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Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Writer's Life 12/22 - Suits, Waivers & Iron

Here are the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2016 according to, edited by yours truly: 10. It took $25 million dollars and 100 lawyers for a Minnesota company to beat overzealous federal prosecutors in court. The Feds’ claimed products were sold without proper government approval. The jury disagreed. 9. Mom and Son Sue Over SAT Typo that Gave Students Extra Test Time. (How is this not #1?) 8. For 50 years University of Nebraska football fans have celebrated touchdowns by releasing scores of red balloons. Although they are biodegradable, one man’s lawsuit claims they threaten the health and safety of wildlife. 7. A California woman claimed instruction, equipment and music caused her to fall off an exercise bicycle. The still-moving pedals then banged into her ankle. 6. How does a $40 printer on Craigslist turn into a $30,000 nightmare? When the buyer sues. The printer was broken, he claimed. Six years after the original sale, the case is ongoing, making it the most expensive printer ever. 5. MasterCard has raised more than $30 million for cancer research, which is too much for one card member, who sued the company for continuing the fund-raising after the original $4 million dollar goal was met. 4. A British photographer used his camera for a series of popular monkey selfies. Animal rights activists sued on behalf of the monkey, claiming the primate—not the photographer—owns the copyright. In 2016 a court ruling allowed the lawsuit to continue. (Maybe this one should be #1.) 3. Walking-while-texting is common. Now it has turned into a payday for a Georgia woman, who plowed into a ladder, causing her phone to hit her forehead. She’s now $161,000 richer. (These are getting too tough to call.) 2. A California woman claimed Fresh, Incorporated conned consumers into thinking there was more Sugar Lip Treatment in the tube. The case was thrown out. 1. Starbucks was hit by two class action suits over how much java is in their cups. One says there’s a quarter inch too much steamed milk instead of coffee. Another says there’s too much ice in the iced coffee. (The monkey gets my vote.)

David Rollins is having an interesting off-season. The 27-year-old pitcher was a member of the Mariners when on Nov. 18 he was claimed on waivers by the Cubs. Four days later Texas grabbed him on waivers from Chicago. His career with the Rangers lasted nine days. On the 10th day Philadelphia made its move, claiming him. On his 19th day as a Phillie, Rollins was claimed once again, going back to the Rangers - four teams in 33 days! He spent most of last season at Triple-A, where he posted a 3.77 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. Over the past two seasons he’s pitched 34 1/3 innings in the majors, compiling a 7.60 ERA. Let's put it into the perspective of the average Joe - we should all have such a problem.

There's a new iron man in the NHL, left-wing Andrew Cogliano. He has played in 738 straight games since he entered the league, 328 for the Edmonton Oilers, 410 for the Anaheim Ducks, amazing given the rigors of pro hockey. He moves up to fifth all-time in the category. Given his name, I'm assuming he's of Italian descent, at least on one side. Kudos, goombah.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought wares today at the floating book shop. Matt, 75, an entrepreneur who owns a pizzeria and a cigar bar in Philly, stopped by. He has an offer from NYC for a job as a deputy commissioner, starting salary $160,000. I sense it's too good for him to pass up. Alexander E. Poet also visited and said that Waj, who runs the gyro truck at the juncture where Avenue Z meets Sheepshead Bay Road, was robbed at gunpoint yesterday. It must have happened after I stopped by for my Wednesday chicken plate. May the bastard who did it spend many days in jail. Kudos to the gentleman who bought two works of non-fiction to read during his hiatus from work on his second Master's, this time in Engineering. The most remarkable thing about it is that, judging by his looks, he's at least 60. Finally, happy birthday to Barry Spunt, author of Heroin and Music in NYC, who's giving his age as the Jack-Benny-like 39, which is at least a decade off.
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