Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"The Pants Suit"

Here's a first for the Meow "bad ideas" file. Various forms of human silliness have given me reason to bestow the honor of induction into the "bad ideas" hall of fame. Frequently, the recipient is some gizmo or gadget--a gold plated barbeque, or a million dollar laptop--or maybe a hazard of some sort, like the LEGO shaped fruit snacks. Occasionally a stupid law or edict has made the grade, but this is the first time a lawsuit has been dumb enough to get the nod. This is not because many lawsuits are not worthy of the "bad ideas" label. Far, far too many are; I've just thought that since this was patently obvious there was very little point in beating a clearly dead and smelly horse. Now, however, a lawsuit has come along that has so outstripped the others in ridiculability, that I warrant it as worthy of exceptional notice. It is an outstanding achievement.

A Washington, D.C. judge is suing a dry cleaner over the loss of his pants. That in itself is not worth even seconds of your time, and I wouldn't toy with you that way. It's the details that make this suit worth at least the minute or two it'll take you to read this post. You'd be surprised at the amount of drama this trial has involved. For some reason the judge's divorce, financial trouble and even his weight gain have been part of his testimony regarding his missing apparel. (He is, of course, representing himself.) While under his own "questioning," the judge has apparently brought himself to tears over the loss of his trousers. Now don't automatically assume that these tears are unreasonable, a play for sympathy, or evidence of an unstable mind--you'd cry too, if you thought your lost pants were worth as much as this judge does. You'd cry buckets. The judge's perception of the value of his knickers? $54 million (and I'm guessing that's the garage sale price.) $54 million for a couple of yards of fabric, some thread and a zipper.

So, you tell me, which of these two people is most likely to win the crazy award: the judge who thinks his pants are worth more than the GDP of some small countries, or the presiding judge who's wasting taxpayer money by not summarily throwing this case out of court? Either way, it's a bad idea.

Emil Steiner has been live-blogging the trial.

Update: Okay, my mistake. Upon closer perusal, I see that it is not the pants that the esteemed judge considers so valuable. The dry cleaner has a sign up which says "satisfaction guaranteed," and apparently it is his satisfaction, and not his slacks, which the judge considers as meriting the 54 million dollar price tag. This changes everything, doesn't it? Well... maybe not.

Hat tip: Overlawyered, via Michelle Malkin