Giving one the thumbs-up is enough. The Saskatchewan Court of King’s Bench has ruled in favour of Kent Micklebourough, a grain purchaser working on behalf of South West Terminal (SWT), a grain operator based in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, in a dispute over a shipment of flax. Justice J. T. Keene ordered Chris Achter, a farmer from Swift Current, to pay SWT $82,000 for failure to deliver 86 metric tonnes of flax before a target date after which prices rose. Achter asserted that after a negotiation over text messaging, he acknowledged he received a contract, by way of a “thumbs-up” emoji (👍). However Justice Keene had a different opinion. The thumbs-up emoji, according to Keene, met signature requirements, and he thus ordered Achter to pay the $82,000, citing a “new reality in Canadian Society”, where we communicate with emojis even when discussions get serious, businesslike, or personal. Acheter’s lawyers argued that this could open a Pandora’s box, but Acheter has not yet announced his next move. (5 July) (court record)
Poor Judgement for a Side Hustle. New Jersey superior court judge Gary N. Wilcox is under investigation after being seen on various Tik Tok videos lip-synching to rap tunes, while dressed in his judge robes. Many of these tunes contained profanity, racist terms, and misogynist lyrics. What is at issue here is that he appears to “demonstrate disrespect for the judiciary and an inability to conform to the high standards of conduct expected of judges.” (5 July)
Fight over a duck, but we don’t want to talk about it. In Poole, England, a man and a woman were seen fighting for possession of a duck, with the struggle leading to both wrestling each other to the ground in the middle of the road, trying to get the duck from each other. It is not known who the two people are, and fellow residents of Poole who spoke to reporters requested anonymity. (7 July)
The worst 4 hours of her life. On Sunday 2 June, Mitchelville, IA resident Wendy Hansen received a notification that her house was on fire. She raced to her home by motorcycle, but got into an accident and suffered from broken bones and bruises. After she arrived in hospital by ambulance, a doctor in emergency noticed something unusual, and ultimately had to diagnose her with kidney cancer. Hansen’s only ray of hope shone when she was told it was an early diagnosis, and the cancer was treatable, but would require the removal of a kidney.
Man Shoots Horse. We have had a number of headlines in our early installments of Facepalm Newsoids, such as “man bites dog”, “dog bites man”, “man bites man”, and the like, and now to our collection we add “man shoots horse”. John Victor Russell, age 75, a prizewinning horse breeder, and well-known in North Carolina, got into an argument with his son. While they were outdoors in their horse ranch, the son got on a horse, and while the father intended to shoot his son, he instead fatally shot the horse. It is not clear what the argument was about, and the son was unharmed. Nevertheless, Russell’s ranch became a crime scene. Police are investigating. (11 July)
Woman Punches Bear. A woman form Porter, Maine, 64 year-old Lynn Kelly, was working in her backyard when her dog ran into the woods, and came back being chased by a bear. The bear bit Kelly, and she punched the bear in the nose, after which the bear let go and ran back into the woods, leaving puncture wounds on her wrist. (2 July) This is likely an annual event, since at least 2022. The Huffington Post reports on October 23, 2022 that another woman, this time from Washington state, was knocked down by another bear and it too ran off after being punched in the nose. The woman was un-named, but sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The bear was later killed by wildlife authorities. The bear was the mother of two cubs, which were taken to a rehabilitation facility. The last fatal bear attack in Washington was 49 years ago.