Hold the Mayo
by Jan Baughman

There's a man out there with clogged arteries -- Mr. Norman Mayo; seems he had a minor stroke. This man, (he's from Washington State, you know), he drank whole milk his whole gosh-darn life. No one told him it would give him a spell, you see, so what's a man to do? Well, he can sue; after all, this is America. He can sue the dairy farmers 'cause they didn't tell him that them there cows made dangerous milk and the milk carton that held the poison that he drank should of warned him that it could give him a spell if he drank too much of it. "Ain't never seen no veal cow have a spell", said the man, "but they's vegetarians. My momma always told me to drink my milk. Someone should of told my momma it was bad for me".

Mr. Mayo, a former smoker, filed a lawsuit in Seattle naming the Safeway grocery chain and the Dairy Farmers of Washington as defendants. It will be incumbent upon him to prove that the milk he drank throughout his life came from Safeway, and that his other habits had no direct causal relationship to his stroke. Any sympathetic jury of his peers will certainly agree.

Swans was unable to confirm whether Mr. Mayo is a stupid opportunist or a brilliant satirist mocking the former smokers-turned-cancer-patients who are suing tobacco companies. We prefer to assume the latter and propose several additional potential lawsuits. If you have ever experienced any illness which may have been caused by something, or if you believe you could have even if you didn't, please consult an attorney immediately. The following are a few sources of potential liability:

All manufacturers of sugar and any sugar-containing products including ice cream, candy and soft drinks (some forms of cancer, obesity, dental caries, psychoses).

The makers of artificial sweeteners (potential cancer-causing agents, obesity).

The beef council (coronary artery disease, obesity).

The white meat council (for not advising us sooner).

All sodium manufacturers and any restaurant that sells salted foods (hypertension).

Vitamin manufacturers (choking on a multi-vitamin tablet).

The American Automobile Association (any motor vehicle accident).

Your parents (neuroses, psychoses, obesity, coronary artery disease, any heredity disease and any other problem you weren't warned about).

The Food and Drug Administration, the Catholic Church, the Supreme Court, Bill Clinton, Jesse Helms and, not to forget, your neighbors (for anything not covered above).

If we all just get together and sue one another, we can choke the legal system, put and end to this litigious era once and for all and return to the simple days of responsible hunting and gathering.

[Note: All quotes by Mr. Mayo are from a reenactment of a hypothetical interview.]

Published June 13, 1997
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