Humor Columns

Innocent Victims

By Dave Fox
Seattle, Washington

I’m sorry to jolt you from your cozy Internet-surfing existence, but there are people in the world less fortunate than you. Our planet is rife with social injustice.

Take, for example, Michael Horowitz, an oppressed neurosurgeon in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, who was just trying to lend a helping hand. Or make that an arm. Horowitz went to talk to a class of fifth graders about his exciting career. As a visual aid, he brought along what any baseball-and-apple-pie-loving neurosurgeon would bring: a severed human arm.

“What’s the problem?” you ask.

I’ll tell you what the problem is: The problem is some bratty 10-year-old punk — probably the type who plays Nintendo and reads Harry Potter — had the audacity to faint when Horowitz unwrapped the cadaver limb. The kid stole Horowitz’s spotlight, and Horowitz never even got to pass around his show-and-tell item.

Now the school district is launching an investigation into whether it was “appropriate” for Mr. Horowitz to bring a “severed arm” from a “dead guy” to show a bunch of fifth graders.

Damn liberals. Next thing you know, they’ll be passing laws that public schools can’t teach about severed human limbs until seventh grade.

And we all know what’s going to happen then. Kids won’t get the education they need about cadavers until it’s too late. Then when they’re at a party and an older kid says, “Hey, wanna come upstairs and look at my eyeball collection?” they won’t know how to be safe.

There’s also the case of Elicia Battle of South Euclid, Ohio. The oppressed Ms. Battle filed a lawsuit against a selfish woman named Rebecca Jemison because — as Battle’s suit alleged — Jemison stole Battle’s winning 162-million-dollar lottery ticket.

Here’s what happened: Ms. Jemison appeared on the news after coming forward with the winning ticket. Ms. Battle, who had never met Ms. Jemison, heard about the winning numbers and said the ticket actually belonged to her.

According to Ms. Battle, she bought the winning ticket at a Cleveland-area store, put it in her purse, dropped her purse outside the store, spilled all the contents on the ground, put all the contents back in her purse, except, of course, for the winning lottery ticket, which she somehow overlooked. However, she knew the winning ticket was hers because before she lost her ticket, somewhere between the cash register and the store’s exit, she had memorized all of the numbers on the lottery ticket.

Makes sense to me.

Then, according to the lawsuit, the selfish and evil Jemison came along, picked up the ticket, and cashed in on the winnings.

This is one of the oldest scams on record — the old “find a winning lottery ticket on the street and claim you bought it yourself” trick.

Jemison started playing dirty. She dug up petty information from Battle’s past, such as the fact that Battle had a prior police record for assault, trespassing, and using someone else’s credit card. Then Jemison accused Battle of fraud.

Okay. Who here hasn’t been convicted of assault, trespassing, and using someone else’s credit card? Let’s see a show of hands!

Exactly as I thought. You can admit it. It’s okay.

Poor Ms. Battle was finally worn down to the point that she was forced to confess she lied about spilling the ticket out of her purse. She was coerced into dropping her lawsuit.

In some countries, they’d cut your arm off for that kind of thing, but gosh darn it, this is America! If we can’t fraudulently claim to have misplaced a winning lottery ticket in an attempt to rob the real winner of millions of dollars, what freedoms do we have left? Pretty soon, they’ll be trying to outlaw terrorism.

And if that doesn’t make your fur stand on end, check this out: Police in South Miami, Florida, arrested an 11-year-old girl for selling so-called “heroin” outside her so-called “house” in so-called “pajamas.” It turns out the girl was just doing what her mother told her to do, and now the cops are charging the mother with so-called “child neglect.”

When I was growing up, I never got to sell heroin. All I had was Pac Man and trying to watch porn on a scrambled cable TV signal. Kids these days have opportunities I could only dream of. Shame on the Dade County Police for smashing their dreams!

In a higher profile case, there’s Martha Stewart, an oppressed multi-millionaire currently on trial for securities fraud and obstruction of justice. She never had the opportunity to fraudulently claim lottery winnings. She had to work for her money, taking on menial tasks such as sewing decorative tea cozies and making almond meringue sandwiches.

With a lifestyle that bleak, what choice did she have but to resort to insider trading? It’s easy for you to sit there and judge — you, who live a so-called “normal life.” If you had to spend every meager moment of your day waiting for your assistants to finish your projects in time for your television show, you’d resort to bilking investors out of millions of dollars too.

But the biggest enemy of all is Mike Rowe, a 17-year-old web designer who comes from, of course, that evil country to our north, Canada.

Mike Rowe, in a blatant attempt to rob Bill Gates of quadzillions of dollars, purchased the domain name But don’t worry. The oppressed lawyers at Microsoft are not standing for this flagrant use of homonyms and have threatened the young cyberthug with a lawsuit. Good for them! I’m tired of Canadian 17-year-olds trying to bring down corporate America.

We as a nation cannot stand for this. President Bush: As a freedom-loving American, I must respectfully suggest that you stop searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and go after the real enemy. We have greater dangers along our own borders. The Canadians have homonyms, and they must be stopped!

Published on Thursday, January 15, 2004

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