I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of the ancient Roman vomitorium. Constantly we are told that the Mediterranean diet is among the best in the world, yet for millennia upon millennia, these people have been regurgitating their supposedly delicious food almost as soon as they’ve eaten it. And we’re not talking about teenagers with eating disorders here. These are men and women of all ages and sexes.
Nowadays of course, it is de rigueur for the young generation to stick their fingers down their throats and try to dislodge the chicken bone that’s been stuck there since dinner time. In my day it was considered sufficient to clear a path only through the zone that can be reached by a standard toothpick. Now they not only have to poke the food out of their trachea, they even get their stomachs pumped by a medical professional because they have become heavy with liquids.
Clearing a path through one’s trachea, it must be remembered, is not remotely similar to clearing a path through a snowdrift on your front path. For one thing, if you don’t clear your path you can be held legally responsible for the injuries of anyone who comes to harm because of the frozen precipitation on the ground in front of your house.
Leaving your throat blocked, on the other hand, has no consequences for anyone other than yourself. And most people are unlikely to attempt to pursue a writ against themselves in the civil courts, as it is very difficult to get one’s legal costs back, even if they are awarded in full to the plaintiff. Furthermore, courts nowadays tend to dissuade members of the public from attempting to represent themselves, unless they are well adept in the intricacies of the legal system, and have shown that they understand fully the financial risks involved.
Anyway, two cats walk into a bar. One of the cats is a trained lawyer, and is able to get through his evening without doing anything that results in litigation against him. The other cat, sadly, knows nothing about the law, and recklessly goes about flirting with girl cats in the bar, spilling beer on the floor and offering drinks to other patrons. He thereby puts himself at risk of being sued for sexual harassment, negligence and manslaughter, should the drink prove to be poisonous. Fortunately none of these worse-case scenarios happen, and a good night is had by all.
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