After a man turned himself into police for refusing to pay for his meal, some wondered if he might be mentally ill. On the other hand, some suspect he might be saner than many in Japan.

The incident in question went down in Mobara City, Chiba Prefecture, on 5 January. The suspect, a 22-year-old unemployed man, reportedly went into a restaurant and ordered their curry meal which cost 1,180 yen (US$9.85). However, when it came time to pay the bill, he simply refused.

Instead, the man called the police emergency number, 110, himself and was promptly picked up on charges of fraud…and possibly abuse of the emergency number since refusing to pay for curry is hardly an emergency.

The next day, police said that the man told them he had not eaten in about a week prior to the curry dinner and that he had only 79 yen ($0.66) in his possession when he went to the restaurant.

Naturally our instinct would be to feel sorry for this individual, but upon hearing the news, someone broke down the numbers on three distinct lifestyles—prison, salaryman, welfare—a young man like him might face. Here is a translated version of it:

So it could appear that this young man, when faced with these three possible life choices, initially took the “welfare” road. However, either he didn’t qualify or the fixed payment of 130,000 yen ($1,080) per month didn’t cover his living expenses, so he transferred to the “prison” option by committing the relatively light crime of dinner fraud which should grant him three hots and a cot for at least a little time.

In light of this chart, readers had this to say:

“The guy’s smart…”
“That’s a fool-proof safety net.”
“I wonder why he didn’t eat something more expensive.”
“That’s sad.”

Needless to say, the chart above is quite coldly pragmatic and doesn’t take into consideration the social stigmas or psychological effects of any of these options.

Also, despite the cleverness of this apparent scheme, there doesn’t appear to be much of a future for the young man. On the other hand, looking at the chart it’s hard to blame him for not choosing the life of a salaryman either.

He, and perhaps most of us, would best remember that there are always other ways to make a living in this world beyond that which is readily presented to us.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News via Hamusoku (Japanese)
Top Image: Wikipedia/Tottelme (Edited by RocketNews and our curry)