Friday, November 04, 2016

Canadian Super Baby Attacked by Cheese

Dear hyper-intelligent super baby,

May I call you Juli?

I was sorry to read about your recent injury, when you broke your leg at the Great Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival, in Whistler, BC. That's unfortunate, and must not have felt very gouda.

Sorry! I'm so sorry! I make terrible jokes when I'm nervous.

I'm nervous, Juli, because I read on the CBC website that you filed a lawsuit in October over your injury. I figured a three-year-old who can file a lawsuit is a baby to be reckoned with.

My wife says your dad, Toshihiro Nonaka, filed the lawsuit, but I'm not so sure. The Canadian newspapers all named you as the plaintiff, which means you're more advanced than all other babies in the world.

So I thought I would write to you, since a) a hyper-intelligent super baby will most likely run the world one day, and b) you can probably already read. I'd like to offer some friendly advice and wisdom as you rise to ultimate power.

First, I read that the culprit was a five kilogram wheel of farmhouse cheddar. That's 11 pounds! I'm not surprised your leg was broken. That's the weight of a bowling ball or a gallon of paint, rolling down a hill at 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour. It must have been pretty scary to see it rolling straight at you like some round Muenster.

Monster! I mean monster!

I saw the photos in the newspapers, you laid up in a hospital bed, your little leg in a cast. It was a pretty pink cast, but you were no doubt feeling bleu.

Sorry, blue! I did it again.

I'm sure your parents must be feeling devastated. I'm a father of three, and I can imagine your parents' heartbreak at watching their little girl get hurt when she was just trying to have some fun. As much as your leg hurts now, your parents will feel terrible about it for the rest of their lives.

Some might argue they shouldn't have let you sit so close to the fence, but most parents never assume the worst, although we work to avoid it. We try to walk a fine line between letting our kids be kids, and wanting to protect them from every bad thing.

Even so, bad things do happen, and gruyere — sorry, you were! — one of the unfortunate ones. So I understand why you'd sue the organizers, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Smak Media, and Vail Resorts. Please bear in mind that Vail Resorts did not own the Whistler Blackcomb resort when you got hurt in August.

I read that you were behind the safety net, right where the cheese stretched it and hit you. What are the odds? That was a one-in-a-million collision. Although if you win this suit, it might be a million-in-a-million collision.

No one has actually said what you're seeking in damages, Juli, but if you were in the United States, it would probably be for a few million dollars. People here can be greedy and opportunistic at times. I hope you don't let greed get the cheddar of you.

Better! Oh God, I can't stop!

As you get older, you'll learn that cheese rolling is an old and dangerous sport. And that certain things in life carry a risk, including watching sporting events.

There are stories of people being killed watching car races, getting hit with balls and bats at baseball games, or even being hit by a flying puck at a hockey game. And those are at professional venues where special care is taken to keep spectators safe.

Cheese rolling is no different. In 1990, at the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake in England, 22 people were injured during the race. In 1997, 33 people were injured, which nearly caused the women's race to be cancelled. Several spectators were also injured at those events, so you're one of the "lucky few" in the world to ever be injured during a cheese-based sporting event.

In fact, it's kind of funny when you think about it, Juli. There are 7 billion people in the world right now, and only a few can say "I was injured at a cheese rolling race." But your case may be truly unique, as the youngest cheese rolling spectator ever to be injured.

I hope you can look back at it and laugh, when you tell it to your family, friends, and cabinet of special global advisors: "When I was three, my leg was broken by a runaway wheel of cheese."

It's nacho typical cheese story.

Photo credit: A race at The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake on 27th May 2013, author Dave Farrance (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons)

Photo credit: Warning sign for Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll, used with kind permission by John Hudson, owner of the Cheese-Rolling.co.uk website


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