Japanese news can be cute
From time to time there are some stories that make the national news here in Japan that mystify me.
Sometimes the stories are sad, sometimes they are strange, and other times they are down right creepy. But from time to time a story comes along that can’t be described by any word other than “cute”.
Case in point is a recent article in the Yomiuri Online about a metal light pole falling down and hitting a little girl, slightly injuring her. The little was not doing anything wrong, she just happened to be near it when it fell over.
An investigation by the city determined that the reason the pole fell over was because it had been corroded over the years by countless cats and dogs urinating on it’s base, eventually leading to structural failure. As a result, the city paid the parents of the girl a grand sum of 26, 050 yen, which is just shy of $300 at todays exchange rate, and enough to cover the hospital bill.
After the event, the city immediately inspected all 1,700 of these poles, repainting 600 of them, and replacing 18. And that was the end of it.
If this same thing happened in America, I can just imagine how it could would have turned out:
1. The parents would have sued the city for $300,349,251.97 , which breaks down as follows:
- $15,000 for the ambulance ride to the hospital.
- $27,237 for the actual medical care.
- The remaining $300,307,014.97 for “Pain and Suffering” and emotional trauma, because of the fact that the girl (and her entire extended family, including in-laws) would have to start taking a cocktail of anti-anxiety medication for the rest of their lives, the contents of which include, but are not limited to: Ativan, BuSpar, Celexa, Cymbalta, Dalmane, Desyrel, Effexor, Elavil, Klonopin, Lexapro, Librium, Norpramin, Pamelor, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Serax, Tofranil, Tranxene, Valium, Vistaril, Xanax, and Zoloft. (I know most of it read like Klingon, but those are all true drug trade names, honest!)
2. People in all other cities in America would start a class action suite against the cities they live in because this very same type of thing could happen to them.
3. Congress would immediately vote an extra BAJILLION dollars into the Stimulus Package (I can never say that with a straight face) and 90% of that money would of course be directly funneled into bonuses to bankers.
4. The remaining money from the StimulousPackage would be used to fit automated tazers to all light poles that would fire at any offending pet (or person) that decided to take a leak anywhere within a 15 foot radius of the pole. This of course would lead to more lawsuits, and so on and so forth…
I am very glad to be living here in Japan. Where the news makes no sense, but that’s OK, because neither do I.