They say the best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees, I want …
THE BOGUE & BOGUETTE SHOW!!!
(THE SCENE: Six o’clock in the evening in MR WONG and MRS WONG‘s McMansion in which BOGUE and BOGUETTE used to be domiciled. MR WONG, MRS WONG and their children MATTHEW, JESSICA and baby OLIVE in a highchair are sitting in the upstairs dining room, heads bowed in prayer, bowls full of steaming umami goodness surrounding a massive rice cooker in the centre of the dining table.)
MR WONG: Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankf–
(the front door sounds like it is being stoved in by a SWAT team and a mediaeval battering ram, causing the entire family to cease their divine supplication and look up in fright)
MRS WONG: Jesus Christ, what the hell is that?
MR WONG: I don’t know, let me go down and have a look.
(MR WONG goes downstairs and tentatively opens the door, to find BOGUE knocking like a madman with one arm and a whole stack of folders under his other arm)
MR WONG: Oh, it’s you, is it? What do you want?
BOGUE: Please, mate, I need yer help.
MR WONG: Really? And why should I help you after what you said to my wife on Christmas Day, you little racist shit?
BOGUE: Please! I’m sorry, all roit? I had a bit to drink and stuff and I didn’t mean–
MR WONG: Yeah, you always have a bit too much to drink, don’t you. Now me and my family are having tea. Go away.
BOGUE: But please! Ploise! I need yer help! I’m about to lose me house and shit–
MR WONG: And whose fault’s that?
BOGUE: C’mon, mate, you’re me mate, you gotta help me, you’re a financial planner and stuff.
MR WONG: Oh, so you’re trying to prevail upon me to provide you with financial advice for free? Excellent. Next time I’m down at the Holden dealership would you be able to give my family a free Captiva in return?
BOGUE: Mate, you know I can’t do that. But you … you can help me, you’ve got yer own business an’ shit. Please.
MR WONG: No! (closes door)
BOGUE: (sticks his foot in the door) Oh ploise! (gets down on his knees and starts sobbing) Ploise! Ploise! PLOITHE! Ploise help me. You’re me neighbour. I’d do the same for you if you were in trouble and were about to lose yer house and stuff.
MR WONG: Well … umm … the Bible does tell us to love thy neighbour … and to do unto others as ye would have done unto you … All right. I’ll spare ten minutes, before my dinner gets cold. (leads BOGUE into his home office at the rear of the ground floor)
BOGUE: Wow, it’s weird being in a house I used to own. This used to be me entertainment room. That wall where you’ve got all them university degrees, I had a massive projector screen. And this bookshelf here full of … (flicks through the books) Financial Planners Association Code of Professional Ethics and Capital Depreciation And The Taxation Act, well, I had a 1991 Panfers jersey signed by the first Penriff team to win a Grand Final hung up roit behind the bookshelf!
MR WONG: That’s nice. So, how can I help you? Make it snappy.
BOGUE: Well, me and me family are in big shit. You remember how I bought the house with the three hundred and sixty grand I won after we came back from Singapore and I did all them interviews on the telly and someone wrote our book? Well, the Attorney-General reckons they’re proceeds of crime and the Tax Office did an audit and now we owe all these back taxes.
MR WONG: Hmm, interesting. And how much do you owe?
BOGUE: Hang on, let me go through these folders here … Ah, here’s the ATO’s revised assessment. Together we owe $117,760. And we might have to owe money to the Attorney-General, and Centrelink are doing an audit too because it affects our Family Tax Benefit.
MR WONG: OK, that’s a fair whack of money. First, I’ll do a quick analysis of your current situation first. OK. Income.
BOGUE: Yeah, about ninety grand a year gross, depends on commissions and incentives if I meet me targets. Hang on, here’s me last weekly payslip. Net pay $1,256.50.
MR WONG: And your wife?
BOGUE: She’s staying with her lezzo nutjob lard-arse cousin at the moment. But she works three shifts a week at the nail salon. Her pay’s usually about $350 a week.
MR WONG: OK, so weekly net income, about sixteen hundred bucks, give or take. You’re not going to be able to pay your tax debt and all the other stuff you owe the government out of your income alone unless you intend on living to the age of three hundred and living in a tent in a middle of nowhere until you die. Now, do you have any assets?
BOGUE: Yeah, me house.
MR WONG: And how much do you have owing on it?
BOGUE: Hang on, lemme have a look. Yeah, a tick over a hundred and fifty grand. Me repayments are about $250 a week.
MR WONG: OK, your house would possibly fetch five hundred, maybe six hundred thousand on the market – if you were waiting around for the perfect buyer. But these things are usually fire sales at auctions, you might get in the high four hundreds. So, you have about three hundred and twenty thousand dollars in equity locked up in your house. That’s almost enough to repay the proceeds of crime debt, but not the tax debt – and I’m not certain the Tax Office will drop that even if you do repay the Attorney-General. And you still don’t know how much you owe Centrelink. Not to mention paying all the lawyers which these sorts of proceedings always require. Do you have any other assets?
BOGUE: Yeah, me Panfers jersey. And me Jim Beam bottle collection.
MR WONG: I’m thinking of something more substantial. Any shares? Investment properties? Term deposits?
MR WONG: How many vehicles?
BOGUE: Only the Ford Territory which I bought with me winnings. The SS Commodore is me company car.
MR WONG: OK, your Territory would have lost plenty of resale value as soon as you drive it away, you might fetch twenty grand for it. Any savings?
MR WONG: Yeah, you know – money that you’ve saved?
BOGUE: S-s-s-saved? What does that mean?
MR WONG: You know, when you get money, you set some aside? So you always have a bit of money if you need it?
BOGUE: Why would I wanna do that? That’s what credit cards are for.
MR WONG: Listen. Do you have any bank accounts?
BOGUE: Yeah, just the one. Here’s the statement I just printed out from online banking.
MR WONG: All right … current balance $17.35. Is it always that low?
BOGUE: Not always, but I don’t get paid until tomorrow.
MR WONG: All right, any other debts?
BOGUE: Yeah, me bitch got a credit card. She keeps maxing it out, we owe five grand. Every time I repay a hundred or two hundred bucks on it, she goes and wastes it shopping wiv her girlfriends.
MR WONG: All right. Now what I’m about to say is not going to be pretty. But … you don’t have any liquid assets. Your income is decent enough for a family of six to live modestly but not even a big-shot lawyer or stockbroker on three hundred grand a year is going to be able to repay their debts immediately. Income doesn’t matter very much with these things, it’s assets that matter. And the only major asset you have is the equity in your home. So … so …
BOGUE: Well? Spit it out!
MR WONG: Well. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the only solution is to sell your house and liquidate your equity so you can get most of these debts off your back. And believe me, you don’t want the government as a creditor. Bad news. Yes. Bad news. You think the loan shark down at the tavern is tough? Just wait until the Attorney-General is breathing down your neck.
BOGUE: But they can’t take away me home from me and me kiddies! I paid for it!
MR WONG: Yes, you paid for it with money that under proceeds of crime legislation and the Taxation Act and the Social Security Act isn’t yours.
BOGUE: Urtghrughkurrgghnt! You fink you’re so smart, with all them bullshit degrees in frames on your wall up there an’ shit, but I’m tellin’ you, that money was MINE! Proceeds of crime? Bullshit! Bull-farkin-shit! They’re never gettin’ me money back!
MR WONG: Oh well. Continue thinking like that, my friend. Until the Australian Federal Police padlock your doors and throw you all out on the street. Then I suppose you’ll be wanting my help again — for free, I presume. Harrumph!
BOGUE: Yeah, and you fink you’re so good, so how did you make YOUR money then, huh? You bought my house – MY house – with cash, no mortgage. So where did you get that kinda dough? Rippin’ off clients, pocketin’ secret commissions an’ shit? Yeah. Go on. Tell me, kurrrghnt! TELL ME!
MR WONG: All right, you want to know how I got my money, I’ll f#$kin’ tell you, you miserable fat arsewipe! Because I worked for it! And my parents worked for it! My mother got a small inheritance from her grandmother, my parents moved to Australia, ploughed the inheritance and their life savings into a Chinese restaurant on High Street. Every single day of my f#$king childhood I worked. Do you know what that was like? Spend seven hours at school, then tutoring, then violin practice, and then working all evening in the restaurant, then homework, then six hours’ sleep. Do you have any f#$king idea what that was like? My parents shouting at me all the time, “Wilson! The council greenkeeping crew is coming to the restaurant for their Christmas function at seven o’clock, get in here and fold sixty purple napkins into vaguely crown-like shapes NOW!” “Wilson! We’ve just run out of black bean sauce, go down to the Mobil garage and get a forty-four gallon drum of used sump oil NOW!”
BOGUE: Christ, you’re a whinger, aren’tcha?
MR WONG: No. Oh no. I’m not whingeing. I’m proud of my childhood! It made me a better person. It taught me – work hard, spend your money wisely, study hard, be disciplined, love your family, and you’ll lead a good life. Meanwhile – YOU! You get three hundred and sixty grand landing in your lap. Even if they weren’t proceeds of crime, you could have kept some in a savings account, gotten a used car instead, bought a cheaper home somewhere else, used it as capital to start a business that might make you even more money. But NO! What do you do? Blow the whole lot on a brand-new piece-of-shit Ford Territory and a house well beyond what you need! And now you’re back to square one. But you know, I don’t mind the fact that people like you exist. It means more business for me!
BOGUE: Yeah, I knew it. You nerdy c#$ts are all the same. Finkin’ that just ‘cos you’re so smart that makes you just so high and mighty compared to everyone else. Well, f#$k you. F#$k you, you little smart-arse. F#$k you! (stomps out of his old house and slams the door)
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