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Published on December 3rd, 2013 | by Richard Black

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Lawnmowers, Our Legal System and My New Liver on a Motorcycle in Michigan

One of my siblings recently brought to my attention that all lawnmowers sold in the U.S. will now be plastered with a sticker warning users that the device should not be used for trimming hedges.

My first thought was that anyone cataclysmically stupid enough to use a lawnmower to trim the top of a hedge deserves to lose a finger, a foot or even a head. Ladies please note that I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that the perpetrator of this monumental act of stupidity was male.

My second thought was that the aforementioned idiot managed to posses the strength and balance to hoist a thirty pound mass of metal and whirring blades three feet above and parallel to the ground but at no point, at least presumably, thought, “Hey this might end poorly”.

My third thought was that this future organ donor managed to find an attorney, a sympathetic judge and jury and will now be solely responsible for the fact that I’ll be paying an extra $40 for a lawnmower because he or she didn’t have the common sense that God gave a grapefruit.

Is it sad that this poor misguided individual lost a toe or a hand or a set of legs in his zest for lawn care? Perhaps. Then again it might just be a great video to watch. It would be gory and unpleasant but also somewhat satisfying like watching teens skateboard off of a roof and into oncoming traffic.

Forgive me for saying so but providing the aforementioned MENSA candidate a monetary reward for an act of idiocy this great is a blatant abuse of our legal system. Coincidentally it’s also the reason Ive’ stopped watching all “news” and pop antacids like candy.

Hundreds of millions of people have been able to operate a lawnmower for almost a century without using them to trim a hedge and if they gave it a shot then most of them had the decency to keep their private moment of idiocy to themselves.

Our legal system used to be a thing of beauty, it was the first of its kind, a resource in which the injured and wronged could seek and find fair judgment. The courts still serve that purpose but lately it seems like they’ve also become a lottery ticket for any attorney or prospective plaintiff looking to slip on newly mopped floor that hasn’t been surrounded in barbed wire, warning cones and tape.

If things continue on this path I’m fairly certain we’ll all have a court appointed guardian to supervise anyone who uses something more complex than a can opener but maybe that’s just the crabby 110 year old man in me.

Fortunately I have a solution and, while the odds of it ever getting passed through Congress are about as good as getting Tyler Perry to stop making films, I’ll give it a shot.

I’ll probably never say this again but the state of Michigan has got it right. Don’t’ feel like wearing a helmet on a motorcycle? Go ahead. Society needs to be reintroduced to Darwin and in all likelihood I’m going to need a new liver within the next ten to fifteen years.

If you’re over 18 and don’t want to wear a seat belt then go with God.

In order to relieve taxpayers from the burden of dealing with hordes of carrots on wheels who don’t have health insurance I posit that anyone involved in a catastrophic accident without proper gear be ferried off to a Medicaid bed to die alone in a pool of their own urine and feces.

“Accidents” of a more mundane nature will be dealt with according to injury. The going rate for a lost toe will be $10,000 regardless of how it happened. Multiply the figure appropriately for hands and feet. Let’s keep things fair by pegging the rate for digits and limbs and internal organs to the CPI.

Death, of course, is an automatic $100,000 as anyone related to a man willful or stupid enough to use a hedge trimmer as a toothbrush deserves a hundred K for burial expenses, a few stiff drinks and a lovely evening out at the neighborhood Olive Garden.


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