Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006

Make My Day

by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
Syracuse, Indiana

SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- You've got to love the Scottish people. Not only do the men wear kilts without embarrassment (and threaten to beat the haggis out of anyone who laughs at them), but the Scottish national instrument - the bagpipes - were originally used in wartime to frighten opposing soldiers.

So the Scots just don't take crap from anyone.

Happily, this attitude can also be found in its legal system.

Sheriff Pamela Brown threw out the lawsuit of Jack Scollay of Aberdeen, Scotland. A sheriff is a trial judge in the Scottish legal system, and not a gun-toting lawman from the American West, as I originally assumed.

Speed Bump Scollay - as I now call him - sued Fat Kwai Cheung, a partially-blind driver, after Cheung struck Scollay with his car three years ago. Scollay claimed Cheung was negligent because he didn't see Scollay. He sued for 20,000 (U.S.$32,704).

It turns out Scollay was lying down in the street at the time.

According to a June 25 story in The Scottish Daily Record (appropriately headlined "Road Idiot Sues"), Scollay had been arguing with his girlfriend Nicola Todd that fateful night. Scollay, who was 18 and drunk, decided that he would lie down in the road. Unfortunately, he picked Great Northern Road, which is a very busy street in Aberdeen.

"That'll show her," he may have thought to himself, deciding that the best way to win the argument was to risk being run over by a one-and-a-half ton vehicle.

I have called myself a Guy with a capital 'G' for many years, and participated in many Guy activities. But even so, I can't understand why when Guys argue with their significant others, their maturity level drops to that of a three-year-old. Not me, of course. I participate in reasoned, well thought out, and logical debates. I mean those other Guys.

Drunk Guy's long-suffering wife: This is the fifth night in a row you've come home late. You left the door open two nights ago, so now the house is filled with mosquitoes, and the air conditioning bill is $400.

Drunk Guy: Yeah? Well, your makeup is expensive!

Drunk Guy's long-suffering wife: What does that have to do with anything?

Drunk Guy: That's it, I'm gonna lie down in the street!

No one knows why, but despite Speed Bump Scollay's idiocy and stubbornness, Nicola Todd still tried to warn him about the oncoming car. But convinced that he was right, Scollay refused to move. So Todd jumped up and down to warn Cheung about the "dip in the road." She should have just jumped up and down on Scollay instead.

According to the Daily Record, Todd then jumped onto the sidewalk which somehow blocked Cheung's view of Scollay. At the same time, Scollay may have realized something was wrong, because he was getting up at that moment. That's when Cheung's car struck him at 30 miles per hour, resulting in Scollay's severe injuries.

Cheung, who was 65 at the time of the accident, has been blind in one eye since he was 12. So Speed Bump may have figured this would be a quick and easy way to make 20,000 Pounds. But Cheung has been driving for 40 years without a single accident, so the only thing left to blame it on is Speed Bump's drunken stupidity.

Unlike our own legal system, the Scottish legal system isn't running rampant with morons filing stupid lawsuits. So Sheriff Pamela Brown did something that would shock most American legal watchers: She threw the case out, and said Scollay had been reckless. She also said that although Scollay was under the influence of alcohol, "... {H]e knew what he was doing."

Scollay agreed in court that he had been stupid, but later said he may actually appeal the ruling. So what sort of appeal could he actually make?

Speed Bump Scollay: M'Lud, I may have been stupid three years ago, but I'm much better now, and I believe you were mistaken when you dismissed my case. Would you please reconsider allowing my lawsuit to go forward?

Sheriff Brown: Them's fightin' words, varmint! Go fer yer guns!

Actually, if there is any appeal, we can all hope the new Sheriff agrees with Sheriff Brown's previous decision: That Speed Bump Scollay is an idiot who should be thankful he's not dead, rather than blaming someone else because he laid down in front of a moving car.

And maybe next time Fat Kwai Cheung will drive a little faster.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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