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A Nation of Law(yer)s

Some time ago, Sophia Vergara, star of the ABC sitcom Modern Family, was sued by her eggs. No, I’m not kidding. I will leave any jokes about whether they were poached, scrambled or over easy to others. But it certainly highlighted that anything has standing to sue in the United States these days. Not to be outdone, the exchange below emphasizes more legal nonsense. Okay, it’s not completely true, but is it that far from reality?

Lawrence Overnaugh: Mr. Mang, my name is Lawrence Overnaugh, of the law firm Bend-Overnaugh and Associates. How are you this afternoon?

Me: Um…fine.

Overnaugh: Our law firm believes in being proactive in giving our targets, er, defendants a heads up when they are about to be hit with a class action lawsuit. And you, sir, are being so alerted.

Me: Lawsuit? You’re joking. Why are you filing a class action lawsuit against me? What did I do?

Overnaugh: Don’t play coy, Mr. Mang. The class action plaintiffs in this case are your internal organs. Your spleen is acting as lead plaintiff, but your pancreas isn’t real happy either.

Me: This is silly. In fact, it’s too silly to even be called silly. I’m reasonably sure that neither my spleen or pancreas, or even my gallbladder has any standing to sue me. It’s my body; don’t I have control over my own body? Where’s Planned Parenthood?

Overnaugh: This is the 21st Century and anyone or anything can sue any other thing. That’s what makes this country great. And why are you bringing up Planned Parenthood? I don’t think you’re pregnant, but if you are, you’ve got a lot bigger problem than a pissed off pancreas.

Me: How could my internal organs even contact you without me even knowing? Is this some kind of a scam?

Overnaugh: We’re attorneys, not scam artists.

Me: There’s a difference?

Overnaugh: Our law firm does not do sarcasm, Mr. Mang. Now, we understand you watch a lot of Fox News.

Me: Yeah, so.

Overnaugh: Our law firm advertises a lot on Fox News. Your internal organs heard our ads and reached out to us.

Me: Great, they couldn’t have paid attention to a Chuck Woolery ad instead and just ordered one of those Willow things? Or they could have purchased some gold coins. Instead they want to sue me? What’s this all about? And don’t they work for me? I’m kind of the boss of them. I don’t even know what a spleen does.

Overnaugh: Now you’re just being insulting. The spleen is responsible for storing and purifying red blood cells. Anybody who took high school biology should know that.

Me: My biology teacher was the wrestling coach. He knew less about biology than my hamster.

What did I ever do to them? I get a physical every year. My doctor said everything was in good shape.

Overnaugh: You’re kidding, right? I’ve gotten glimpse of your diet. Two words, Mr, Mang; Little Debbies. If you had just a little concern about your diet this lawsuit may not have been necessary. For God’s sake, eat a salad once in a while.

Me: Just what I need, a food nanny. And I eat plenty of salads. I’ll bet you don’t kale and cauliflower. Nobody eats kale, regardless of what the health magazines say. Kale is just a weed with a good publicist.

Overnaugh: All I can tell you is that your body parts aren’t happy and decided to take action.

Me: All of my body parts? Every one of them?

Overnaugh: Most of them. To be fair, your elbow did not cooperate.

Me: That doesn’t surprise me, my elbow hasn’t cooperated with me for years.

Hey, I just thought of something. If I lose this bogus class action lawsuit, wouldn’t the money just come to me anyway? I mean, it’s not like my body parts have their own checking accounts.

Overnaugh: Well, sure – after we take our forty percent cut of any award.

Me: How does that make any sense? That sounds like extortion to me and extortion is against the law. Aren’t we a nation of laws?

Overnaugh: No, Mr. Mang, we are a nation of lawyers. Laws mean only what we tell you they mean. We just went through eight years of the Obama administration, if you paid any attention at all, you should have figured that out.

Me: Yeah, I got that, but still we’ve got the Constitution. I don’t think this is what James Madison had in mind. And Jefferson never said all spleens are created equal. That would have been dumb.

Ovrnaugh: You’re funny, Mr. Mang. A regular comedian, you are.

Me: With Trump as president I’m hoping the Republicans can finally push through some type of tort reform and get rid of this kind of shakedown.

Overnaugh: Don’t be silly, Trump has always depended heavily on lawyers. If it weren’t for his lawyers, he’d be stuck developing condos in Flushing.

Me: I’m not at all happy about this coup by my body parts. I hate to tell you, but when I go, so do they. I mean, if United Airlines demands I give up my seat, my spleen doesn’t get to refuse, even if it tries to team up with my liver. There won’t be any videos of it being dragged out of the plane kicking and screaming.

Overnaugh: Oh, your liver. Talk about crotchety. You never heard such complaining!

Mr. Mang, you talk as if science has anything to do with this. This is the dawn of a new era where science means nothing. It’s only how one feels that matters. You should know that.

Me: Yes, and I feel like my body parts ought to shut up, do their jobs and stop being difficult.

Overnaugh: You’re a fascist, Mr. Mang. See you in court.

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