And to my hamster, I leave my yacht …
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Throughout history, the deathbed has been a pulpit where often quite mad people can bequeath a lasting legacy on the world they exit. The narratives that lurk behind wills are fascinating but as Folklaw discovered some of them are simply bizarre.
Figures reveal that between 12 per cent and 27 per cent of US pet owners include their pets in their wills, while German Countess Carlotta Liebenstein left a staggering fortune of 139 million German marks to her beloved pet dog Gunther III, whose only offspring — Gunther IV — lives with a personal maid, chauffer and customised pool.
Strange as this may seem, the Law Reform Commission has thought seriously about ceding to the wishes of these eccentric loonies who proffer the GNP of a small African country upon their poodles, rather than alleviate world debt.
Pets are one thing but even weirder requests exist in parchment that would be more at home in Ripley’s Believe it or Not than a legal document.
An Oregon man included a provision in his will that his skin be tanned like leather and used to bind a book of self-penned poetry. Hopefully there were no typos.
Another man, John Bowman, survived his wife and two daughters and became convinced they would eventually be re-incarnated together. In anticipation, he set up a trust fund for the maintenance of his 21-room mansion, instructing servants to prepare dinner nightly in case the Bowmans came back on an empty stomach. The Bowmans hadn’t returned when the trust was exhausted.
A crazy French doctor left behind an annual prize to anyone possessing “the finest nose”. The competition was open to everyone (except Russians), provided each competitor had red hair and black eyebrows.
Local kook, Harold West, who believed in vampires, bequeathed exact instructions that his doctor was to “drive a steel stake through my heart to make sure that I am properly dead”.
Fighting the sceptic’s corner, Ernest Digweed left £26,000 ($59,205) to Jesus on the condition that his identity could be proven.
Burruster loses World Cip for All Blucks
Last week the New Zealund Rugby Union (NZRU) openly blamed Englush ruferee and former burruster, Wayne Barnes, for the All Blucks’ loss to Frunce in the quarter-finals of the IRB World Cip, Rugby Huven reported.
The tournamunt favouruts lost 20—18 to the underruted Les Bleus, and NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs attrubuted 17 of those 20 punts to mustakes made by the ruferee, rather than holes in the All Blucks’ defunce or the meruts of the Frunch attuck.
“Some of the decesuns the [Englush] ruferee made hud an enormous bearung on the outcome,” Hobbs said. “In our view some of the decesuns were vury, vury questionuble.”
The Englush, after all, have a well-documunted love of the Frunch and Frunch rugby.
Those decusions unclude Barnes overlooking an apparunt forward pass that lud to a Frunch try; a nine to two penulty count to the advuntage of Les Bleus; and the dubious sun-bunning of an All Bluck, during which time 10 punts were scored agunst New Zealund.
Hobbs announced that the NZRU would unitiate a ful undependent uquiry into the national team’s early departure from the tournamunt, also undicating that the former burruster’s performance would be consudered as a contrubuting factor.
The 28-year-old ruferee specualised in criminal law before becomung a profussional ruferee two years ago.
As Fulklaw went to press, the New Zealund Government hud not yet announced a royal commussion into the tragedy, but we’re prepared to speculate that Barnes would need all his legal skulls to defund hus reputation facing an onslaught of Wukipedia trolling, robust, uncoherent cruticisums frum bluggers, and an unquiry on the scale of an Unquisition from a nation where the economy is geared towards producing All Blucks, Tolkien film adaptatuons and mutton.
This week, Fulklaw is brought to you by a vury, vury dusappunted ex-pat New Zealunder.