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The Unbearable Lightness of Pants

June 12, 2007

Among the 54 million reasons why Phil the Owl wishes he could wear pants (see reason no. 11,543 here) is, in the event of the dry cleaner losing your pants, the ability to sue a dry cleaner for losing one’s pants for the reasonable sum of $54 million.

The civil trial involving a Washington, D.C.-area judge’s $54 million claim against his (former) dry cleaner began in D.C. Superior Court today. The plaintiff, serving as his own lawyer, called to the stand nine witnesses, including himself. He consequently broke down into tears over the tragic fate of his pants. One elderly and infirm witness, who served in the Women’s Army Corps in Germany during World War II, compared the defendants to Nazis after they purportedly ruined her own pair of pants.

The plaintiff’s damages include “mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort” from the loss of his pants —after all, the defendants advertised that customer satisfaction was guaranteed — and the unpleasantness of having to rent a car every weekend so he can drive to an alternate dry cleaner. Since the troubles began five years ago, the defendants have attempted to settle with the plaintiff for thousands of dollars and, even better, claimed to have found the missing pants themselves! Alas, to no avail.

“Phil, maybe it’s for the best you don’t wear pants,” says Orange Bear.

For live updates on the trial, go to the Washington Post’s OFF/beat blog.

UPDATE (June 25): Dry cleaner wins. Order restored. Dancing in the streets.

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