December 5, 2013
Man Arrested After Suing Over Banana Peel
A word of advice to any aspiring supervillains, pranksters, and criminals: if your diabolical machinations require you to pretend as though you’re falling on a neglected banana peel, it’s probably best not to let loose your evil plan in perfect view of a security camera. In fact, if your most evil of plans involve banana peels at all, it’s probably best to retire from the villain lifestyle altogether.
Maurice Owens, a man from Maryland, is testament to those who fail to follow this basic rule. Perhaps in light of the numerous other stupid lawsuits that have actually succeeded, Owens thought it would be a good idea to plant a banana peel in an elevator, then proceed to “trip” over it and sue; classic lawsuit baloney. Though many of these lawsuits do manage to make it through (I’m looking at you, hot coffee), thankfully this one was stopped in its tracks.
It’s made all the better by the fact that Owens appears to look almost directly into the camera at the beginning of the footage. I could see the initial logic behind that; he wants to get his fall on camera. He figures that if it’s just his word against the company, the claim will be easy to dismiss. So he thinks ahead, glances up towards the ceiling. Bingo. A camera. Having located the camera, he positions his body so it blocks the view of the banana peel that he retrieves from his pocket (bonus points if you catch the shoulder shrug as he tosses it to the ground). The door opens, and bam! Down he goes … in more ways than one.
The biggest problem with this oh-so-brilliant plan is that while the camera provides proof of his fall, it also damns him from the start. There’s clearly no banana present when the elevator opens. But wait, you say, what if the banana was never meant to be in the elevator in the first place? A good question, and one that certainly seems to make more sense. If I were a betting man, I would say the initial goal was to make it look as though he tripped on a peel lying in wait outside his new destination, and honestly, that might have worked if not for a very distinctive yellow splotch that clearly indicates where the pressure from the slip squashed banana bits into the floor.
Unfortunately for Owens, Washington Metro didn’t take kindly to his accusation of invisible assassin bananas. His lawsuit went nowhere, and police have charged him with felony second-degree fraud. He’s scheduled to appear in court this upcoming Monday.
It never fails to baffle me how desperate people become for a quick buck, nor how foolish these desperate plots often become. If you’re patterning your evil plots after Saturday morning cartoon characters, you should probably do a fair bit of soul searching. Otherwise, like Owens, you might slip up.
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