“A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one,” said Rita Mae Brown. To which respond, “False. Unless peacefulness is a code word for snot rags, tires of belly fat, and Wrinkly Old Baggy Face Syndrome.” Oh, and here’s some explanation.
A California woman recently sued the manufacturers of Olay Regenerist anti-aging products claiming the company boasted “ill-gotten gains” and consisted of “snake-oil salesmen”. That’s some legal mumbo-jumbo for “I spent my tax refund on serum instead of groceries. It didn’t fix my face, and I am about starving!”. This court case surprises me for a number of reasons, namely that I was almost positive snake-oil was the same thing as Botox and that the American customer can be so foolish. We spend our money with the quiet knowledge that there is no miracle product and the desperate hope that (despite all science and reason) we will rub some lotion on our jiggly necks and wake up looking three feet taller, 100 pounds thinner, and with the fine, young skin of an infant. It worked for the chick on the commercial, right?
Another West Coast hula hoop took frivolous law suits to a whole new level of ridiculous. A California woman (not the droopy jowls chick, but maybe her cousin?) stuck it to McDonald’s fast food corporation for making her kids fat. As the children’s parent, she felt a responsibility to put those Big Mac shuffling villains in their place. As the children’s parent, she was upset- nay! outraged!- that McDonald’s put toys for kids in the Happy Meals…for kids. This made the children beg for the toys. Why not just go ahead and slip some Crack in the poor tots’ juice boxes, McJerks? As the children’s parent, she was forced to give her kids what they so desperately wanted, a 5-cent plastic spy watch and juvenile diabetes. As the fuming mother (who I hope is a fitness instructor for irony’s sake) puts it McDonald’s is “getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat”. It’s gloriously salty child abuse is what it is. When asked why she didn’t just tell her kids no or maybe even not load, safety buckle, and drive her children to McWhereHealthyGoesToDie, the plaintiff nearly choked on her super-sized chocolate McShake. She agreed to settle quietly out of court. The reported settlement consisted of a lifetime supply of Quarter Pounders, McNuggets, and an assortment of dipping sauces.
All of this is to say that people are dumb. Also, I am people. That’s why I’m wearing my sternest mom scowl, packing a drowsy toddler in my car, and high-tailing it to the local Chuck E. Cheese.
Plaintiff, Complaintiffing: “We came to this here establishment because your commercial said this is where my kid could be a kid. Also it was raining and the kid was getting cabin-fever-ish and trying to expend energy by running through walls. I digress. I’m here to sue your pants off”.
15-year-old Employee: “Um? So y’all like want to play? We’ve got a forty coins for four bucks promo going on. Or not. Whatever.”
Still Complaintiffing: “No. I need you to tell me what form I need to fill out to sue you…and that stupid mascot mouse… and your boss… and your mother. Forty for four bucks, huh? That is really a good deal. Wait. No! Suing. You.”
15-year-old-Employee’s 16-year-old Boss: “So, there’s a problem, ma’am? Ma’am? Ma’am! You can’t rig the machines to accept pennies. That’s in the company handbook. Weren’t you here to sue us?”
Plaintiff, breaking Skee Ball records and snatching up dem tickets: “Crap. Yes. I came here because my kid wanted to be a kid and instead he got a funky nose & throat funk, gave me the funky nose & throat funk, and ruined our lives. So our rainy day outing cost me $50 worth of vapor rub and three days of playing outside in the now sunny weather. This is America! Injustice! Is that the new Guitar Hero? Oh snap! I can slay some Zepplin. Wait. Injustice! “
Chuck E. Cheese, who stumbled in late for his shift smelling a little like whiskey: “Chick. On any given day about a million kids rub their nasty kid hands on every square inch of this place. I once saw a four-year-old lick every coin slot to every game. His big brother barfed pizza and grape soda somewhere around where you’re standing now, I take a bath in bleach every night, and I get paid like a sweatshop orphan to dress like a rodent in a baseball cap. You actually paid to come here. If dumb were a crime…”
I wouldn’t hear the rest of what he had to say. The 12-year-old Corporate Manager would waddle over, tell Chuck to go home until he was sober, and give me a free bag of tokens and complimentary glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls from the prize counter just to shut up already. Obviously I would oblige. Those balls would easily cost a whopping 1,300 points, and I have some unfinished business with the tricky Whack-A-Mole who cheated me out of victory just a few short days ago.
It seems that the kiddy entertainment megaplex will not be changing its slogan any time soon. It also seems that logic would’ve told me to take one look at those snot-splattered, techni-colored games and run to the sanitized sanctuary known as Anywhere Else On Earth. We often know a decision is foolish, but make a choice in hopes that reason will stop being so reasonable. I got pregnant and was shocked, terrified, and ready to punch the authors of What To Expect When You’re Expecting when the kid came out of my actual nether regions. Sure, I skipped a few chapters, but the chapter I did read was about packing extra slippers in your hospital bag. I could’ve used the heads up (or heads down… so things don’t get too breech-y). It’s hard not to get angry when a coffee cup only mildly states “CONTENTS HOT”. You take a swig and all skin from your inner and outer face is burned to ash. Nowhere on that dinky cup did anyone think to warn “CONTENTS SUPER HOT (AS IN HOT ENOUGH TO MELT YOUR TONGUE INTO YOUR GUMS)”. I once tripped on a slick staircase because I was texting while walking, but mostly because someone neglected to put the yellow CUIDADO sign in my way. I called to complain and my realtor had the nerve to tell me that no one is legally responsible for warning me when the stairs to my own house are wet with nature’s rain. Classic. Blame the victim.
This is America, people! This is the land of hopes and dreams threatened daily when the terrorist known as Common Sense swoops in to interrupt our freedom. With a snot-clogged voice and pockets full of tickets I can’t wait to cash in at that grubby prize case, I preach to thy countrymen: Go forth and do dumb (while knowing better)!
You gotta fight for your right to be foolish.
When have you blamed The Man (or Mouse, as it were) for something you should’ve seen coming?