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Florida Man Sues Winn-Dixie Because Roses Have Thorns

Florida Man Sues Winn-Dixie Because Roses Have Thorns

In spite of, or maybe because of, that intolerable "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" song by Poison, everyone pretty much knows that, well, every rose has thorns.

Every single rose. There is not a thornless rose that has occurred in nature ever since the first caveman decided he he would give his cavewife something nice on the anniversary of the day he clubbed her on the head and dragged her back to his cave.

There have even been other songs about roses and thorns and their inherent danger, like Linda Rondstadt's "Love is a Rose" — "Love is a rose, but you'd better not pick it // Only grows when it's on the vine // Handful of thorns, and you know you missed it // Lose your love when you say the word 'mine.'"

Even Shakespeare had something to say on the subject: "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, and hurteth like hell if thou fails to watch it."

Apparently Charles Imwalle of Lake Mary, Florida wasn't into Poison, Linda Rondstadt, or Shakespeare, because he pricked his finger on a rose thorn, and it got infected.

His finger, not the thorn.

According to a story by United Press International, Imwalle says he "suffered pain, disfigurement, medical bills and lost wages after pricking his finger."

(If he were alive today, George Carlin would be all over this story.)

So there's no real surprise that Imwalle is suing Winn-Dixie and Passion Growers LLC for $15,000 for a thorn-laden rose he bought at a Winn-Dixie this past February. Imwalle apparently said he cut his finger on the faulty rose, and blamed both the store and the grower for neglectfully failing to remove the things that grow their naturally. He also says that Winn-Dixie did not use an anti-bacterial solution in the display buckets

His claim? If Passion Growers had removed the thorn, he wouldn't have pricked his finger, and there would have been no infection.

Common Sense's claim? Check the damn rose for thorns first!

Nature is not like one of those animal petting zoos where high school kids follow the goats around and sweep up goat doots so people aren't reminded of the fact that nature is dirty and makes doots on the ground. Nature is a bitch, and will poke you in the eye with a sharp stick if you make her mad. Or prick you on the finger if you forget that roses have thorns and just start grabbing them willy-nilly out of buckets in supermarkets.

But Sam Ferrara, founder of Passion Growers said his company has sterilized all its flowers for the past 20 years. "We've never, never had anything like this where anyone has gotten an infection from a thorn prick."

And who buys roses at supermarkets? I'll admit that my local grocery store actually has a nice floral display, but buying your roses at the same place you buy light bulbs and Cheese Doodles has all the emotional depth of regifting greeting cards.

But I think the most important question to ask is, dude, don't you wash your hands?

When I was a kid, I learned that if you got a cut or a scrape, you sterilized it immediately. That's how you kept from getting an infection. Wash with soap and water or squirt some Bactine on it, slap a Band-Aid on it, and you were good to go.

And when I was a kid, our parents didn't smother us like a emotionally-stultifying blanket either, so we were all covered in bacteria most days. A simple hand washing saved us from everything from splinters to major cuts, so I have to wonder if Imwalle actually washed his hands or used anti-bacterial hand gel any time after he pricked his finger. The suit says that Imwalle's hand swelled up to triple its size within 24 hours, which is fast, but even so, wouldn't it make sense to wash your hands after an injury?

Imwalle is also a fishing guide in Florida, which means he has probably had his hands on some pretty nasty, slimy stuff. Who's to say Imwalle didn't get infected baiting a hook or grabbing a contaminated fish?

Nature doesn't like people messing with it, and it will go after any one of us, even if we didn't do anything. She's like a ninja, with a deep-seated hatred of most people, and she will poke, jab, pinch, bite, or eat us whenever it can. Even with supermarket roses.

Good thing he wasn't buying a cactus.

My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.

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  1. "Good thing he wasn't buying a cactus."


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Winn-Dixie is several hundred miles away from me, but I could always go to McDonald's and stab myself with a plastic form so that I would have a good chance of finally getting out-of-debt plus having money to play with!!!

    Actually, imho, Mr. Badfinger should give everybody a break by simply putting a band-aid on his booboo and staying away from court!!!


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