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1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:13 am UTC
by Raidri
Image

Title text: "And to you, I leave my life-sized ice sculpture replica of the Pietà which was blessed by the Pope. You must never let it melt! Now, remember, all gifts must be removed from my estate within 24 hours."

Friday comic is early ... and weird.
Old people are grumpy ... and weird.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:19 am UTC
by Wee Red Bird
If you are going to stuff it into storage, you probably aren't going to worry about the wish that it doesn't stop swinging or (in the case of the sculpture) not melt.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:45 pm UTC
by da Doctah
In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:58 pm UTC
by Catinthewall
Well this is a fun thought exercise. I guess I'll start with the obvious things?

To my nephew the nuclear engineer, I leave my collection of radioactive waste. I'm sure you know what to do with it already, right? He may also have my collection of radioactive isotopes, for as long as they live.

To the local meteorologist, I leave the tornado i hunted down in '09.

Take care of my pets, which are technically every animal in the local nature reserve, and the Roomba I programmed to have claustrophobia.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:20 pm UTC
by GlassHouses
While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they? I have this idea that if someone leaves me something, I get it (minus applicable taxes), and that's that. In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable. This probably varies by country, though -- in the Netherlands, natural heirs have some pretty strong rights, which I think do not exist in the U.K. or U.S.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:34 pm UTC
by cellocgw
It would seem unfair :mrgreen: to give someone the pendulum and not the associated pit.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:42 pm UTC
by orthogon
Catinthewall wrote:Well this is a fun thought exercise. I guess I'll start with the obvious things?

To my nephew the nuclear engineer, I leave my collection of radioactive waste. I'm sure you know what to do with it already, right? He may also have my collection of radioactive isotopes, for as long as they live.

To the local meteorologist, I leave the tornado i hunted down in '09.

Take care of my pets, which are technically every animal in the local nature reserve, and the Roomba I programmed to have claustrophobia.


To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:25 pm UTC
by pkcommando
I leave my collection of daggers, all with uniquely-shaped blades. You must hold them in your bare hands at least once a day and claim they have always been yours. Also, post images of the blades to social media.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:55 pm UTC
by Cougar Allen
GlassHouses wrote: In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable.

You write something like this:

"I leave one third of my fortune to you, provided you keep my 30-foot Foucalt pendulum swinging. If it ever stops the inheritance goes to the Home for Unwed Mothers."

That is enforced by the Home for Unwed Mothers -- if the pendulum ever stops and they become aware of it, they will go to court to collect their money.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:09 pm UTC
by PinkShinyRose
Cougar Allen wrote:
GlassHouses wrote: In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable.

You write something like this:

"I leave one third of my fortune to you, provided you keep my 30-foot Foucalt pendulum swinging. If it ever stops the inheritance goes to the Home for Unwed Mothers."

That is enforced by the Home for Unwed Mothers -- if the pendulum ever stops and they become aware of it, they will go to court to collect their money.

Although in case of the comic, you can just claim you don't remember where the money came from :P.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:44 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
There certainly are precedents for conditional inheritance - one that's been around a while is "entailment" - where you "own" property in the sense that you have use of it, but don't own it in the sense that you cannot dispose of it - it passes to a specified individual instead.

Another variant is the "trust fund" - where something is "owned" by a trustee, but "in trust" for one or more beneficiaries.

And a bit of googling shows that, in the US, the general policy is that any conditions attached to bequests should be honoured by the courts except where they contradict public policy. If the conditions aren't upheld, then, if there's someone specified to get the bequest should the primary beneficiary not meet the conditions, then they get it; otherwise, it's treated as though the condition were met.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:10 pm UTC
by yakkoTDI
GlassHouses wrote:While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they?



Or the movie Scavenger Hunt.

Additionally, which version of Brewster's Millions?

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:47 pm UTC
by Steve the Pocket
GlassHouses wrote:While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they? I have this idea that if someone leaves me something, I get it (minus applicable taxes), and that's that. In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable. This probably varies by country, though -- in the Netherlands, natural heirs have some pretty strong rights, which I think do not exist in the U.K. or U.S.

I wasn't even thinking of it in legal terms. There's a sentiment, or at least I've always gotten the impression that there is, that it's mean to disrespect a dying person's last wishes, whether it involves their heirlooms or what they want done with their body or whatever. Of course, that depends on how much you care about them in the first place... or how much you still care about them after they've left you with an unreasonable burden with emotional blackmail attached.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:45 am UTC
by Mikeski
orthogon wrote:To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Here in Minnesota, we have the Klein Bank.

At first, I thought "that's a terrible place to deposit my money, anyone can just walk into their vault!"

Then I realized all my money was already in the Klein Bank. Well played, Minnesota bankers. Well played.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:47 am UTC
by Old Bruce
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out, because I may try it with one of my younger relations.
[winkey-face-emoticon]

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:17 am UTC
by Cougar Allen
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:29 am UTC
by Old Bruce
Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Sure I don't know either of them but it could be a story worth hearing.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:10 am UTC
by RogueCynic
I think I'll leave my stuff to the relative who can prove the last non zero digit of pi is 4.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:39 am UTC
by StClair
Steve the Pocket wrote:
GlassHouses wrote:While the inheritance-with-strings attached idea can lead to very amusing scenatios (Brewster's Millions!), how realistic are they? I have this idea that if someone leaves me something, I get it (minus applicable taxes), and that's that. In my non-expert opinion, conditions would be unenforceable. This probably varies by country, though -- in the Netherlands, natural heirs have some pretty strong rights, which I think do not exist in the U.K. or U.S.

I wasn't even thinking of it in legal terms. There's a sentiment, or at least I've always gotten the impression that there is, that it's mean to disrespect a dying person's last wishes, whether it involves their heirlooms or what they want done with their body or whatever. Of course, that depends on how much you care about them in the first place... or how much you still care about them after they've left you with an unreasonable burden with emotional blackmail attached.


Presuming that the recipients are already aware of the (imminently) decedent's tendency to engage in trolling behavior of this kind, I would imagine that (1) the collective response to these "gifts" would be "yeah, **** you too, (grand)dad" and (2) those at the bedside are, probably against their better judgment, present to make sure that this whole "dying" thing isn't another stunt of the old man's and he's actually going to be out of their lives at last, halle-fuckin'-lujah.

(Of course, at this rate, he's probably got some other arrangements made so that he can continue to be an annoyance to his descendants for years if not decades to come. Like, spending the bulk of his estate on hiring someone to leave them a harassing message on a random day once per year.)

Really, what strips like this make me think of most strongly is John Scalzi's observation on how the failure mode of "clever" is "asshole."

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:09 am UTC
by orthogon
Mikeski wrote:
orthogon wrote:To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Here in Minnesota, we have the Klein Bank.

At first, I thought "that's a terrible place to deposit my money, anyone can just walk into their vault!"

Then I realized all my money was already in the Klein Bank. Well played, Minnesota bankers. Well played.

:D
That's right: anyone can walk in, but they can never leave.

TODO: Insert joke about Möbius banknotes

Ordinary banks have pretty strange properties anyway. Like, they can contain the same money more than once. That's some mind-bending topology right there.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:09 am UTC
by fluffysheap
orthogon wrote:That's right: anyone can walk in, but they can never leave.


Well, that song makes slightly more sense now.

Ordinary banks have pretty strange properties anyway. Like, they can contain the same money more than once. That's some mind-bending topology right there.


It's just an emergent property of a quantum system. They can contain the same money more than once as long as nobody observes that it's the same money. If the depositors decide to inspect their money, the bankfunction collapses and the contradiction is resolved.

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:02 pm UTC
by Cougar Allen
Old Bruce wrote:
Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Sure I don't know either of them but it could be a story worth hearing.

Um ... Do you have a Ouija board?

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:36 am UTC
by Old Bruce
orthogon wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
orthogon wrote:To my mathematics teacher, I leave my Klein Bottle and its contents.

Here in Minnesota, we have the Klein Bank.

At first, I thought "that's a terrible place to deposit my money, anyone can just walk into their vault!"

Then I realized all my money was already in the Klein Bank. Well played, Minnesota bankers. Well played.

:D
That's right: anyone can walk in, but they can never leave.

TODO: Insert joke about Möbius banknotes

Ordinary banks have pretty strange properties anyway. Like, they can contain the same money more than once. That's some mind-bending topology right there.

I have often wondered if there is enough real cash money available for all the various shareholders to cash out entirely from one of the major stock exchanges. My gut (uninformed in such matters) says No!

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:43 am UTC
by Old Bruce
Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
Cougar Allen wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
da Doctah wrote:In my will, I plan on leaving my brother a bunch of stuff I don't actually have. Let him drive himself nuts looking for it.

Let me know how it works out,

Um ...

Sure I don't know either of them but it could be a story worth hearing.

Um ... Do you have a Ouija board?

No, but that is a mere bagatelle. [a-shrug-worthy-of-Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau-in-his-prime-head-and-sholders emoticon] (really wish I had one of those available, it would be useful)

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:07 am UTC
by ucim
No, but maybe yes. It depends on who owes whom.

My personal anecdote is that at some point our family had gathered together (for an unrelated purpose, such as to play a game), and one person paid $5 to another, saying "here's the money I owe you". The recipient used that $5 to pay another, who used that $5 to pay another.... in short, the $5 went around the entire family TWO TIMES (at some point combining into $10, and then being split again), and ended up in the original person's hands, all debts being paid off.

Jose

Re: 1941: "Dying Gift"

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:02 pm UTC
by Muzhik
I sent a link of this comic to my kids, telling them it was my goal to be rich enough to do this to them.

Then, after a little more of my morning whiskey-flavored-coffee (just enough to flavor the drink, I assure your. Enough coffee to flavor the whiskey, I mean) I emailed them this post-script:

(Although, to be honest, my Foucault Pendulum will be only 20 feet, because I'm Iowan and we don't like to brag, and also I don't NEED to boast about how much bigger and longer my Pendulum is. Just sayin...)

Love you all forever, I'll like you all for always,


I certainly hope they don't tell their mother I wrote this, because that would be SO embarrassing. :twisted: