• Bats, Moths and Junk Thunking – California Court of Appeals Addresses the Epic Fail

    July 18, 2011 11:52 pm 7 comments
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  • As a strong supporter of the survival instinct, I find it difficult to grasp meaning from the junk thunking humor and injury that has spurred the last twenty or so generations to laud such things. Reminiscing my own childhood brush with the personalities that enjoy this sort of nonsense, I can honestly claim to have rejected dangerous pastimes.

    When I was young, around the time dinosaurs began to die out, young people had more intellectual pursuits. Twilight in the Appalachian hills, when the sky is still light enough to perceive silhouettes, bats will come out from their hidey places to feed. This is also true for large moths like the Luna and Promethea. I liked watching the bats wildly speed around eating bugs and occasionally latch on to a moth. One can tell when a moth has become a juicy mid-flight meal for a bat because the wings will snap off and flutter silently to the ground. It seems to be quick and humane. Examination of the wings doesn’t usually indicate signs of struggle.

    If a high outdoor light is present one can, if one is of truly curious nature, toss a moth body sized rock into the air and watch the reaction of the bats. The smarter bats will turn and swerve toward the rock and quickly change course, most likely due to experience and perceptions of rocks verses juicy moth bodies. The goal is to observe bat feeding behavior and maybe catch one going for the rock.

    As a child, I was engaged in this activity with some other children around a high outdoor light in the Weasel Shoals Elementary parking lot while the parents were in a PTA meeting. These were inexperienced bats and children so I was anxious to see the reactions to the rock stimuli. I have always suspected the bats around our home met in the roost cave around dawn and discussed that rock throwing child, comparing stories and formulating plans to out maneuver rocks.

    At one point in this new outdoor laboratory, I threw a rock in a particularly vertical arc when one of the more churlish girls from my class positioned her personal self directly under the descending flight path of the rock. As many professional non-fake wrestlers know, a cut to the head will bleed profusely. Another truism is that the appearance of blood on children seems to draw a lot of attention from adults.

    Adults are rarely amused by these types of collateral damages in the pursuit of scientific observation even when safety measures are in place like yelling “ROCK!” prior to launch. I got into some trouble. I may have been labeled a rock thrower. At the time I casually mentioned to my mortified parents that the girl seemed to be lacking the common sense needed to move out of the path of a falling rock adding that this obvious defect was to garner attention from adults. My troubles seemed to painfully multiply as a result of this commentary. There are no prizes for precocious children that study bat behavior or make these kinds of obvious statements. Everybody is a liberal when a kid is bleeding from the head.

    Continued observations of the rock headed girl and other playmates seemed to validate my hypothesis. Some children were needlessly creating drama and placing themselves in harm’s way for attention. While providing my astute leadership in the tensility measurement of wild vines by swinging the expanse of a culvert filled with sharp sticks and pointy boulders, Rock Head Girl was once again injured when she failed to release the vine in time to evade smacking into a large oak. I escaped full blame on this one, but internally decided to avoid her company as a future playmate. Too much drama seemed to follow her and I received little knowledge gain from her continued hapless participation.

    How odd it is to set one’s objectives on failure. It is beyond me why young people choose to befriend those that cause harm to themselves or one another and then expect premium paying adults to run and seek medical aid. It is a mystery.

    Further research has revealed that many young people actually revere and admire those that intentionally put themselves in peril. Some doctors call this post-traumatic stress arousal, pointing to violence at home or a tragic event. It seems that judgment is clouded by the prevailing belief that their lives are worthless and their only value is that of failure poster children. While that may be true for some it cannot be true for all. I find it sad that few adults are paying attention to this trend thus validating the cycle of higher medical costs.

    A recent California Court of Appeals opinion addresses what has been a beleaguering problem for Medical insurance premium paying adults. The opinion, held the defendant, Mr. King should have expected the groin injury from his friend since the tradition of groin injury had been established.

    The lawsuit arose from the parties’ attendance at a baseball game at which the defendant (Mr. Frake) allegedly became “very intoxicated.” After leaving the game, the plaintiff (Mr. King) “tried to strike Frake in the groin, but Frake blocked the attempt. Shortly thereafter, Frake retaliated … and struck King in the groin.” The complaint alleged that Frake struck King with a “closed fist,” whereupon “Defendant FRAKE laughed triumphantly in having achieved a direct hit to Plaintiff’s testicles, while he screamed various swear words ….”

    The You Tube is filled with FAIL videos of these types of witless accident prone personalities. I don’t know which came first, the groin shot or the FAIL video. In my observation, these videos celebrate the stupidity and worthlessness of our youth to follow the diabolical mind that would conceive these unsafe practices.

    We do not need a witless protection program to help save these types or tend to their self immolation. I applaud the California Court of Appeals for this very insightful opinion. Perhaps we can reduce the number of injuries and possibly get to the business of tracking the masterminds behind such stupidity. Perhaps logic and reason will prevail and we shall see an end to these pratfall punks.


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    About The Author
    Blanche Beecham "Blanche Beecham lends a soft, learned hand to the fourth estate with incite-full investigations on diverse topics such as Politics, Love, and Lifestyle. Her many years experience as a wife, mother, ladies book club president and financial auditor make her well suited to ferreting out the truth and giving it a sound shake." - Rev. Jackson Lee Whitebelley, Publisher and Editor of "The Incubator" - Follow me on Twitter! @BLANCHEBEECHAM

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