It was one of those days. Four hundred group emails changing the date, time, location and food preferences for a long-distance deposition; two thumbs down on a case in which the liability had heretofore looked favorable to the home team; a missing check to pay another expert reviewer; both copiers jammed at the same time; three denied motions; and I broke my French coffee press when my suit jacket caught on the handle. Bang! Smithereens. The dustpan could not be located, and I had to sweep the shards up using a piece of CAT scan film that had been cut up to fit into the yearning maw of the shredder as a substitute. There were no injuries.
Having accomplished nothing much worthwhile at the office, I went home, thinking I would relax a little before firing up the laptop and getting back to work. I had a brief to write. Back on the farm, I discovered that Timmy the Pony had (a) broken the fence in two different places, requiring a small sledgehammer, a different pair of gloves, and curses in several Romance languages to repair it; and (b) managed to lean his neck on the partition between stalls so as to effectively push the boards serving as a divider down over each other. The resulting reduction in height made it easy for him to reach over it and devour his barn-mate’s alfalfa.
I replaced the boards. Timmy immediately began pressing on them with his neck, life liberty and the pursuit of alfalfa being all that matters to him. I managed to wedge them with some pieces of particle board, and placed a call to my friend Murphy, the Mad Carpenter, who is more adept with tools than I.
Inside, I was out of chocolate. The brief nevertheless had to be written. I logged in, typing across the miles. Somewhere, distantly, the keys of a computer in Rocky Hill were dancing in synchrony with my errant fingers in Granby. Eventually, it became clear that I would need some jurisprudence to support my impassioned argument. I went fishing, in a foul mood.
Thus it was that I found something to make me laugh. Over the years, there has been a variety of genuinely amusing claims ranging from specious to bizarre, including an allegation of abduction by space aliens. This one walked away with the proverbial cake under its arm, made all the more astonishing by virtue of the fact that it appeared to have been made by a perfectly sane adult female plaintiff. There it was: Baynard v. Derma Clinic Inc., 39 Conn. L. Rptr. 875, 2005 WL 2364890. The claim: negligent Brazilian bikini waxing.
The decision tactfully explained that the procedure in question “involves the removal of hair from the pubic area through the application of hot wax.” The plaintiff claimed injuries which required surgery, to say nothing of profound emotional distress. Administration of the wax, the court found, was not a medical procedure. The defendant, the court noted, was not providing health care. The opinion stated tersely, “It is a European day spa.” By this time I was giggling helplessly, and wondering whether the plaintiff should really have brought a claim for ethnic malapropism: here was a Connecticut business billing itself as European, but providing a South American service.
In electing to undergo the alleged, uh, procedure, the plaintiff, in my view, should have engaged in a better risk-benefit analysis before signing up. The case reminded me of my maternal grandmother. Anyone in her earshot announcing that he intended to do anything distasteful, dangerous, or questionably ethical would receive the following response, “Well, all right dear, you go along, and don’t worry about me … I’ll be just fine.” So, if you are thinking of trotting off to the salon for this bit of caustic cosmesis — You go right along, and don’t worry about me … I’ll be just fine.•