Speaking of cold cuts, several plaintiffs in the U.S. are seeking class action status against Subways after an Australian teenager posted a photo of a "Footlong" sandwich with a ruler showing it was only 11 inches long. The lawyers are seeking compensatory damages in the millions claiming customers worldwide have been shortchanged an inch. Subways is arguing that “Footlong” is only a descriptive name and not meant to be a representation of size.
I think this class action is brilliant. After all, most folks have never had the experience of joining a class action as they have not drunk tainted tap water, ingested toxic inflamatories or ridden on derailed trains. These people may feel left out. Now here is a chance of a lifetime. I can just see thousands of people visiting Subways outlets and as they are about to take their first bite out of a deli “Footlong”, they whip out a tape measure: “ Ah huh! Just as I thought. Eleven and a half inches. I am calling my lawyer.”
Now they too can participate in a class action thanx to some lawyers who think out of the box, or should I say, out of the bun.
I practice personal injury and family law. I do not handle class actions. If you purchase a Footlong and find yourself shortchanged, I can' t help you but you will amuse me. Please visit www.striglaw.com
"This is child abuse," my daughter Natalie screamed when my wife insisted that she finish her piano practice. As she repeated her allegations, each time a few decibels louder, I rushed over to close the window in order to prevent a charge on my house by any good Samaritans who might be standing outside wondering where the cries for help were coming from.
I thought of her choice of words- "child abuse" - and wondered, what if she's right? Relaxing on my recliner, I drift into a bit of a daydream.
Natalie's teacher observes her and decides to have her checked out by a pediatrician at the local children's hospital - nothing unusual except that the child spends the entire morning doodling treble clefs.
Unbeknownst to my wife and me, a special musical child-abuse team at the emergency department of Sick Kids Hospital studies Natalie carefully, looking for telltale signs such as toe tapping.
In response to increasing incidents of musical abuse, the team has been set up jointly by the Ministries of Health and Cultural Affairs. The handpicked team consists of a doctor, a social worker, and a musicologist.
"Look at her tender fingertips," says the doctor, "I'd say these tips are consistent with the child hitting piano keys three to four hours a day."
They decide to run some tests. The musicologist gets Natalie to say, "La-la-la," ten times, hoping he can pick up a trace of a Mozart sonata. To the untrained ear, the "la-la-la's" would be indistinguishable from regular "la-la-la's", but the musicologist Prof. Illich Zydelshtein, is the best in his field. The other day, the doctor asked him to check out some calluses on the feet of a six-year-old girl. It didn't take him five minutes to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that the kid had been forced to spend four hours a day in front of a mirror practicing Swan Lake.
It seems this month has been a heavy one for Tchaikovsky. Just last week, the professor diagnosed a seven-year-old boy as having suffered an overdose of the 1812 Overture. On a hunch, when police were sent to the child's house to question the parents; they recovered two French horns, a trumpet, and a cannon.
The team completes my daughter's examination and concludes that indeed there has been musical abuse. The social worker swings into action and summons the police special unit, "Nutcracker," to my house.
The cops descend on my home, let by ragged Lieutenant Luciano Poletti, a baritone. Without further ado, they arrest my wife and me, and as evidence they seize our metronome.
They also bring along for the raid Mendelssohn, a German shepherd specially trained to sniff out hidden musical instruments. The dog must be having an off day, as he walks right by our living-room piano.
The police briefly question and then also remove our two other children, including my teenage son, Daniel, who says he'll tell them everything they want to know. He leads them upstairs to his room where, under a set of barbells and a Monopoly game, they locate a clarinet. Lieutenant Poletti puts the clarinet into a plastic bag.
My wife and I are charged with musical abuse of our children. Pending trial, the kids are sent to a foster home where they're guaranteed a music-free environment, the foster parents playing only Rolling Stones tapes.
At our trial, the prosecution claims that parents have no right to impose musical training on children. Reams of classical lesson notebooks are introduced as evidence. The prosecution even introduces a toy rubber cello discovered by Mendelssohn.
My wife decides to exaggerate a bit and tells the court that it was all an accident. The testimony given by Prof. Zydelshtein in response, however, is powerful and damning. He says that my daughter's "la-la-la's" are no accident: "These are la-la-la's in C major. No accident. No way."
We ultimately get convicted and the prosecutor goes for our jugulars and vocal cords. He demands a sentence to the penitentiary. Our lawyer demands more money. We've already given her the money we'd set aside for the children's musical lessons.
We don't want to go to jail. Prison justice for this type of offence is swift. I recently read about a father doing time for musical abuse who was attacked by an inmate with a trombone that he'd carved out of soap."
"No! No!" I cry out. I snap out of my daydream. The house is peaceful except for an awful screeching sound apparently emanating from Daniel's clarinet. I run upstairs to his room, yank his clarinet away and said, " No way. This could be dangerous. Play Monopoly instead."
When I am not fantasizing about Chopin, I practice civil litigation (personal injury primarily) and family law. Please visit my webiste, www.striglaw.com .
I find that many landmark legal decisions are not sufficiently reported. All too often the reporting ends with the judgement.
Consider for example the story about the two women who appeared with a newborn baby before the wise King Solomon, each claiming the baby was hers. One mother's baby was stillborn and she wanted a shot at recovering her neighbour's living child.
His Highness, in his wisdom, offered to cut the baby in two, giving one half to each woman. At that point, the real mother consented to let the other woman have the whole baby, while the fake mother agreed to take half thereby alerting the wise king that the latter woman was not quite into this for the love of the baby.
The problem with this report is that it ends there. Nowhere are we told what became of this child, or of the "mothers" for that matter. I am sure many people would like to know more about Solomon's famous judgment.
I have done some legal historical digging around and indeed matters did not end there and then in Solomon's court. I have discovered the following:
Firstly, the phony mom's name was Myrtle. Myrtle daughter of Zebulun. His Highness not only denied her the child, he also fined her 100 shekels for attempted fraud. When Myrtle got home and related this incident to her husband Albert son of Levi, her husband was livid.
"You fell for that 'I'll cut the baby in two' line? That's the oldest trick in the book!", he bellowed.
Albert's second wife, Naomi daughter of Pushka added smugly, "You fool. I told you it wouldn't work. Solomon isn't stupid. I don't know what Albert ever saw in you."
Interestingly enough it seems that Myrtle apparently tried a similar caper three years earlier in the land of Goshen. This time when the king of Goshen, King Og, offered to cut the baby in two, she immediately responded, "No, let the other lady have the child", whereupon King Og, said, "No problem madam", and he gave the infant to the other woman.
Eventually Myrtle and Albert attended at the local branch of the Child Service office where they put their names on the adoption list. This time Albert did all the talking.
And what do you think happened to our famous baby? The real mother, Tamara daughter of Ebenezer, was ecstatic. So was her husband, Jeremiah the milkman. (Nobody knew who his father was).
Jeremiah after his initial jubilation turned to his wife and scolded her soundly.
"Tamara, how could you take your eyes off our newborn child, even for a minute. You know about all those crazies lurking around in the midwife’s clinic."
Jeremiah however forgave his wife and a couple of days later the couple had the baby ritually circumcised. The parents by this time were nonetheless a bit paranoid about people with knives and they watched the rabbi very carefully. They named the baby Isaac, Isaac son of Jeremiah the bastard.
King Solomon was the talk of the party that followed. Tamara couldn't stop talking about the wisdom of His Highness. "As I stood there", she said nibbling on a piece of herring, "I trembled, and when I saw the king take out his huge sword and measure off little Isaac to find the mid point of his belly, I thought that was it."
Little Isaac was a celebrity for many years. Tourists visiting Jerusalem would pass by his parents' house hoping to catch a glimpse of the boy. The government in fact for many years sponsored daily shows, whereby Isaac would stand at his window three times a day usually with his mom, and wave to the crowds. As well they would go on tour from time to time. During his growing years little Isaac spent many a day cutting ribbons at openings of bridges, museums and sacrificial altars. The government even promised a sizeable stipend to the boy once he would reach his adulthood.
Over the years Isaac started to shun the publicity and ultimately he grew up to become a humble baker. He enjoyed his work but hated cutting bread. Every time a customer asked him to cut a whole loaf of bread, he identified with the bread. Once when a lady insisted on buying just half a loaf, he told her "No way" and he gave the entire loaf to another woman in the bakery who had offered to buy the whole bread. He explained to the half bread lady, "She wanted it more than you did."
The psychological ramifications of King Solomon’s judgment were evident.
Eventually a playwright, one Hymie son of Hymie (he wasn't Jewish) wrote a musical play about Isaac entitled, The King and I.
And what became of the wise King Solomon himself you might ask? When interviewed, he modestly declined to label the decision as one of extraordinary wisdom. When asked what he would have done had neither mother offered to let the other mother have the child rather than see him cut in two, His Highness said, "Who knows? What would Moses have done had the Red Sea not parted? You cross that bridge when you get to it.
King Solomon then excused himself saying he had to get back to his wives.
And by the way, you may ask what ever happened with that stipend the government promised it would pay Little Isaac when he grew up? That one is still before the courts.
I always look for just and reasonable resolutions in my personal injury and family law practice. Please visit www.striglaw.com . And yes, King Solomon is one of my heroes.
We can once again rest assured that schools are steering our kids properly.
In Silver Spring, Maryland, an elementary school suspended a 6 year old boy for making a hand gesture at a fellow student and shouting “Pow, Pow”. A school vice- principal has called the gesture, “ a serious incident”.
As this is not the first time we have witnessed this type of reaction by a school, I believe parents must concern themselves about preventing their kids from getting suspended for acts of violence, real or pretend. We must teach children how to be pacifists. Introduce them to the principles of Mahatma Ghandi. If a kid is angry at teacher or a fellow student, tell him about the dangers of saying, “Pow Pow”or “Bang Bang” or “Poof Poof”(should he want to use a silencer). Suggest to him that he don a homespun robe and sit down in front of the classroom and start a hunger strike
As well, ban him not only from playing video games having a hint of weaponry, but also from watching cartoons, such as the Roadrunner. In fact we should lobby the Looney Tunes people to change the content of their cartoons. If Wily E. Coyote wishes to catch the Roadrunner, instead of having him order some bomb making kit, have him order a bible from ACME Inc. It may not help him catch the Roadrunner but just maybe, he can entice Mr. Meep Meep, to sit down and read some Psalms together.
And in Salt Lake City , Utah high school officials have cancelled a production of an Elvis Presley spoof called, All Shook Up . The title was taken from the King’s 1957 song. The lyrics about his sweetheart in part go, “lips are like a volcano that’s hot...I’m proud to say she’s my buttercup. I’m all shook up”. The school’s gatekeepers of sexual morality found this language sexually explicit and nixed the production.
I’m sure, many good folks agree with these schools’ actions knowing they can sleep better now that schools are safer from violence and sex. I can just hear them saying, “Thank you. Thank you very much.”
While I am not listening to sexually explicit Elvis songs or pondering about the amazing resemblance a few fingers bear to a Magnum, I practice personal injury and insurance and family law. Please visit us at www.striglaw.com .
Saskatoon Transit city buses are displaying the message “Merry Christmas”. This is not sitting too well with some local activist who is threatening to take the matter to the Human Rights Commission arguing that the message is discriminatory. He says that the buses make non Christian riders feel like they need to convert to Christianity in order to feel like first class citizens and ergo, this constitutes a “forcible attempt at Christian indoctrination.
I’d say they man makes it sound like riding a transit bus in Saskatoon if you are a non Christian, is equivalent to undergoing a Spanish inquisition. I imagine if the guy is somewhat right, a transit ride for a non Christian looks like this:
BUS DRIVER: “Hey pagan. Do you believe in Christ?”
NON CHRISTIAN RIDER: “No sir.”
DRIVER: “OK, now pay a triple fare....Do you believe now?”
N C R: “No, I’m getting off”.
DRIVER: Like hell you are. Remain standing while I accelerate this bus...60...70...80 kilometers....Watch me hit the brake...”
NCR: “Yikes! I just smashed into the windshield”
DRIVER: “It doesn't end here heathen. Give me 3 Hail Marys, or I’ll stuff your hand into the fare box. “
What if he is right? If travel to Saskatoon, I’m taking taxis.
And now, as promised, Ikea
Update. Update. The owner of Darwin, that Ikea wandering monkey, is going to Court to get Darwin back. A judge has already dismissed her motion for interim custody but the matter will return to court in the new year.
She refers to him as “my son”. If the monkey is her son and the owner has a brother, what does that make the brother? Exactly.
Firstly, "Merry X-mas" to one and all. No offence intended.
I practice personal injury and family law. Please visit www.striglaw.com . As for Darwin, I cannot call that one; let right prevail.
The Midwest Book Review has referred to Marcel Strigberger as "an irrepressible humorist with a story teller’s flair for spinning a yarn with true (and hysterically funny) insights into the basics of human nature".
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