Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Quest to be Thumbody

He said, before it had really begun,
"I prefer the one about my son."
"I've been wading through all this unbelievable junk
and wondering if I should have given the world to the monkeys"

It is winter presently in these United States. It makes it mitten season - at least for those of us who do not call Houston, Texas home. In case you might have missed the latest examples (scattered hither and yon across the great swampy morass we call this country) of the importance of hearty mittens - and with the recent spate of holidays and all your oversight would be understandable - here goes your proof.

First, as someone who is a diehard New York Rangers fan and someone who knows good, intelligent people who happen to suffer from the affliction of being Philadelphia Flyers fans, I shall resist the temptation to paint all Flyers fans with the brush reserved for the small handful who attacked - seemingly without provocation (other than of course that the Rangers fans had the audacity to wear Rangers jerseys to the game) - a couple of Rangers fans on a South Philly street after Monday's Winter Classic. One of the two assault victims and the one who - by all accounts - was the more seriously injured of the two Neal Auricchio, Jr., is a Woodbridge Township, New Jersey police officer and while a member of the United States Marine Corps served in Iraq was awarded a Purple Heart for a wound received in combat. As of Friday, published media accounts indicated that Police Officer Auricchio intends to return to work on January 9th - one week after being attacked.

There is something fundamentally wrong with us bipeds that we think - even if just for a moment - that one's attendance at a sporting event in support of the team that our homestanding favorite team is opposing - is something akin to a declaration of war. And as much as I would love to drop a Philly joke in here (they are after all the city that booed Santa Claus) it is a problem endemic in too many venues in too many cities around this country. An asshat is an asshat, geography be damned.

From the great state of Illinois comes a peek behind the curtain into why a lot of people hate those of us who practice law. Let us have some fun with a quick hypothetical and you shall see what I mean. Ready?

You are the mother of a young man who while walking in a marked crosswalk and across the tracks at a local train station on his way to the passenger platform is struck by an express train moving at a speed faster than 50 miles per hour, which train had as it approached this station honked its horn and otherwise expressed its intention to zip right through (as opposed to slowing down and stopping). As a result of the impact between the speeding train and your average-sized son, his body gets shattered into pieces, including a particular piece of considerable size that flies through the air and strikes a passenger standing on the platform waiting for a train. What shall we call you, mother of the dead 18-year-old boy?

According to a state appellate court in Illinois, we should call you a defendant:

A woman who was injured when she was struck by the body of a commuter killed by an oncoming Amtrak train may sue his estate for damages, an Illinois appeals court has ruled.

The slain man, 18-year-old Hiroyuki Joho, was hurrying to catch a train in heavy rain in September 2008 when he was struck and killed, the Chicago Tribune reports. A large part of his body flew through the air and struck Gayane Zokhrabov, who was waiting for the Metra train. The 58-year-old woman suffered injuries to her shoulder, leg and wrist.

The First Judicial District of the Illinois Court of Appeals said Zokhrabov may sue because her injuries were foreseeable and Joho owed her a duty of care. The court reversed a trial judge who found that the accident “was not reasonably foreseeable and was instead tragically bizarre.”

If you think the excerpt from the ABA Journal article is a head-scratcher, then check out the actual opinion in the matter of Zokhrabov v. Park. For pure comedic content, the comments under the article are unsurpassed. My favorite is the one written by someone identifying her/himself as a lawyer and that reading this opinion caused her/him to "throw up in my own mouth."

Among the things that force me to fight hard to suppress the feeling of wanting to throw up in my own mouth is the "Jumbotron Proposal". We have all seen it; right? Some young Romeo pops the question on his unsuspecting Juliet in front of tens of thousands of total strangers while sitting courtside or rinkside or wherever. He proposes, she accepts and then to the delight of those seated around them and the scores of others sitting at home, they engage in an uncomfortably long and forced game of tonsil hockey not seen since the salad days of Tipper and Prince Albert of the Valley or at the very least Lisa Marie and Michael.

At a recent UCLA basketball game - one at which a lot of Bruins fans came dressed as empty seats - a certain young man opted to pop the question on his beloved while the pair was on "Mistletoe Cam". Perhaps it was the stress of the moment. Perhaps it was the incessant presence of the reporter and the microphone she kept trying to shove into the young woman's face. Perhaps it was the fact that the young lady had bet the "over" and simply wanted to watch the rest of the game. Whatever the reason or the reasons, she left this particular Bruin in ruins.

Are you scared? Are you scared?
Are you scared? Are you scared?
You might have never heard, but God's comic....

And there you have it folks. Proof that kittens are not the only ones who should be careful to wear our mittens. After all, we have but two thumbs.


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