Thursday, October 1, 2020  
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And how does the jury find God?
I'll admit it. I've taken some jabs at the U.S. judicial system over the years, chiefly because there's no shortage of laughable cases that somehow make their way in front of a judge.

Topping the list are frivolous lawsuits which seem to get more and more ridiculous by the year. Before you know it, some parents are going to file a lawsuit against a school system because their daughter didn't make the cheerleading squad. No wait, that's already happened in North Haven, Conn.

Since I'm fortunate enough to have access to various wire services here at the Standard, I try to stay up to date on the most absurd lawsuits on the books. Let me tell you, this is no easy task. If you're not on the top of your game, chances are you'll let a senseless lawsuit slip by and not even notice.

Among my all-time favorites is the 15-year-old baseball player from Vallejo, Calif., who sued his Babe Ruth League for lack of playing time. According to the calculations of Jason Abbitt, he rode the bench 80 percent of the time his team was on the field. Thus, he wants to be reimbursed for 80 percent of his registration fee.

So what we're left with is a lawsuit that's going to make its way through the court system and tie up valuable legal time for what amounts to $65. Why?

A lawsuit that remains atop my list is the story of 270-pound Caesar Barber, a man who has diabetes and has suffered two heart attacks by age 56. One might think Barber's health problems are his own doing since he admits to eating at Burger King, McDonald's, KFC and Wendy's for virtually every meal.

However, he doesn't see it that way. In his lawsuit, Barber contends the fast-food chains are negligent for selling the high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-salt food in the first place. The fact he continuously ate such food is not his responsibility, or so he says.

Then there's the haunted house that was just a bit too scary. A woman sued Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., for $15,000 for a haunted house that caused extreme fear, emotional distress and mental anguish.

Last but not least is the man seeking $8 million from his next-door neighbors because a massive pink flamingo display offends his aesthetic sensibilities. For the record, the lawsuit is due to 58 plastic flamingos, or $137,000 per flamingo.

All this brings me to the granddaddy of them all, a lawsuit filed by Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers who has sued God ' yes God. I hate to be the one to bring the bad news, but even if Ernie 'wins' this one, I don't think it's a wise idea to sue God. Somehow, I believe He will have the last word.

In Sen. Chambers' defense, he has no desire to collect a monetary award with his lawsuit. That's a good thing because I don't envision God signing any checks.

Rather he's doing exactly what I'm doing here, speaking out against frivolous lawsuits by saying his lawsuit against God proves anybody can sue anyone over anything. The major difference between Sen. Chambers and me is I don't want to make my point by suing God.

Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made threats against the senator and his constituents and thus can be sued in Douglas County because He's everywhere. Chambers also says God has inspired fear and caused 'widespread death, and destruction on millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants.' God has done this through flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes, among other things, the lawsuit says.

The insurance industry has been using this logic for some time now. About 10 years ago when a tree limb fell on a pickup owned by my parents, they never did collect any money because the insurance company claimed it was 'an act of God.'

If the insurance company is correct, Sen. Chambers may just have a case. However, a major hurdle is the fact I don't think there's a judge or too many juries eager to rule against God.

Music stops for

Jack in the Box

When Jack in the Box opened in McMinnville, I didn't think this town really needed another fast-food restaurant. It appears that belief might of had some truth to it as Jack in the Box shut its doors Thursday at midnight.

Whether I was right or wrong, I hate to see the restaurant leave. It's another sign our local economy is not exactly flourishing when businesses ' especially national chains ' decide to close.

Restaurants seem to have been especially hard hit by Warren County's economic coma. CiCi's Pizza shut down at the beginning of September and Andy's Country Buffet changed ownership at the start of August after a dreadful summer.

These are all restaurants which made huge financial commitments to locate here. The half-acre lot where Jack in the Box is located sold for $240,000 back in 2002.

Jack in the Box store employees were given four days notice. They were also given the option to relocate to one of the two Jack in the Box restaurants in Murfreesboro, an offer three of the 15 employees accepted.

Here's a little bit of trivia. How long was Jack in the Box open in McMinnville? It doesn't seem nearly this long, but the restaurant would have been open for five years in January.

Store employees told me business was OK, but certainly not spectacular. With it being the only Jack in the Box within a 40-mile radius, the store needed to perform better to justify such an out-of-the-way location, employees said.

As for what might locate there, that's a tricky question. When I looked around the store Wednesday, I noticed it's a restaurant built specifically for the way Jack in the Box does business. And it's fairly small.

The only real, live Jack in the Box official I talked to, regional manager Melissa Downing, said she couldn't comment. She gave me the main corporate office, which ended up being a maddening cycle of voice mail options. Please press 1 if you hate automated phone systems.

Marcy Moore opens

downtown store

Marcy Moore made a name for herself in the local business community nearly 10 years ago as the owner of a homemade candle business called House of Plenty. Marcy is still in the candle business but she's added a variety of other items in her new Main Street store called Three Peas in a Pod.

'I want people to know if they bring in their own container, I'll fill it with wax,' said Marcy. 'That was real popular with House of Plenty. And I'll refill any containers you have. Bring your jars in and I'll fill them back up.'

Marcy also wants to emphasize her gift baskets and the fact she'll sell a large quantity of candles at wholesale prices for any organization doing a fundraiser.

In addition to her candles and potpourri, Marcy has a number of other people who will be selling their merchandise out of her store.

They are, and I hope I don't leave anybody out: Martha Gillespie with antiques, Tabitha Sullens with jewelry, Jessica Higgins with headbands and burp cloths, Kalee Dixon with jewelry, Tory Craven with bows and flip-flops, Ashley Freeman with paintings, Tricia James with primal stone jewelry, and Kristin Blackburn with onesies and baby clothes.

Marcy said she sought out a downtown location and finally decided on her store as the best fit. It's located between the music store and Phillip Clemons' law office. The phone number is 474-1484. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Post office to stay

open at old Super D

Don Sullivan told me last week that a deal between his pharmacy, long known as Super D, and Walgreens would likely take place in the near future. He wasn't kidding.

After I published the story in last Sunday's edition, a number of folks called me wanting to know the status of the post office located in Super D. So I looked up the Super D number in the phone book and gave Don a call and the line automatically transferred me to Walgreens. And answering the phone at Walgreens was none other than Don himself.

Now that's a fast deal.

As for the post office question, Don said the service window is expected to remain closed while renovations take place. However, the building will remain open for the 200 people who have P.O. boxes there. The full-service post office window is expected to reopen Oct. 8 and stay open.

Post office supervisor of customer service Brent Nunley said McMinnville Post Office is bracing for increased traffic with the Super D location temporarily closed.

'They do quite a bit of money orders and things of that nature there so that could impact our business here,' said Brent. 'We normally have two windows open here, but if it gets too busy we can always staff the third window.'

New shopping center

has second tenant

Keith Bouldin's six-bay shopping center on Sparta Street has its second tenant in The Barn Loft Gift Shop, which is expected to open in the next week or two.

Alice Glenn is the store owner and her husband, Mike Glenn, is a sales consultant. The two are familiar with the retail industry after owning Agape Books and Gifts, which some folks may remember in Northgate Shopping Center many years ago.

'We're going to have stuff you can't find other places,' said store manager Mindy Jaco. 'We're going to have a lot of seasonal items, which right now is the Christmas season. We want to be along the lines of a Kirklands or Pier 1 Imports. We'll have nice decorative items but it will be affordable.'

Some of the items that are already on display are jewelry, including holiday jewelry, watches, glassware, garden accessories, such as fountains and birdhouses, figurines, angels and men's gift sets.

There's also a wide selection of what Mindy called knock-off purses. These are purses that look very much like the expensive name-brand purses, only they don't have the name so they're more affordable. It's a neat new shop and one that will give folks another local option.

Mike said he considered the idea of opening inside Three Star Mall but instead decided the new Sparta Street center is a better fit for him. He gives the motorcycle accessory shop a little company.

The phone number for Barn Loft Gifts is 507-BARN.

That's all folks

As always, I'm interested in your business news so give me a call at 473-2191.