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August 20th, 2017

Insight

Time to reconsider the value of stupid lawsuits

John Kass

By John Kass

Published May 6, 2016

After wasting years of my life despising frivolous lawsuits, the $5 million suit against Starbucks had a profound effect upon me.

Stacy Pincus, an Illinois woman, argues that Starbucks puts too much ice and not enough latte in her iced latte, and now, the poor woman is being mocked by fools.

But don't they get it? She might win and pick up real cash!

Henceforth, consider me Mr. Stupid Lawsuits.

Because what America really needs -- besides an army of blood-sucking lawyers eager to clog the courts with stupid lawsuits -- is a list of stupid grievances that aren't really so stupid if I can make a buck from them.

Call them indignities if you will, or mortifications, agita-producers -- people or products -- that we can turn into a nice pile of moolah.

Like makers of potato chips with the broken pieces at the bottom. Probably 47 percent of the bag is air, maybe 42 percent. And 35 percent is broken crumbs. I'm suing.

Or what of those people who get into the "15 items or less" line at the supermarket with 23 items in their cart? Have you ever seen one of these time thieves kicked out of line and humiliated by the cashier? Of course you haven't.

So I want a million dollars.

Reader Madeline Wirtz Yonker wants to sue the makers of relaxing bath oil beads.

"How about 'Calgon Take Me Away,'" Yonker said on Facebook. "I'm still here and waiting."

Or what about those people who ride up the escalator on the left side and just stand there like morons?

It's not that I'd trot up the left side. I'm happy just standing, without exertion. But what if you wanted to? They're denying us the opportunity. And that's worth money.

Or those professional sports leagues that refuse to sign slow, short, unathletic white guys to contracts in the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and other sports.

Check your privilege, sports leagues! How dare you discriminate against the people who buy lots of tickets? It hurts their feelings.

Or, when a two-lane highway merges into one lane, and instead of moving over right away, there are always a few jerks who cut around, then merge back in at the last second, causing much aggravation.

"Getting a few French fries mixed in with your onion rings order," said a colleague. "Doughnut frosting that sticks to the wrapping; inaccurate and embarrassing fortune cookie messages."

And, he added, "bra straps that slip off your shoulder (not mine, of course)."

That's got to be worth a couple of million right there. But just to make sure, I asked my wife.

"The bra straps? Women just hate it when that happens," she said.

So pull out your woman cards, and your man cards (if that's not yet a federal crime), or your whatever cards if you're not sure, and let's get cracking so I can file lawsuits.

For example. A few years ago, I tried that diet supplement now being hawked by Marie Osmond. Or maybe it was another one hawked by Dan Marino. But it didn't work, perhaps because I also like Polish sausage and fries.

The main thing is that I don't look anything like Marie Osmond or Dan Marino. So I'm suing, damn them.

Reader D. Peter Maus wants to sue General Mills, the maker of Wheaties.

"I've been eating their cereal for decades, and still don't look like Caitlyn Jenner"

And, he thinks we could get some cash out of Hollywood.

"I think we should sue Paramount," Maus said. "If Star Trek really sent 'Enterprise' 'where no man has gone before ...' how were there cameras already in place to take the shots of 'Enterprise' streaking by?"

Lucy Pappas Kline wants to sue a lingerie company that employs gorgeous but somewhat dehydrated supermodels in skimpy garments.

"Victoria's Secret," said Kline. "Despite wearing their uncomfortable lingerie I am still not sprouting wings!"

"Weather forecasters!" said John Jacoby. "They are right less than 35 percent of the time on forecasts of more than 48 hours out yet they act like they can actually predict the future."

Yes, some weather forecasters deserve a public whipping, but I also want to sue John Jacoby for pulling that 35 percent figure out of the air, so that it landed in my column.

Why do people use "35 percent" all the time or "42 percent" or "47 percent" when they mean "less than half?" It aggravates me. You will hear from my lawyers, Jacoby!

Paul Mitchell wants to sue the network broadcasting the show "Supergirl."

"For running Viagra commercials during episodes of 'Supergirl,' which I watch with my 12-year-old daughter," says Mitchell. "Can it be true that men who need Viagra are the target audience for 'Supergirl'"?

That's a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a moutza too.

"I'd sue the airlines for shrinking the seats and jamming people into cabins like sardines," says Ed Villarreal. "Oh and the TSA for treating you (us) like cattle and putting their hands on your privates."

Happily, TSA has stayed away from my safe space, but then I don't fly much.

"How about suing those who refuse to sue?" asked Eddie Matsuoka. "Their integrity is making the rest of us look bad."

We'll sue them, too, Eddie. We'll sue them until we break them and transform them into piles of quivering goo.

Isn't that what lawyers are for?

Comment by clicking here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune who also hosts a radio show on WLS-AM.

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