Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What a Difference a Pond Makes

Recently, I got an email with the subject line: "FW: British" The sender posed the question: "Why are British signs funnier than ours?" The answer is simple: We're too uptight over here, too lawsuit happy. Someone is always offended, insulted, ready to call their lawyer (and the media) over the slightest perceived insult. But, let's imagine, though, that these were in NYC. And what the outcome might be.

Location: McDonalds, Astoria
Defendant: 40 year old, mother of two
Allegation: sexual discrimination
Outcome: $40 million dollar settlement, McDonalds closed

Location: Financial District, NYC
Defendant: Phillip Morris
Allegation: loss of business, libel
Outcome: $1 billion dollar fine, sign removed, public apology

Location: Midtwown Manhattan
Defendant: Ex-Mrs. Toskana
Allegation: libel, defamation of character
Outcome: $10 million settlement, store bulldozed.

Location: Uptown 6 train
Defendant: 18 year old female college student
Allegation: sign is degrading to women, enforces negative female stereotypes.
Outcome: sign removed, poles removed, replaced with old-fashioned straps.

Location: Bronx Zoo
Defendant: 76 year old man
Allegation: sign is personally offensive. Claims he is "tasty."
Outcome: sign removed, zoo fined, man receives free admission for life

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