now!"
"You do that."
<20 minutes later>
Angry woman storms into the store.
"I'm here for my son's GameBoy colour!"
"I'm sorry, it's not here."
"Yes, it was mistakenly sold a few minutes ago. Tragic
accident really. So sorry. And we were so wanting to return
it to you because your son was raised by you and we understand
now why he turned out as he did."
"No, what's illegal is you trying to extort me."
"I'm going to call the police."
"You do that. You can explain how your son and I engaged in a
legal transaction of a fair value to both parties and that you
attempted to extort me. That'll go over well. If you don't
mind, I have other customers to serve."
(the store is completely empty and silent at this point, no
music at all, and the TV wasn't on).
"FUCK YOU!" and she storms out.
Close of Act 1. Begin Act 2.
One day has passed since the close of Act 1, and enter the
police into the store accompanied by the child in the story.
"We understand there is a problem."
"And what would that problem be?"
"That you stole his child's Gameboy."
"That's not quite how I remember it happening."
"We're told that you threatened him. You came up to him,
demanded he sell you his Gameboy Colour for $25 and threatened
to beat him, and then you kicked him."
"This would be an example of a false police report being
filed. I find threatening kids to be a bad way of doing
business as they would never come back."
"Do you know the Pawn shop laws?"
"Can't say I do."
"Well, there are a lot of rules that apply. And that they say
you can't deal with anyone under 18 and that you will have to
file a report to us every morning of all the used games you
"Would this be a bad time to point out I'm a video game
store and not a pawn shop?"
Anyway, this goes on for a bit. So afterwards I get the pawn
shop laws brought over to me and start to do the big read
over. Seems that was he was saying was right, except for one
small part. The law itself was illegal. The provincial laws
clearly outline what the rules are they give a section for
cities to tighten them if they want. The City of Penticton
went way beyond the scope of that act and basically said that
no business could do trades with anyone under 18, and that any
business that did bring in used stuff would have to hold it
for 30 days and file police listings every morning. The law
stepped way beyond the authority given to the city under the
Pawn Shop Act.
After a couple days the heat returns…
"I noticed you haven't filed any reports yet. I could fine
you $100 a day."
"I noticed that you aren't requiring any of the car lots in
town to hold their used cars for 30 days before they sell
them, or that any computer stores are holding their product
for 30 days."
"They don't have to."
"According the to law you want to use on me they do, here
you go. I've highlighted the important passages. But it
doesn't matter, the law on it's face is invalid as the statute
that allows the city to expand on the restrictions clearly
states that it only applies to Pawn Shops, and that statue
also states what a pawn shop is. I don't fit the
"I'm not a lawyer."
"I know. "
"Just start faxing in the lists."
"I'll fine you!"
"Oh that'll go over well. I tell you why the law in
invalid, and you retaliate by fining me. That'll go over well
then I write a letter to the city about your action."
This went on for a few minutes. Finally he left, never to
return. The city pawn shop law was tossed out, and we all
played the Gameboy Colour until I finally sold it one day
because the batteries died.
There was more to the story, but it's long enough already. If
enough people ask I'll go back and fill in a lot of the parts
that are missing or were skipped over. While I rather like
Act 2 for for intellectual prowess, the end of the first act
and the start of the second act is the best part. There is
more if you want it…
And in one last footnote. One the officers who tried to
shakedown the operation here was brought down and arrested in
February of 2001 for selling drugs and stealing evidence.
Maybe he just wanted to bring the Gameboy Colour in for
evidence so he could steal it… But I'll never know.