Never in Australia
The top selling toy in Venezuela this Christmas was an action doll figure of President Hugo Chavez. Different versions of the toy include one in combat fatigues, another sporting a jaunty red beret and yet another which reads one of Chavez’s anti-American speeches. A spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading toy shops told Estado de Sao Paulo the Hugo Chavez figures had outsold Spiderman, Superman and every other toy for the year. “Our president really is our favourite hero,” the spokesperson said.Folklaw can’t help but wonder if the president himself was buying up the dolls and sending them in multitudes to his relatives and minions. While such a situation would never arise in Australia, we can’t help but picture a short, bushy eye-browed John Howard doll dressed in anything but combat fatigues, with a string on its back to trigger the phrase “I can’t comment on that. I will have to wait to hear what George Bush says and then agree with him unequivocally”. Fun for all the family.
Let’s hope he’s no dope
Brisbane’s The Courier Mail reported last week that a Queensland judge had elaborated on a sentence of 50 hours community service for a husband and wife convicted of growing cannabis on their property for occasional recreational use. Police were satisfied the couple was not planning to sell the drug to other parties, but the judge was not convinced that was excuse enough.
As well as the community service sentence, he also handed down a requirement for the husband to write a 3,000-word essay on the link between cannabis abuse and schizophrenia. He apparently also took into account the links between marijuana use and lack of motivation — the judge set a deadline of 3 April 2006.
Microsoft has lodged an application to dismiss a plaintiff’s claim as part of a class action relating to faulty Xbox 360s. Plaintiff Robert E Byer’s complaint seems to hinge solely on the fact that there are known to be faulty Xbox 360s. Nowhere in his claim does he mention that his console was purchased in November 2005, which means it is still covered by a 90-day warranty under which Microsoft will repair or replace the console at no cost, or issue a refund. Nor does he allege that the console has actually malfunctioned.
Neither does he make an accusation that he has tried to contact anyone at Microsoft about the assumed fault, or that Microsoft has refused to honour the warranty. Sounds like an ‘unwarranted’ claim to us. A hearing will take place on January 10.
The infamous cinnamon bun that supposedly bears the likeness of Mother Teresa has been stolen from the Bongo Java coffee shop in Nashville, Tennessee. The bun had been preserved and placed in a glass case in the shop, where it was “discovered” by a customer in 1996.
BBC Online reported that the shop had then sold T-shirts, prayer cards and mugs with the bun’s image, until Mother Teresa herself wrote a letter requesting that the sales cease, before her death in 1997. Apparently the thief only targeted the bun and it is feared that it has been taken by someone keen to destroy it. Folklaw would be more concerned if they were setting up a shrine to it. It is, after all, a cinnamon bun.
Casino out of aces
A German casino has been ordered to pay damages to two women, whose husbands gambled away their savings on the premises. Germany’s Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe heard how the two gambling addicts had written to the casino and stated they should be thrown out if they were ever spotted there. But the casino took no action when the pair turned up, headed to the slot machines and lost $15,800 between them.
The court ruled the casino should have tried to stop the men gambling and ruled in favour of the women, with the amount of damages to be set at a later date.
Quote of the day
At a recent meeting with a law firm partner, who will remain unnamed, a Folklaw reporter was amused to hear the said partner proclaim: “The hardest thing about practising the law is getting the law degree”. Indeed!
Going for broke
Two armed robbers would have received a nasty surprise when they had a chance to inspect their loot, after holding up a money courier on a road in Gronau, Germany. Rather than taking his suitcase full of cash, they made off with his first aid kit. This was after they had gone to the trouble of pursuing him at high speed and forcing him to pull over.
They forced the boot open and fled with the case, but had obviously not taken the time to check with their victim, or look for themselves, at its contents. “If there was an award for the dumbest crooks they would certainly be in the running,” police spokesman Johann Steinlitz said. The fact that they did not get what they are after, does not mean they are not still being pursued for armed robbery and endangering lives. The courier was not harmed in the incident.