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Of Spotsy, the queen, and a pair of pants
Of Spotsylvania, the queen, and a pair of pants

 Queen Elizabeth II was a big hit with the Yanks as she toured Jamestown this month--but why?
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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 5/20/2007

By Richard Amrhine

YOU'RE probably aware of the lawyer who is suing a Washington dry cleaner for $65 million because it lost the pants that went with his $1,000 suit. The pants were located a week later, but he is pressing his case anyway, and has turned down settlement offers for up to $12,000.

Information churned up by the bizarre case has painted the guy, who is also an administrative law judge, as a nasty, overbearing, my-way-or-the-highway sort of fellow. He not only knows the public views him as a complete jerk, but he's just the type who would relish such attention.

The remaining question is this: Why? Why is he pursuing this and ruining the lives of the hard-working Korean immigrant couple who own the business?

Because they had two signs posted in the shop--"Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service"--and the lawyer believes, because his pants were misplaced, that those claims constitute fraud under D.C. consumer law.

I think I'm with the majority when I wish he could be bound to a post in the town square in one of his $1,000 suits and pummeled with rotten tomatoes and eggs. But he will get his day in court, and the court must take this case as seriously as it would any other.

While it takes a special person to make the case he's making, who among us hasn't been done dirty by a store, company, or product, and felt dissatisfied, frustrated and ripped off?

This happens to me way more often than it should, even when I pay extra in the misguided expectation that I'm more likely to achieve satisfaction. I am committed now to telling companies what I think--both good and bad--but most certainly when I'm annoyed to the point of incredulity. Sometimes they respond, sometimes they don't. In any case, simply expressing my concern has a cathartic effect, and I highly recommend the practice--even when it involves your friendly local newspaper.

Speaking of being incredulous, how about that media frenzy over the visit of Queen Elizabeth II? I try to imagine that there is some quaint, fairytale aspect to the monarchy, but to me the royal family is an ode to dysfunction, an anachronism, and does little to earn its keep--its really expensive keep. Overall I give it a big "Who cares?"


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