Once there was a very poor family. The mother and father were poor and so were their children. Even their maids, cook and butler were poor. When they sat down to a simple dinner of, say, prime rib, baked potatoes and Caesar salad, they had to be careful not to overeat because the leftovers would be needed for the next day’s lunch. Their handmade clothes were sewn of silk, not the velvet that they would have preferred. They had a carriage and a coachman, of course, but the carriage was last year’s model. Life was very unkind, indeed—how long could they continue this hardscrabble existence? Would the poor man have to get a job?
One day an itinerant lottery ticket salesman knocked on the door of their castle. The poor man didn’t want to buy any tickets at first because he was short on cash, but the salesman had a strong feeling he had the winning ticket with him. The poor man (hereafter known as P. M.) knew this because the salesman said, “I have a strong feeling I have the winning ticket with me. If you buy this $1.00 ticket, you could win a gazillion dollars. Even after taxes, you’d probably have half a gazillion and that should last you the rest of your life!” After much thought, P. M. sent one of his poor servants to fetch him a dollar from under his mattress and he bought the ticket. “Thank heavens,” P. M. thought, “In a few days all my financial problems will be solved.”
Soon the day of the drawing of the lottery numbers arrived. P. M. and his wife sat in their matching pure leather recliners, which they had gotten on sale from La-Z-Boy, and turned on their large sized flat screen HDTV (also last year’s model). They watched intently as the numbers were drawn and would you believe-- they lost!
His very first thought was to sue the salesman who obviously sold him a defective ticket. As they sat in front of the TV, many commercials came on. Most of them were by lawyers who said things like, “Did you ever take this medicine and break a fingernail? You may be entitled to money!” and “Did you ever touch this stuff and now you have a slight headache? We can get you cash!”
The ads sounded very sincere—and lucrative! P. M. got on his computer (last year’s, too) and looked for attorneys. He called the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe (who used to handle Johnny Carson’s legal work) and made an appointment. They sued every pharmaceutical company and manufacturer of possibly dangerous products known to man.