Archive for June, 2010

The $1.3 million “Two Dollar” Coupon

Posted in Humor with tags , , on June 29, 2010 by Wiggy

A few days ago I received an email that looked a little suspicious. My spam filter is usually pretty good at catching email from bankers and deposed dictators from Nigeria as well as lonely, beautiful, nineteen-year-olds from Uzbekistan in search of their true love. The subject line read: NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT. I was afraid to open it for fear of unleashing some Russian-mafia computer zombie virus pent on destroying my 15,000+ mp3 files.

Over the years I have entered into a class action suit or two but had never heard anything back regarding the outcome. I’m still waiting for my windfall from the DeBeers diamond class action lawsuit. I keep a file with the open cases just in case I do make it rich off the back of some poor unsuspecting manufacturer who forgot to put the proper label on the packaging of his toilet plunger which reads “Do not use near power lines.” I know I have purchased at least three plungers through my life. I thought maybe this email was the key to my early retirement.

It turns out the defendant in this case is the social website Classmates.com. As I organize all of my high school class reunions every five years, I subscribe to Classmates.com for a few months before each reunion to help track people down. Prior to setting up my Facebook account, this was the easiest way to hunt down acquaintances. People I don’t have a desire to see more than once every five years. With all the misery and aggravation which accompanies that effort, I figure Classmates, both the website and ungrateful high school friends, probably owe me big time.

It turns out those insensitive bastards at Classmates.com allegedly “sent email messages to subscribers of http://www.classmates.com that were in violation of the law and engaged in conduct that had the potential to violate w ww.classmates.com users’ privacy rights.” They have denied the allegations but have nevertheless concluded that it is in their best interest that the litigation be resolved. In other words, “We are not going to admit it, but we know we screwed up and the lawyers are going to bleed us dry if we don’t make this go away soon.”

According to the Settlement Agreement, as a Settlement Class member, if I fill out some paperwork and submit a timely Valid Claim Form, I’m entitled to receive…get this… a credit of $2.00 off of the purchase or renewal of a http://www.classmates.com Gold Membership. So for receiving annoying notifications from Classmates that “someone has viewed your profile” for the past six years, I get to spend $37.99 instead of the regular $39.99 for an annual membership. Guess what Classmates; Facebook is free…at least for the moment.

Ok, I’m not bitter that for doing nothing except filling out an online form I get a $2.00 coupon. What really pisses me off are the fees paid to those “representing” my interests. Class Counsel, my free representation, is asking the Court for attorneys’ fees up to $1.3 million, plus costs. And Classmates.com and the Court have agreed! Not only that, those costs include participation awards of up to $2,500 for each of the two Lead Plaintiffs. These are the two people who actually decided to “hire” the vampires and sue Classmates in the first place. And you wonder why people hate lawyers!

So while I get the opportunity to pay $37.99 to a website whose owners all but just admitted they were violating the law and violating my electronic privacy, a couple of attorneys get new Bentleys and vacation homes in Vail. I bet they are eyeing up Facebook at this very moment. I knew I should have gone to law school. I wonder how much money that writing website I belong to has?

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs – Luminary of Lecherous Lawyers and Legal Laughter

Sociopathic Soccer Supporters

Posted in Humor with tags , , , on June 15, 2010 by Wiggy

In honor of the World Cup. Who knew it could be even more annoying. Just add a few thousand fans blowing three foot-long plastic horns which reach 127 decibals each. Tell me that isn’t a riot waiting to happen.

As an average red-blooded American male who’s prone to reliving exaggerated accounts of past high school athletic glory (usually while under the influence of several glasses of one of Kentucky’s finest bourbons), I enjoy sports. I love football, baseball, basketball (strictly college) and hockey. I’ve watched every Indianapolis 500 car race since 1970.

I play golf badly, but I don’t mind watching golf…but only if there’s nothing else on television, or if it’s the final round of the Masters. I enjoy boxing, but let’s face it, there hasn’t been a good heavyweight fight since Mike Tyson went to jail. I love watching world cup skiing, especially a downhill event. You never see a good wreck during a slalom race. I will even watch women’s gymnastics and figure skating during the Olympics, especially if it means the U.S. has a chance of putting a beating on some second-rate communist empire. And of course there’s always Rugby and Australian Rules Football…basically football without pads. There’s no way that could be boring.

For my readers from any of the member countries of the British Commonwealth, I’m sorry, but I’ve tried to understand cricket. I once spent an entire rainy weekend watching a test match on Sky Sports while living in Milan, Italy. Two days in front of the television and I think I only witnessed half of it. I just don’t get it. I guess it makes more sense if you care about who is next in line for the throne.

As far as women’s basketball is concerned, to me, it’s like watching high school baseball or professional bowling. And since I don’t consider NASCAR or professional wrestling as sports, I won’t mention them again.

What I have a hard time understanding is the fascination with soccer. There’s many other exciting forms of athletic competition…curling, cycling, kite fighting. Why in the world would anyone get excited over a 2,500-year-old Chinese kickball game?

To get worked up over 22 players in shorts kicking a ball around a large field, scoring maybe only one goal during an agonizingly long 90-minute game is beyond my comprehension of enjoyment. It’s also beyond my threshold of patience. I might as well be watching competition fly fishing, rhythmic gymnastics or Frisbee golf (for all you dirty hippies, I refuse to describe it as a disc).

What blows my mind is how the rest of the world reacts to this game. Riots started, murders committed and even a war fought (1969 100-hour war between El Salvador and Honduras) over a game where you’re given a “warning” for running into someone and can be ejected for doing it twice. We in the U.S. are more civilized, at least in that respect. These fanatics make even Philadelphia Eagles phans look like saints.

This unruly behavior even has its own name…Hooliganism. Over the years, hundreds of people have died as a result of the rabid reactions of soccer supporters:

May 24, 1964: More than 300 supporters are killed and another 500 injured in Lima, Peru, in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Peru.

More than 150 people have died in Argentina since the 1930’s as a result of soccer riots.

May 29, 1985: 39 Juventus supporters are crushed to death by a collapsed wall after they are attacked by Liverpool supporters during the European Cup Final match in Brussels.

May 9, 2001: 125 people died and hundreds were injured at a match in Accra, Ghana, during a stampede at the end of a soccer match.

March 12, 2004: 25 people die during a fight between rival Syrian football club supporters at a match in Qamishli, Syria.

No one’s ever died from rioting at an Eagles/Giants football game…and we hate each other. And you wonder why people who enjoy football are called “fans,” while the people who enjoy soccer are called “supporters.” Think about it…

Soccer moms…is this what you want for your children? To grow up like some annoying French wanna-be gang member, throwing beer bottles at other people, just because they are Los Angeles Galaxy supporters instead of D.C. United supporters. Besides, soccer is so passé…lacrosse is the new sport of preppie Ivy League sweater-vest-wearing, BMW-driving momma’s boys. Well, at least it’s an American (native) game.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs – Factotum of Fustian on Foreign Futbol and Fatally Fanatical Fans