Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Tax Man

In a world with so many problems it is sometimes unusual when you find yourself with no problems. The job is good, people are being kind, life is a veritable panoply of chirping birds and squirrels throwing daisies. It is enough to make Lewis Black puke asphalt.

This is why my current predicament can't really be viewed as an actual predicament...and shouldn't if it didn't mean that I would be missing out on my first hockey game of the season, as well as my first hockey game in another country.

As it is right now, Korean customs has my skates and pads locked up tight as a drum, all because a FedEx employee in Phoenix over a month ago insisted on having me estimate the value of my equipment as equivalent to $500 American.

This shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong.

As it turns out, Korea has this little issue with duty and taxes that has been blown up to the point where they are the only country in the civilized world that considers wine, for example, to be a "luxury" item and not a food. In my case, I declared over $100 in used equipment, so somewhere on the peninsula some guy is currently holding up my stinking-to-high-heaven blocker and glove and trying to disseminate their actual worth so that he can eventually decide how much I will have to pay in order for customs to release my gear.

As anyone who has played goalie before knows, nobody on Earth wants to pay actual money for used goalie equipment. It has no real worth. It is filthy, disgusting, and does nothing to attract the opposite sex. The purchase of used goalie equipment is a transaction that is forced upon parents and goalies out of necessity. Because nobody ever, for example, wants to pay over a grand for new leg pads. But Korean customs doesn't know this, so I am stuck waiting.

In the meantime I'm content in knowing that if this is the worst of my problems, then I have it pretty darn good...aside from knowing that somewhere in Daejeon there is a hockey team with no goalie.

Sorry guys.

And thank you FedEx.