I had no idea what I should write about; then I looked down at my shredder and got inspired.
Printed along the top of the shredder is a picture of a paperclip with the universal red slash through it. Next to it is a picture of a hand, with the same universal sign. And I’m wondering who goes into an office and thinks, “Gee, I wonder if my hand will fit in the shredder?”
Our society has become so sue-crazy; manufacturers feel they have to protect themselves by putting all these stupid warnings on their merchandise. People will sue for anything. I’m fat, it’s McDonald’s fault. I’m anorexic, it’s Lean Cuisine’s fault.
If they hadn’t built that freeway, I wouldn’t have been going to McDonald’s, and today I wouldn’t be anorexic.
What we all need to do is take a deep breath and stop shoving our hands into our shredders. Kennedy — the good one — hit the nail on the head when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” Today it’s, “Ask not who can sue for you, but who you can sue.”
I was sued by a man who said that beating me up and breaking my rib caused him to have a heart attack at a wedding a year later. He got $5,000. It pissed me off so much that I sued him and got $65,000. He countersued my countersuit and was thrown out of court. This process took a year out of my life and wasted a lot of people’s time. However, I did buy a new home out of the deal.
Basically, I’m a pimp and you shouldn’t listen to a word I say. It’s my fault there’s that stupid air bag warning on the visor of your car. Basically, I’m just as bad as the next guy.
Oh, do me a favor. Promise me you’ll keep your hands out of your shredder. If you should happen to do so, please don’t sue Target; I love their towels.
— Steve Bluestein
Steve Bluestein is a stand-up comedian, sitcom writer and playwright who just published Memoir of a Nobody, a collection of short stories about life, love, comedy, show business and overcoming a difficult childhood. This piece is an excerpt from that book.