I guess I’m going to have to sue myself. In this litigious society I have few options left. Instead of understanding and forgiveness (some of the positive motivations that religions have encouraged) our culture is controlled by those parsing out the finest particles of the law, seeking violations, and making somebody else pay for their mistakes. Money makes everything better. It is like the new God. I have to sue someone for this coffee I spilled on myself.
You see, I’m an early riser. I’m not really a coffee addict—I have a cup first thing in the morning, something I’ve been doing since college, and that’s generally it. Still, that first jolt is helpful in the waking process. I shlep around in my Edinburgh University sweatshirt for a pajama top. I like to be reminded of my post-graduate days in Scotland, and I appreciate the irony that my PhD never got me anything but this comfy shirt. This morning, laptop humming on my, well, lap, I baubled my coffee and spilled it all down my Edinburgh sweatshirt. It seared my skin, but I couldn’t jump up because of the laptop and any sudden moves would only slosh more of the hot liquid onto my burning chest. My mind immediately went to Liebeck v. McDonald’s, where the fast food giant was sued for selling hot coffee. I don’t know about you, but I’d almost rather suffer a burn than to drink tepid coffee. But somebody has to be sued, right? The question is: whom? Mr. Coffee for making my morning cup so hot? JSW for making my Edinburgh sweatshirt so absorbent? The unnamed pottery house in England that made the mug that wobbled in my sleepy fingers? Or maybe God for making the morning so early? If there’s anyone to blame, it’s me. Oops—I’ve admitted culpability, so I’ll have to sue myself.
For a society in love with the Bible, we’re far bigger on lawyers than forgiveness. Of course, the Bible is a pretty legalistic book. You can’t get very far in the Pentateuch without figuring that out. Only with the Bible it often isn’t a matter of suing; the stakes are considerably higher. Disrespecting parents can get you the death penalty, and mixing plant and animal fibers can get you expelled. Thumbing through my concordance I don’t see anything about coffee. I do see that I might be unclean for a day, but that’s okay because the Sabbath’s nigh. In any case, I’m too busy dreaming about what I’m going to do with all of that money.