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I don’t know about you, but since I was about 16 or so, I’ve had a credit card in my dad’s name. He gave it to me with explicit instructions: only use it for emergencies. For the first several years I had it, that’s the only reason I used it. Then, once I got to college, he started noticing I was having a lot of emergencies. Interestingly, a lot of these emergencies took place Thursday through Sunday and happened in bars. Weird, I know.
While I may have used my dad’s card to pick up a few pitchers or shots every now and then, I never was doing any significant damage to his bank account. Seriously, Natty pitchers and rail shots aren’t the most expensive thing in the world. Just because I had my old man pick up a few cheap drinks here or there, it doesn’t mean everyone does.
A 16-year-old kid from Japan pretty much did the same thing that I and many young people have been doing for years. He went to the bar and bought some drinks on his dad’s credit card. Generally, this isn’t very interesting news. However, this kid’s tab was $54,000. Unlike me, this kid wasn’t drinking watered down, low quality beer.
Using his father’s American Express card, this teenager and a friend went to luxury clubs in Kyoto where they drank whisky (before you kill me, if it’s Japanese, Scotch, or Canadian, there’s no ‘e’) and sparkling wine by the bottle. Cheap bourbon and Franzia? Forget that. These two kids were crushing bottles valued at up to $3,700 apiece.
In addition to the booze, their hefty tab also included entrance fees into “swanky clubs” full of “attractive women.” I like your tastes, kid.
The funniest part of the entire story, though, is that the kid doesn’t owe a dime, legally speaking. In a recent decision, a judge ruled that the club owners, as well as the credit card company, are responsible for allowing the kid access and the ability to spend that much money. I’m all for personal responsibility, but shit, congrats, man.
While 800,000 yen of the total 5.5. million yen bill racked up by this fun-loving teenager must be paid by the kid’s father, the rest is being picked up by American Express. I’m too lazy to do a currency exchange calculation, but that means the kid’s dad isn’t even paying 20%.