I mostly agree with the 8th Amendment of our Constitution which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment,  but I really don’t understand the ban on unusual punishment if it isn’t cruel.

Say an 18-year old boy is caught shoplifting a couple of neato fishing lures he just couldn’t afford at the time. A kindly judge might give him the law and order lecture and then add, “I could fine you much more than the cost of those lures and you’d have a record, but since this is your first offense and you’re so young, I want you to go into my chambers now and stand in the corner for an hour and think about that. Then we’ll call it even and you can go home.”

Now that’s unusual punishment, but the kid should really appreciate it. Community service sentences are a good idea for light offenses, but if anyone finds out the guy sweeping the courthouse steps isn’t a do-gooder volunteer, he’s branded.

Other types of unusual punishment could be something like the “eye for an eye” kind created almost 4,000 years ago by Hammurabi, a Babylonian king.  The punishment would have some similarity to the offense, but there would be no mutilation involved.

I would join a class action suit against the packaging guy who invented those clear, hard plastic bubble containers that are almost impenetrable.  They might extend the shelf life of merchandise, but they have shortened the tempers and fingernails of millions of consumers.

I don’t know the official name of those annoying packages, but I’ve used a few unprintable ones while experiencing bubble trouble.   I watched my friend Larry try to breach one to get at his new watch band and heard him mutter a few colorful names I hadn’t heard since I got out of the army.

We class action people shouldn’t try to pauperize the inventor. He probably meant well and didn’t realize how much frustration and anger he was inflicting on the public.  We could just sue for our attorney fees and one added provision.  Every day for a year the inventor’s dinners would be delivered in one of his bubbles and the only allowable tools would be a butter knife and a spoon.

If they had that kind of troublesome packaging in Hammurabi’s time the inventor would probably have been imbubbled.


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