Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Bonfire of the Vagaries

Okay, Witty-ville is where I'm from and it's where I'm comfortable. We have the Snark Bar where I drink my Bacardi & Coke. That's where I laugh and write the good stuff. Then I just walk downstreet to The Soul-in-the-Wall to have my Southern Pecan decaf with soy milk and make the other half of my brain say, "Aaaaah" and write my poetry. Kidding, it's all done right here in the Wanderlust Room on Banter Island. Pa-dum-pum, ching!

I'm in the midst of a booger-flavored gobstopper of a personal injury lawsuit and I get these boilerplate questions I have to answer called "Interrogatories." (That's French for "Cest wat lur fuk?") I'm sorry to say I cranked out this offal in my before life as a legal secretary. Only now I'm looking on them with fresh eyes and see how blatantly ignorant they are. Here's a fine example:
"State whether you have been convicted within the past 14 years of a crime which was either (a) punishable by death or ..."
My smart ass answer was "Yes, I was executed." Would I be filing suit if I were dead?

To one of the other questions about any injuries I've sustained over the last ten years prior to accident, I am forced to answer, "stepped on a tack; had to have a tetanus shot," because that IS my only answer.

Actually, I was getting ready to step into the tanning booth at my hairdresser's salon and stepped onto a large upholstery tack that had dislodged from somewhere. I felt this sharp pain in my big toe i.e., Old Tom Bumble. (For those of you without Yankee parents, the lineup goes Achey Pea, Penny Rue, Rudy Whistle, Mary Tossle and Old Tom Bumble). I lifted up my foot and thought I'd stepped on glass, but it was the shiny head of this GIANT tack, smack up against the bottom of my toe. After pulling for what seemed like an eternity, it finally dislodged with a popping sound. Holy Mother of Goog! But, being a Yankee myself, I tanned anyway, standing my gusher toe on a paper towel, and told the gals about it before I left.

Here's another beauty:
Set forth in full the substance of any admission by a party or by any alleged agent of a party, and include within your answer the name of the person making each such admission, the date and time of the admission and the names and addresses of all persons present at the time of the admission.
You know what the standard answer is to this one? F--k off. No really. Only they say it like this: "Plaintiff is without knowledge or information sufficient, just f--k off!" See I told you.

Interrogatories by their very nature are designed to make the other side just give up and fork over whatever it is the other wants: the money, the truth, the secret treasure map, etc. I've seen these documents contain hundreds of pointless and horrifying questions all designed to humiliate and wear down the opposing party. The really nasty lawsuits ask for personal information the likes of which you'd see on Jerry Springer, and even he'd blush.

Someday, it will all be an expensive nightmare, I mean, memory. I'll still limp, predict the weather with my kneecap, and hate driving on icy roads. But "cest wat lur fuk?"

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