My morning ritual, at least when I’m on the east coast, is to get up and enjoy a cup of coffee or two while reading the local newspaper. My wife, who generally gets up earlier than do I, has already gone through the paper by the time I get to the kitchen and can be found on the other side of the kitchen table busily working on the daily crossword puzzle.
Most mornings, as I peruse the newspaper, very little jumps out at me that really captures my attention. But this morning, there were two blurbs that caught my eye. You know, the kind of stories that you read and then wonder, what were they thinking?
The first such story was about a New Hampshire student who is suing his teacher and school. I recall reading, perhaps six months ago, about a high school student who decided to attach electrical clamps to his nipples. Then another student plugged in the electrical cord and guess what happened? The kid with the clamps attached to his nipples received a rather severe electrical shock, nearly electrocuting himself. Go figure!
But now this jackass and his parents, who apparently are jackasses as well, have decided to turn the kid’s stupidity into an opportunity to cash in. They are suing the school, his teacher, and the city. They’re claiming that the kid suffered brain damage from the incident. Hey, based upon what he did, I think this kid was brain damaged before the incident. Seriously, what was this kid thinking would happen when they plugged the cord leading to the electrodes that were attached to his nipples into the electrical outlet? Of course, being a teenage boy, he probably wasn’t thinking at all.
The suit alleges that the teacher of the electrical trades class did not warn his students of the dangers of placing electrical clamps on their nipples and then plugging in the cords. How could this teacher not have anticipated that his students would do that? What high school boy could possibly resist attaching electrodes to body parts (nipples, testicles) and then turning on the juice?
It turns out that the electricity flowing into this kid’s body caused his heart to stop; it had to be restarted by paramedics using a defibrillator. He was then taken to Mass General Hospital, where doctors drilled a hole in his head to check for potential swelling of the brain.
Hey, kid, you know what they say. Play with fire, get burned. Play with electricity, get shocked. Oh, and the corollary seems to be find a shyster lawyer, get paid.
The other story that caught my eye occurred on the opposite side of the country, in California. Seems that there was this doctor who was involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship with a man and she decided to try to turn it on again by using that tried and true method for improving a failing relationship: breaking into his home.
Unfortunately her boyfriend wasn’t being very cooperative. While she was trying to break into his house with a shovel, he was fleeing, unnoticed by her, from another exit in order, he later said, “to avoid a confrontation” with her. He apparently chose flight over fight.
Having failed to break into the house using a shovel, the determined, love-sick doctor climbed a ladder to the roof, removed the chimney cap, and slid feet first down the flue. What was she thinking? Did she figure that if jolly, old St. Nicholas could slither down myriad chimneys on Christmas Eve, surely she could manage to get down just one chimney on a warm summer night? Was she looking forward to a plate of cookies and a glass of milk awaiting her when she reached the bottom?
Sadly, things didn’t quite work out for her. She got wedged in the flue a few feet above the fireplace opening and there she died. Her body was not discovered until four days later, when a house-sitter noticed a stench and fluids emanating from the fireplace.
Of course, this tragic story did get me to wondering...how does Santa do it?
So there you have it, folks. Just when you think that all of these stories about the demise of printed newspapers are true, your local paper delivers to your kitchen table a story about an 18 year-old high school student who nearly electrocutes himself and then, having barely survived, decides to capitalize on his stupidity by suing everyone he can think of.
And in the same newspaper on the same day, you read about a doctor...seemingly a very successful, highly regarded, 49 year-old internist...who tries to salvage her relationship with her boyfriend by breaking into his house using a Santa Claus-like maneuver, and then gets stuck in the chimney’s flue, and dies.
Seriously, where else but in your local, daily newspaper can you learn of such fascinating events?