Thursday, April 26, 2007

People are stupid

Two examples from the shallow end of the human gene pool today.

In Japan, a couple of thousand people bought sheep as pets, thinking they were poodles.

Flocks of sheep were imported to Japan and then sold by a company called Poodles as Pets, marketed as fashionable accessories, available at $1,600 each....

The scam was uncovered when Japanese moviestar Maiko Kawamaki went on a talk-show and wondered why her new pet would not bark or eat dog food....

One couple said they became suspicious when they took their "dog" to have its claws trimmed and were told it had hooves.

This is so over the top, especially the last example, that I'm waiting for this to be exposed as a hoax. But so far, it appears legit.

On the upside, Rex the Poodle will make a nice (if expensive) meal now that he's turned into Kabob the Sheep. (h/t: Sad-Sav)

Lest you suspect I think Americans are somehow better than the Japanese, let's go to Washington, D.C., and the case of the $65 million pair of pants.

When the neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced Roy Pearson's pants, he took action. He complained. He demanded compensation. And then he sued. Man, did he sue.

Two years, thousands of pages of legal documents and many hundreds of hours of investigative work later, Pearson is seeking to make Custom Cleaners pay -- would you believe more than the payroll of the entire Washington Nationals roster?

He says he deserves millions for the damages he suffered by not getting his pants back, for his litigation costs, for "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort," for the value of the time he has spent on the lawsuit, for leasing a car every weekend for 10 years and for a replacement suit, according to court papers.

Pearson is demanding $65,462,500. The original alteration work on the pants cost $10.50.

By the way, Pearson is a lawyer. Okay, you probably figured that. But get this: He's a judge, too -- an administrative law judge for the District of Columbia.

The case is going to trial in June.

I guess it can't simply be thrown out, because Pearson does appear to have a legitimate claim -- just not a $65 million one. But at what point do his antics become grounds for dismissal -- or for harassment charges?

Loony cases like this don't justify calls for tort reform -- especially because such calls usually make no effort to distinguish between legitimate suits and obviously frivolous ones, relying instead on blanket solutions like damage caps. But the court system definitely needs to come up with better ways to handle these outliers -- like ordering them to arbitration, summarily reducing the allowed claim, or otherwise insisting that the case remain within the bounds of reality -- or, in this case, small-claims court. (h/t: Moderate Voice)

Update: The poodle story is, indeed, a hoax. Too bad.

, , , ,

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home