In Other Words

Making It Through The Carrot Fest; Head Scratching Items

WELL I MADE IT THROUGH IT. I survived another Carrot Festival . Almost.
We finished putting together the issue that will be out today.. That in itself is a marathon of activity for our production department .
It actually takes two weeks to put together this one issue. One to gather the news and photos and the second to get it  assembled. For a little newspaper that is a big job. But we do it as a labor of love, since this is Holtville’s showcase event and our showcase edition.
We have others throughout the year, but the others don’t take quite as much effort as this one from our hometown.
Life is a lot easier since the computers came along, though. We don’t have to paste up pages, cut and trim photos or work late nights to get the job done. In fact, we even get to enjoy some of the Carrot Festival events.
I haven’t gone out and taken any photos myself at this event for a couple of years, so I decided to take a stroll down Fifth Street and snap away as the parade went by. It was encouraging and I saw lots of old, friendly faces along the way.
That’s the beauty of these events in that you get to meet a lot of people you usually don’t get to see very often.
So, chalk up my 20th Carrot Festival out of the 64 that have been held. We’ll try to make it for the 65th.
WE HAVE LOVED THE GREAT SPRING WEATHER that has been keeping us longing to be outside and helped us forget the recent cold snap. The people back east haven’t dug out yet form the great blizzard of 2011.
It does my midwest heart a lot of good to see all that snow in somebody else’s backyard.
I spent 31 years cavorting around in the white stuff and that was more than anyone should have to endure.
A lot of people actually like that, though.They see it as a changing landscape which renews itself every three months. Well, I guess you could call it that. If you don’t have to shovel your sidewalk everyday.
Or scrape the ice off the roof before it collapses. We did find the coverage a little overly dramatic. But that’s television news for you.
It was just a typical winter  day in the midwest as far as I was concerned.
It’s time again for the annual ‘Stella Awards’! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico, where she purchased the  coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That’s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy. Here are the Stella for this past year  —  2010:
*SEVENTH PLACE* Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son. Start scratching!
* SIXTH PLACE * Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps. Scratch some more…
* FIFTH PLACE * Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching.
*FOURTH PLACE* Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun. Pick a new spot to scratch, you’re getting a bald spot..
* THIRD PLACE * Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions? Only two more so ease up on the scratching…
*SECOND PLACE* Kara Dalton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000….oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure. Ok. Here we go!!
* FIRST PLACE * This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down? $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs… Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home. If you think the court system is out of control, be sure to pass this one on.


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