Like a covey of anorexic Guernseys prowling the river-bottoms for fresh hyena carcass, our 209 legal information experts -- all former Senior Partners at prestigious Wall Street firms -- closely supervised by our Head Librarian Ralf - labor round-the-clock at our majestic Isles of Langerhans' command complex searching the known, unknown and alternative universes for weird, strange & rib-tickling material that will delight the Library's beloved patrons, some of which we present below.
NEW YORK, NY. (AP 1977) A man, knocked down by a car, got up uninjured, but lay back down when a helpful bystander told him to feign injury in order to collect insurance money. The car rolled forward and crushed him to death.
In the most hilarious prank since some of the Founding Fathers thought up the Bill of Rights on a drunken dare --and realizing no-one would take it seriously, snuck it through when no-one was paying attention -- the Joke Of The Month was pulled off by a bunch of lovable wacky Washington jokesters who shall remain nameless.
Realizing the American people needed a lift after an especially gloomy winter, they took a long, dull piece of legislation - The 1996 Telecommunications Act - and brightened it up with brilliantly satiric provisions that provide for up to a $250,000 fine and/or five years in prison for things like:
* Internet posting of the referral directory of a local medical society, or the Yellow Pages;
* A doctors' telemedicine consultation about a patient needing a life-saving abortion;
* Uploading or downloading medical journal articles about safe abortion techniques.
If this wasn't loony enough, the clever tricksters then snuck in other gags they knew would have everyone rolling around in uncontrollable laughter. One imposes fines and/or imprisonment for providing "indecent" material on the Net. Another criminalizes using the Net to describe "patently offensive" "sexual or excretory activities or organs." Yes, if this was a real law you might be tossed in the hoosegow for using the Net to discuss boogers, a diseased pancreas, or a runny nose!
And as icing on the cake, the devilish pranksters decided to leave terms like "indecency" and "patently offensive" undefined -- so anyone naive enough to take the joke seriously won't even know what's criminal, or how to comply!
Even the lunatics on the Library staff couldn't top that one. Great Job, Guys & Gals!!
Postscript: While it sure seems obvious that anyone not yet suffering advanced Altzheimers would see the whole deal for the farce it was -- believe it or not, an amazing number of almost sane folks apparently fell for the scam -- including the nation's leading group of comedy writers. Yep, the Supremes reviewed the law's constitutionality. (We heard that when they discovered the joke they almost upheld the whole thing, just to get the last laugh. Boy, talk about a Wild & Crazy bunch!)
And a quick look at current legislation shows the Happy Hoaxsters are going stronger than ever. There's even rumors they'll try to slip though a "War on Drugs". But come on ... convincing anyone that that could succeed is just TOO CRAZY.
Items For Those Not Easily Offended
Two lawyers were shipwrecked on a desert island for many months when a beautiful mermaid appears. One lawyer says to the other, Hey, let's f**k her. The other immediately replies, Out of what?
Lawyers sometimes tell the truth - they'll do anything to win a case. - Jeremy Bentham
A man without money needs no more fear a crowd of lawyers than a crowd of pickpockets. - R.Rinkle
Ignorance of the law excuses no man ... from practicing it. - Addison Mizner
Lawyers: persons who write a 10,000 word document and call it a brief. - Franz Kafka
A 'SUPPOSEDLY' TRUE NEWS STORY:
SALT LAKE CITY, UT. (LA Times) 'In retrospect, lighting the match was my big mistake. But I was only trying to retrieve the gerbil,' Eric Tomaszewski told bemused doctors in the Severe Burns Unit of Salt Lake City Hospital.
Tomaszewski, and his gay partner Andrew 'Kiki' Farnum, had been admitted for emergency treatment after a felching session had gone seriously wrong. 'I pushed a cardboard tube up his rectum and slipped Raggot, our gerbil, in,' he explained. 'As usual, Kiki shouted out "Armageddon,' my cue that he'd had enough. I tried to retrieve Raggot but he wouldn't come out, so I peered into the tube and struck a match, thinking the light might attract him.'
At a hushed press conference, a hospital spokesman described what happened next. 'The match ignited a pocket of intestinal gas and a flame shot out the tube, igniting Mr. Tomaszewski's hair and severely burning his face. It also set fire to the gerbil's fur and whiskers which in turn ignited a larger pocket of gas further up the intestine, propelling the rodent out like a cannonball.'
Tomaszewski suffered second degree burns and a broken nose from the impact of the gerbil, while Farnum suffered first and second degree burns to his anus and lower intestinal tract.
Various animal rights groups have filed suit in Federal District Court on Raggot's behalf alleging civil rights violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress and more.
A FEW OF OUR CRIMINAL HEROS
SPARKS, NV. (Reno Gazette) According to Sparks police, Felimone Ruiz-Perez was burglarizing a vehicle on Victorian Avenue around 3 a.m., when the ruckus awoke its owner, an 84 year-old woman, who sleepily confronted him, quite understandably causing him to panic.
Police said the terror-stricken Felimone then tried to flee the scene, but ran into the corner of a brick building, where they found him, knocked unconscious. After being treated at a Reno hospital, Felimone was booked for investigation of vehicle burglary and possession of stolen property and put in Washoe County Jail where he was reportedly asking other inmates about finding a lawyer to sue the 84 year-old woman ... and the brick building ... for unspecified damages.
We suspect that J. Edgar Hoover's clawing his way out of his grave to protect us from this desperado. Way to go amigo!
LIEGE, Belgium. (Belga) A man suspected of robbing a jewelry store said he couldn't have done it because he was busy breaking into a school at the same time. Police arrested him for breaking into the school.
PONTIAC, MI. (AP) During his trial for drug-possession, defendant Christopher Johns claimed his warrantless search was illegal, but the prosecutor argued one wasn't needed because a bulge in Christopher's jacket could have been a gun. Johns, wearing the same jacket in court, handed it for examination to the judge -- who discovered a packet of cocaine in its pocket.
BOSTON, MA. (AP) Richard Minsky, 52, was arrested attempting to run from a pay phone after 90 minutes of calling women at random, telling them he was holding loved ones at gunpoint, and that the ransom was to have sex with him.
A police spokesman said Minsky, who has been convicted of sex crimes in several states, told one woman, We're holding a gun to your boyfriend's head, and we're going to shoot him if you don't do as we tell you and to meet him at a hotel wearing her slinkiest outfit. The woman, a lesbian with no boyfriend, called police and the calls were traced to one of three pay phones at the hotel, so detectives stepped up to the other two and listened and watched as Minsky made more calls.
Minsky's been charged with three counts of attempted extortion and assault, but his attorney, Thomas Henneberry, calling the case weak, said his client could have been running to catch a train. ??