Keep calm and carry on

By | 6th January 2011

What is it about snowmen that turns entirely rational people (I assume they are or were rational but I suppose I could be wrong) into idiots? I mentioned recently the woman who had dialled 999 after discovering that someone had nicked her snowman [Snowman theft armless, say police, 7th December, 2010]. At the time, I thought I was the only one who wondered how you nicked a snowman as the story unfolded and  the woman got short shrift from the police for the emergency call despite insisting that the snowman had pound coins for eyes and teaspoons (teaspoons?) for arms.

And now I see there is another snowman story which almost defies belief. Apparently a bus driver lost his job after knocking down a snowman. Honestly I think all this cold weather is making us madder than normal. The snowman had been built by students on a university campus in Illinois when a bus driver veered into the wrong lane and hit the snowman. There was no suggestion that he had done it on purpose but the incident was filmed and has been posted on YouTube under the extraordinary title: Insane Bus Driver Brutally Murders Snowman.

Watch it if you dare!

Insanity in and around snowmen is obviously a serious problem in North America, but we are surely overreacting in sacking the poor bus driver. Has anyone thought to ask what the students were doing building the snowman in the road in the first place?

There is obviously something fishy going on in the US at the moment because no sooner had I heard about the snowman than my attention was caught by an item about Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Another chap going about his business has been sacked. Admittedly, David Goodman, a postman, was sacked for delivering letters in the nude which at this time of year is not really a good idea nor what most people want to see first thing in the morning. The postie said he wanted to cheer up a 21 year old woman who worked at a law firm on his round who seemed to be stressed out. He removed his clothes, laid them by the door and knocked. The police said “After the woman had let him in he could see he had upset her and immediately felt bad and stupid.” He left the office, got dressed and left, only to be arrested later. The woman said:” It was the last thing I expected on a sleepy Saturday afternoon.”

What intrigued me about the story was not so much the idea of delivering the US mail stark naked but why the woman let him into her house in the first place!! There must be more to the story than we know and I think we should be told!

At least the incident was NOT filmed and has NOT been posted on YouTube.

“Keep calm and carry on” was a poster produced by the Ministry of Information at the start of the Second World War. It was meant to instil into the population a feeling that they should “stiffen their sinews and summon up the blood” in the event of wartime disaster, difficulty or deprivation. For some reason it was hardly ever used and was only rediscovered in a second hand bookshop in Northumberland in 2000 and now the words are familiar to many in ways the original designers could not have foreseen. (I doubt that the civil servants at the Ministry of Information had planned to produce mugs and children’s clothing with the words emblazoned on them!)

There is not much which is calm about the stories of murdered snowmen or naked postmen and although it would be nice to think of Christmas and the New Year period as being periods of calm there are just too many developments out there for this to be true for lawyers.

In the next few months I will come back to some of my favourite subjects such as Outsourcing/Insourcing, Third Party litigation funding, alternative billing and the like.

Now that we are firmly into a New Year, I am  looking forward the imminent return of serious news and normal weather. In the meantime, we just have to keep calm and carry on!