Fun_People Archive
20 Mar
Jenei takes the Post Office Test

Date: Wed, 20 Mar 96 23:48:11 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Jenei takes the Post Office Test

[Note: Keith points out that his memory of this anecdote is sketchy and a few  
facts are inaccurate--e.g. the Main Post Office is on 8th ave. not 5th--but  
the idea is a good one nonetheless (personally I would use Broadway and the  
Canadian border and I'd call it the "City Hall Test")... -psl]

From: (Keith Dawson)
Re: Today'S Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Department - Jenei

>Brookline Suit Looks Silly On
>        -- Patricia Smith, The Boston Globe, March 15, 1996.

>How'd that get there?  From laughing at the Jenei family and their
>ludicrous stab at the "gone loopy because of a lesbian" lottery.  It's
>amazing how far some folks will go to hear the merry mooing of a cash cow.

One of the commentators on NPR's Marketplace (can't remember which one)
a few months back proposed a sanity test for courts to apply in advance
of hearing suits such as this one. He called it the Post Office Test.
Set up the following mental experiment: imagine we form a line in New
York City, stretching north on Fifth Avenue from the main Post Office
at 34th street. It's a line of people willing to bear the alleged affront
for the requested remuneration. Each court can apply community standards
to set a cutoff for proceeding with a suit. A court in Dubuque might not
countenance an action whose line stretched north of 42nd Street. An L.A.
court might allow suits whose line reached Harlem. Let's see, $300,000 to
hear a lesbian graciously out herself in a classroom? I'm there. The line
reaches toward the Connecticut border...

Keith Dawson
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.

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