Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jumpers and stooges

Jumper. There was a man who jumped from the Forth Bridge and survived, he did it just the other day. The CCTVs picked up his erratic behaviour on the bridge. They saw the signs, they read the signs. They decided that he was likely to jump so they scrambled a rescue boat. He spent a few moments on the bridge, maybe running things over in his mind, then he got up on the parapet and jumped. Jumped looking ahead, serious, determined. He travelled through the grey air, straight down, body tight, vertical, in line like a nail, a perfect dive, perpendicular. He hit the water and hardly made a splash. He went under but the boat was there, on station, hooks and lifebelts ready, hands over the side, searching. Then they saw him. The boat picked him up alive, dazed, unconscious. They got him ashore and rushed him to the hospital, all blue lights and sirens. The boatmen sweated and returned to their homes, others just carried on with other duties. There is always something else to do. They got the man to the hospital, he came round. His only injury? A twisted ankle.

Stooges. “Contains dangerous behaviour but in a slapstick context” Thus reads the warning on the film currently running at the local Odeon, the Three Stooges. It's not a franchise I'm familiar with, I seem to have missed the Three Stooges during my formative years, they mean very little but I do like the idea of “dangerous behaviour but in a slapstick context”, I wonder under what circumstances it might be used as a legal defence. Is their a legal definition for the term “slapstick”?

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