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The Suing Conundrum

Blessed is the glorious justice system that allows people to extort money from others for idiotic and mind numbingly stupid reasons. Lawsuits may be a foreign concept here, but it's ironic on some level that one of the most corrupt and twisted nations on earth has so few taking advantage of the legal system to extort money from others.

Elsewhere though, suing someone or some big corporation is the easiest way to make money (unless you want to give up your darkest secrets up in front of a camera like in Moment of Truth). Get rich or sue trying, indeed, is the theme here.

In 2006, a good chap called Allen Heckard sued Michael Jordan and Nike on charges of defamation, personal injury and mental stress, because in several occasions people mistook him for the basketball megastar. Oh the pains of looking like a famous person. All charges were dropped later that year.

A German bank robber sued the bank he was trying to rob, on the account that the bank officials took advantage of his hearing disability when tripping the alarm. I'm pretty sure he didn't like what he heard at his hearing when the judge chucked the case out of the window.

One surfer sued another, charging him on account of a stolen “wave” and claiming that watching someone else riding “his” wave caused him extreme mental pain and stress. Since a price could not be assigned to mental injury caused by stolen waves and such, the case was waved out of court.

A woman driving a car collided with a man who was riding a snowmobile. The man died at the scene. Since his snowmobile had suddenly cut in front of her, police said she was free of blame. She sued the man's widow for the grave and crippling psychological injuries she suffered from watching the man die.

When kids commit heinous crimes, who is responsible? The makers of every video game they've ever played, of course. In 2001, Linda Sanders and other family members of Columbine High School shooting victims sued 25 movie and video game companies for $5 billion, in a class action lawsuit. They claimed that were it not for videos games such as Doom, Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, Wolfenstein, Redneck Rampage, Final Fantasy, and Nightmare Creatures, the massacre would not have occurred, and that the makers and distributors of the movies and games were partly to blame for their loved ones' deaths. The case was thrown out and the plaintiffs were ordered to compensate the video game and movie companies for their legal fees.

The one stealing the show, though, goes something like this: an inmate at a correctional facility in Indiana sued himself for $5 million on charges of violation of civil rights (his own - he blames himself for committing crimes and getting arrested). He claimed that since he did not have an income sitting in jail as he was, the state should pay the bill on his behalf. The case was thrown out in record time.

It's official: if your annoying aunty next door hangs out her petticoats and other items of clothing in front of your balcony, sue her for mental stress and injury on your part. If you buy a rotting begun from a grocery store, sue it too. Start suing, people, time's a running out.

By Shaer Duita Fish Reaz

The week in re(ar)view

Polythene: Curse and gift, but mostly curse
Polythene bags were the great gift of modern science. You could blow it to emulate science's great big bang near your coworkers ear. You could store your mobile phone and wallet during rain so a mugger will get all valuables in dry condition. But despite such great benefits, polythene is an affront to our environment. We thoughtlessly discard the wasted polythene bag after blowing it up. It ends up blocking drains, canals, oceans and other bodies of water. As a result, these were banned eight years ago. Last week traders in Mohammadpur, Karwan Bazar, Gulshan and Banani were fined while six tonnes of polybags were seized.

There are around 300 factories manufacturing polythene bags in Dhaka. These factories seem to have the license to produce polybags.

The greatest philosophical questions, EVER
1. If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?
2. Why did the chicken cross the road
3. Which is worse, fake cops or real cops?

Police last week arrested a gang of 11 persons, who used to set up police check posts on city streets to mug people. These criminal geniuses acted as members of detective branch of police. They set up a check post at Shewrapara bus stand. Wireless sets and handcuffs came into play. And this has been going on for a few months.

Barefoot because of anthrax
The earnings of local tanners and leather-goods makers went down as the anthrax scare has reduced the demand for beef. The chain reaction starts with less demand to less slaughter, less leather and lesser production of footwear. But on the flip side, cows now have more time for thinking, which would have otherwise been slashed by a knife. Of course, their chewing action is probably just a pretense of thinking. Earnings fell by 80 percent last month as cattle slaughter dipped by 92percent in the city.

Preparing for sea battles
The government will procure three modern warships from British Royal Navy soon as part of its initiative to modernise the Bangladesh Navy. The cost comprises of too many numbers for which we don't have enough space in RS. We would understand if the government was planning on defending Bangladesh against a sea monster. But all sea monsters were killed by the recent BP oil spill. Defending against other countries that have way too many weapons is a good dream full of holes below the water level. Pirates have no cause for fear as they continue looting smaller shipping vessels in shallow waters. Maybe the money could be spent on the coastguard but that's too realistic a thought to be viable.

Justice happens
Someone finally got punished for reckless driving. Dhaka court sentenced a covered van driver to seven years of imprisonment for running over a female student of Dhaka City College in October 2007. The driver remained absconding after he was freed on bail following his arrest on October 26 in 2007. On a totally unrelated note, the driver possibly had no political connections.

By Mod Dude and Someone

Ten signs of a spoiled Bangladeshi teenager:

10) When an earthquake hits your city, the first thing you do is update your status on Facebook. Which is "liked" by strangers on your friend list.

9) You buy football boots for Tk.25,000 even though you have never kicked a ball in your entire life and you bought those boots because you think they make you look like Cristiano Ronaldo.

8) You upload pictures of yourself every 45 minutes on Facebook wearing a new dress every time (yes, I am talking about girls). These photos are flooded with comments and "likes" by strange middle aged men whom you added to increase the number of your friend list.

7) You have your first car before you are sixteen.

6) And your third car before you are eighteen.

5) You pretend to have difficulties understanding or speaking Bangla, because you think it is cool to speak in English with an irritating fake accent.

4) You keep talking about how "gangsta" you are and "life on the streets" whereas your father is an architect and your mother is a doctor and you go to bed at 9:30.

3) You think staying up till 3 AM to chat on MSN is an adventure.

2) You think travelling in a rickshaw or a CNG is even "khat-er" than speaking in Bangla.

1) You complain and cry how you have the worst life amongst all your friends because daddy won't let you party at Westin with your friends till 6 AM, just because you have your O level exam the day after. You poor thing.

By Alvi Ahmed





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