I know you’re hot for the Africa story. It’s coming. Robin is currently ranking and sorting the 7500+ photos we took over the three weeks. As I said, it’s coming (along with Christmas). In the interim I’ll continue along in my abnormal vein of thought. Right now, I’m avoiding TV (political ads) and all of the opinion columns of any slant in a valiant attempt to stay sane through the mid-terms and court cases bound to follow. So, life goes on, doesn’t it? Let me interrupt this regularly scheduled election drama to report on a couple truly profound issues.
First, I can relate today that Easter is safe for Chocolate Bunnies. After a yearslong legal battle, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has ruled that the venerable gold wrapped Lindt Easter Bunny was the one true Easter Bunny and that the bunnies made by the German discount retailer Lidl were upstarts infringing upon Lindt’s long-established chocolate bunny by duplicating its iconic crouching shape and gold foil wrapping.
I know you are wondering why the US Supreme Court couldn’t spend time occupying itself with important cases like this instead of, oh just forget it.
The court further ruled that Lidl would be barred from selling its version of the crouching Easter Bunny (even if wrapped in foil other than gold) in Switzerland and that Lidl “must destroy” the bunnies it currently has in stock. The case was referred to a lower court to determine if Lindt were due any damages.
The court’s detailed statement seemed to suggest that while the bunny shape would need to be destroyed, the chocolate itself could be reformulated into less legally fraught forms. Lidl replied in a statement that the bunnies were seasonal items and that they had no bunnies left to destroy anyhow.
Lidl’s legal team noted that the Swiss court had “adopted a result-oriented approach in its legal reasoning, trying to protect Lindt’s Easter bunny, despite some significant departures from prior case law”.
Which could never happen here, right?
In a totally different direction, some days reading the paper is a little like reading a Carl Hiassen novel. Hiassen is the author of many books highlighting the off the wall antics of Florida Man (and Woman). His latest “Squeeze Me” features a massive Python and Melania Trump (although not usually in the same scene). One of Hiassen’s early gems was “Double Whammy” which featured unscrupulous developers and cheating in bass fishing tournaments. I’m pretty sure we still have unscrupulous developers and now, some proof that we still have cheating in bass fishing tournaments.
Early in October, the New York Times (obviously running low on left wing political commentary) reported that a cheating scandal had broken out in the most recent Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament. The tournament director became suspicious when five fish he estimated to weigh about 4 pounds each tipped the scales at 34 pounds in total. After further exploration (they cut open the fish), egg-sized lead balls were found in the maws of the fish.
The offending fishermen were subject to elimination and the “evidence” was turned over to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for investigation. The two men were not unknown in fishing circles. They had already won Lake Erie Walleye Trail’s three previous 2022 competitions and several other unrelated tournaments. Suspicions were running high.
You’re probably asking why anyone would bother stuffing a fish with lead weights just to win a fishing tournament. Well, the prize money on the table for this tournament alone was $30,000. In 2021, their total winnings were $306,000, which probably doesn’t include their sponsorship money. (Yes, they get sponsorships for bass boats like Ranger).
In a follow up story not reported by the New York Times, Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky, the offending fishermen, were recently indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on charges that included cheating, attempted grand theft, and unlawful ownership of wild animals. I’m not really sure about the unlawful ownership of wild animals charge but the cheating and attempted grand theft look like slam dunks.
When asked, Carl Hiassen always said he got his best ideas from the newspapers. I hope he was reading this story.