Isaiah 3:13 13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
Was with a friend yesterday who kept tripping on her flip-flop, and it reminded me of some of the “are you kidding me” trials I’ve reported. The trial we called “The Flip-Flop case” involved a man who had gone to the U-Haul store in Charleston on a rainy day, wearing flip-flops, and he tripped walking toward the counter and injured his knee, I think, pretty badly. U-Haul’s defense was that if you are wearing flip-flops, you can’t complain when you slip and fall.
I have to tell you, when they were doing their opening statements, I was thinking the same thing. Those things are dangerous, even when it’s not raining! So we spend a WEEK learning about the slippability of flip-flops. Did you know that some flip-flops have, say, a slippability rating of 10, where others only have a rating of 3 or 4? We learned about the rubber composition and how the grooves in the bottom are made, or if they have no grooves, what that does instead. I mean, court reporters learn a lot of things as we do our jobs, but this is one I could have done without. Long, slippy story short, the jury didn’t take a long time to side with U-Haul – if you wear flip-flops and slip and fall, don’t go suing anyone!
The even more stupid case was one that Judge Ranson did as one of her very first cases. I remember being so excited to do our first trial together, and I was writing realtime for her, as the first realtime courtroom in Kanawha County – I mean, we were in the big-time! Well, this case belonged in the little-time….this guy had bought a sander from Black & Decker and had gotten it kind of gunked up, so while the sander is running, he takes it and knocks it against his leg to try to undo the muck that had accumulated. And of course, it being a sander, it sanded right through his jeans and took a small hunk out of his leg. So he sues because there wasn’t a warning that said, “Don’t touch your body with this sander while running!” It reminded me of the time my grandmother wanted to iron a wrinkle out of her dress and didn’t want to have to set up the ironing board, so she just gave the dress a little swipe with the iron – and you got it! Leg also took a swipe and she got burned. I wish I could remember the lawyers who had taken these cases, but I can’t – I’m sure those lawyers lost their rear end in costs and fees and wish they’d never agreed to take those cases.
And these “are you kidding me” stories remind me of the old Indian legend that is told about a young boy who hiked a tall rugged mountain, capped with dazzling snow. When he reached the top, he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke.
“I am about to die,” said the snake. “It’s too cold for me up here, and I’m freezing. There’s no food, and I’m starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.” “No,” said the youth. “I am forewarned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me.” “Not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you.”
At last the youth tucked the snake under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled and leapt, biting him on the leg. “But you promised…” cried out the youth in pain. “You knew what I was when you picked me up,” the snake said as it slithered away. The boy knew the danger of touching the snake, yet he gave in to the temptation. The devil is so subtle in his temptations that sometimes it can seem harmless, but the results are painful.
Next time an “are you kidding me” situation comes along, resist the temptation!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.