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Jury verdicts that make you wonder what ever happen to common sense
  1. January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000.00 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving tyke was Ms. Robertson's son.
  2. June 1998: A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000.00 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran his hand over with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice someone was at the wheel of the car whose hubcap he was trying to steal.
  3. October 1998: A Terrence Dickson of Bristol Pennsylvania was exiting a house he finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, so Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. This upset Mr. Dickson, so he sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars and change.
  4. October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas was awarded $14,500.00 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in it's owner's fenced-in yard, as was Mr. Williams. The award was less than sought after because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.
  5. May 2000: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500.00 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
  6. December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000.00 and dental expenses.

Jay Hamlin, Somewhere in Florida

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Martha's way and My Way . . .
  • Martha's way #1: Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

    My way: Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete's sake; you are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.
  • Martha's way #2:Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you'll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.

My way: Buy the precooked kind you nuke in the microwave for 30 seconds. The hard part is getting them out of the plastic bag.

  • Martha's way #3: To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

My way: Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix and keep it in the pantry for up to a year.

  • Martha's way #4:To prevent eggshells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

My way: Who cares if they crack, aren't you going to take the shells off anyway?

  • Martha's way #5:To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

My way: Sleep with the lemons in between the mattress and box springs.

  • Martha's way #6: To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop.

My way: Eat at Chili's every night and avoid cooking.

  • Martha's way #7: Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.

My way: Feed your garbage disposal and there won't be any leftovers.

  • Martha's way #8: When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

My way: Go to the bakery. They'll even decorate it for you.

  • Martha's way #9: If you accidentally over salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."

My way: If you over salt a dish while you are cooking, that's too damn bad. My motto: I made it, you will eat it, and I don't care how bad it tastes.

  • Martha's way #10: Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

My way: Celery? Never heard of the stuff.

  • Martha's way #11: Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

My way: The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust and so I don't do it.

  • Martha's way #12: Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it.

My Way: Brown sugar is supposed to be "soft"?

  • Martha's way #13: When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

My Way: The only kind of corn I buy comes in a can.

  • Martha's way #14: To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

My way: Eat, cook, or use the egg anyway. If you feel bad later, you will know it wasn't fresh.

  • Martha's way #15: Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

My way: Martha, dear, the only reason this works is because you can't rub a lime on your forehead without getting lime juice in your eye, and then the problem isn't the headache anymore, it is because you are now blind.

  • Martha's way #16: Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

My way: Leftover wine?

  • Martha's way #17: If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

My way: Go ask the very cute neighbor to do it.

  • Martha's way #18: Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

My way: Mashed potatoes will now be replacing the antibacterial soap in the handy dispenser next to my sink.

  • Martha's way #19: Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer.
    • Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.
    • Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
    • Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
    • Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

My way: Put your jewelry, vases, and thermos in the toilet. Add some Alka-Seltzer and you have solved a whole bunch of problems at once.

Submitted by Pat, Blue Lake, Va.

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