In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2007 / 20 Nissan, 5767

Rabbit ears get poor reception

By Dave Barry

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Like most people, you probably often ask yourself: "What, exactly, are my legal rights if I am wearing a bunny outfit?"

The answer, you will be relieved to learn, is: "It depends." To understand why this is, let us first consider a 22-page legal decision filed by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer and sent to me by alert attorney James G. Vazzana, of Rochester, N.Y. Here, according to Judge Larimer's decision, are the Facts of the Case (and I want to stress that I am not making ANY of this up):

Timothy Wagner and John Payment were traveling on holiday through western New York state. They stopped their van in a Cattaraugus County town called Randolph to eat breakfast, and they noticed a little girl in the restaurant. This, according to Judge Larimer, gave them an idea:

"The men decided it would be a treat for the girl if one of them went to the van, put on the Easter Bunny mask and walked to the window of the restaurant to surprise the girl."

It seems that Wagner and Payment were traveling with (why not?) a large papier-mache bunny head. Each time they entered a new county, one of them would put on the bunny head and pose for a photograph next to the county sign on the roadside. (Judge Larimer notes that "They also had a 7-foot stuffed dog in the van that apparently also posed for some of these roadside pictures.")

So Payment got the bunny head out of the van, put it on and waved into the restaurant window until the little girl saw him. Then he put the bunny head away and went back to finish his breakfast.

In some towns, Wagner and Payment might have gotten away with this. But Randolph is not "some towns." Several alert citizens observed the Easter Bunny; they thought that it might have been looking into the windows of local banks. So a bank employee called the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department, which sent two officers to Randolph to investigate.

By then, Wagner and Payment had left town, but one of the officers, Lt. Ernie Travis, was able to trace Wagner's van from its license plate; he learned that Wagner had a criminal conviction (which later turned out to be related to income-tax-evasion charges).

So here was the situation:

1. Two strangers had been hanging around Randolph, and one of them had been wearing a bunny head in a possibly suspicious manner.

2. One of the men had been convicted of something.

3. There were banks around.

Lt. Travis, according to a deposition he gave later, as summarized by Judge Larimer, concluded that "the men were bank robbers." So he issued an All Points Bulletin to apprehend the suspects, who were described as "armed and dangerous."

Wagner and Payment were arrested at gunpoint by state police, handcuffed and returned to Cattaraugus County. There the bank-robbery case against them — which up to that point probably looked airtight — began to fall apart. For one thing, as Judge Larimer noted in his decision, no actual bank had been robbed. Also, Payment and Wagner did not flee, nor were they armed (unless you count the stuffed dog). Also, as the judge pointed out, robbers casing a bank probably would not wear a 2-foot-high bunny head featuring "enormous pink ears."

"Generally," observed the judge, "stealth is preferred when engaging in such activity."

So after a couple of hours in custody, Wagner and Payment were released, and everybody had a good laugh, and then Wagner and Payment sued for $2.1 million. Judge Larimer ruled that Lt. Travis acted improperly, and a jury will determine what the damages are.

This case reaffirms our fundamental right — not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, but clearly on the minds of the Founding Fathers — to look into bank windows while wearing bunny outfits. But that does not mean that we have carte blanche (literally, "hors d'oeuvres") to do whatever we wish. I have here a recent Los Angeles Times story sent in by alert reader Cathy Perlmutter concerning a 35-year-old, 225-pound man who dressed as a "Samurai Bunny" for Halloween, meaning that he carried a wooden sword and had (I am still not making any of this up) "a stuffed bunny on his head." This man was arrested on suspicion of assault after he allegedly almost whacked off another man's ear with his sword when the man asked if he wasn't too old to be trick-or-treating.

So we see from these two cases that there is a "fine line" between legal and illegal bunny-outfit conduct, and the distinctions become even more blurred when we enter the arena of wearing giant chicken heads or — this can be a legal nightmare — two-person horse suits. So in this or any other legal matter, I strongly recommend that before you do anything, you pay a qualified attorney to give you advice that neither you nor he really understands. And make darned sure you register your stuffed dog.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness

© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.