February 05, 2005

The Dumbest Thing We've Heard in Months

A COLORADO WOMAN has won $871.70 in small claims court from two of her teenaged neighbors after the girls -- wait for it -- left cookies on her doorstep.

The Denver Post reveals the story in its entirety. This story, by the by, would be downright hilarious if the facts therein weren't God's honest truth. We note the following excerpts from the story as prima facie evidence of that:

Inside one of the nine scattered rural homes south of Durango that got cookies that night, a 49-year-old woman became so terrified by the knocks on her door around 10:30 p.m. that she called the sheriff's department. Deputies determined that no crime had been committed.

But Wanita Renea Young ended up in the hospital emergency room the next day after suffering a severe anxiety attack she thought might be a heart attack.

A Durango judge Thursday awarded Young almost $900 to recoup her medical bills. She received nothing for pain and suffering.

"The victory wasn't sweet," Young said Thursday afternoon. "I'm not gloating about it. I just hope the girls learned a lesson."

Well, we're sure they did -- it doesn't pay to do nice things for one's neighbor, if said neighbor is a wretched damnfool moron so clueless she can't discern the difference between an anxiety attack and a heart attack. An anxiety attack does, as Ms Young related in the story, include symptoms like an upset stomach and shaking. Symptoms of a coronary, on the other hand, include severe pain in the chest and elsewhere in the upper torso, shortness of breath, nausea, and death. If one is too dim to discern between one and the other, one ought not sue for damages because of this.

Ms Young -- who also had the gall to claim following the case that the girls showed "very poor judgment" -- also said she thought the girls ought not have been running to and fro in the dark. Her exact words were: "Something bad could have happened to them."

Well, something bad did happen -- they got sued by their crank neighbor. By the by, just as further evidence that Ms Young ain't the brightest bulb in the lamp store, consider Ms Young's stellar reasoning during and following the cookie-leaving incident:

But Young, home with her own 18-year-old daughter and her elderly mother, said she saw shadowy figures who banged and banged at her door. When she called out, "Who's there?" no one answered. The figures ran off.

She thought perhaps they were burglars or some neighbors she had tangled with in the past, she said.

We don't know about you, but last time we checked, burglars do not make a point of banging about the door of a home which is clearly occupied. This is because doing so causes a homeowner to get out his twelve-gauge. However, we will admit we're not all that surprised to see Ms Young admit she has tangled with some of her neighbors in the past. They're probably not all that fond of her either.

Further evidence of Ms Young's wretchedness is this: the families had offered to pay her medical expenses to drop the matter, and she refused to accept. Again, from the Post:

The families had offered to pay Young's medical bills if she would agree to indemnify the families against future claims.

Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person. The matter went to court.

Good God, can you blame them for not delivering the apologies in person? After all, if Ms Young can have an anxiety attack over having cookies left on her doorstep, what would happen during the apology session? But still, we submit this fact does not put Ms Young in a good light, given she would not accept what any typical person would consider a more-than-reasonable remedy. Given the excerpts of the apologies in the Post article, we also don't see how any reasonable person could consider such apologies insincere.

The worst part of all this, of course, is that the two teenaged girls -- who are both around the age when they'll graduate from high school -- did the cookie-baking as a way to avoid a dance party. This dance party, they said, would have -- wait for it -- drinking and cursing. Not only that, one of the teens got permission from her father to do the baking after she got her livestock-tending chores done. This whole mess is a textbook instance of bad things happening to good people.

The cookie defense fund is here.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at February 5, 2005 02:37 AM | TrackBack

No good deed goes unpunished !

Posted by: Swammi in Solon at February 5, 2005 08:48 AM

Women's heart attack symptoms are often different from men's. That being the case, though, this is still just amazing. There must be more to the story. There must be, right? Good God...

Posted by: Dean Esmay at February 6, 2005 06:04 AM

Check out my website (http://ekupes.blogspot.com) if you want to send her a letter. I have one already written up if you want to use it (a lot of people are), and her home address is listed, as well as the address of the two girls if you would like to donate to them (I pitched a $20). However, a local radio talkshow host raised over $1,900 for the family, so they have covered all court costs twice over. Any remaining donations will be sent to the Columbine High School Victims fund.

And to Dean:

Here's the WHOLE story... She was attacked while walking her daughter to the school bus... FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. That's her excuse. Her hometown newspaper did a full page article on the story (pics and all). Seems that this Wal-Mart cashier is nothing more than a money-hungry bitch.

Either way, the entire neighborhood has turned against her, and she's talking of moving, because of all the hate that is being sent her way. Colorado Newspapers are not treating her kindly. In almost feel sorry for her. Then I remember that my tax dollars paid for the court case.


Posted by: The Cunning Linguist at February 6, 2005 01:44 PM


Actually, the two girls were ordered to pay $39 in costs, in addition to the $871.80 in medical fees. I believe this is what lawyers call "insult to injury."

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at February 6, 2005 07:47 PM

Er, $871.70.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at February 6, 2005 07:48 PM