T Nation

Common Sense


Got this in the mail from a friend. Struck me as true, sad but o so real.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense.
Mr Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old
he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red
tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as
knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early
bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair. Common Sense lived by
simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and
reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).
His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. - Reports of a six-year-old
boy charged with sexual
harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using
mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get
parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not
inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an
Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments
became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received
better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize
that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and
was awarded a huge financial settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust,
his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on; if not, join the majority and do
What are your thoughts? Discuss on this.


The truth is, many people do have common sense. It's all these new laws that are making people realize that they can do dumb shit and get rewarded for it. Hell, if you could sue McDonald's for millinos for a stupid mistake on your part because of some dumb techincality, I think you'd do it too.

I sure as hell disagree with all these new laws and regulations that are allowing this kind of retarded behavior though, don't get me wrong. But I don't think we can blame the common person for it. Yeah, the common person is downright stupid, but they don't lack common sense. It's the damn bureaucrats with all their new-age policies. IMO.


For the most part most of this is true. Keep in mind, though, that's it's only outrageous stuff that makes the news. The boring day to day stuff that actually functions correctly doesn't make the news. What's the more interesting story - the lady who made millions for spilling coffee on her lap or the guy who actually was injured through no fault of his own and received a fair settlement? People will abuse the system; that's reality.

As for this statement:

The way I see it, if a girl feels safer telling her teachers that she is pregnant rather than telling her parents, it's not the teachers who are at fault for not reporting it to her parents it's the parents who have failed at being parents. On many levels. Personal responsibility works both ways.


How about blaming the fuckin' idiot for putting a hot cup of coffe between their legs and driving away. THAT'S the loss of common sense. The other part is just a judicial system run amuck by greedy lawyers, leftists jurists, and juries filled with people pre-chosen for the particular case by consultants whose only job is to find people who will see the case they want it seen.
It was no new law or regulation the allowed the suit or any of the million since. Pure and simple it is the system breakdown. It's actual;ly rewarding them for their loss of common sense. I mean, should you have to put DO NOT DRINK on the side of a red gasoline can?


What about just sniffing it?


\|/ 3Toes


How, pray tell, do you send a company a message when they spend OVER 2 BILLION a year on advertising worldwide?? You know, to get their McBooks into children's classrooms and the like.

The ONLY way to send a corporation that had repeatedly ignored complaints that their coffee was dangerously hot is to hurt them in the pocketbook. And even that amount is loose pennies to them. I am amazed that anyone thinks that the McDonald's "hot coffee" case is one that is unfair. McDonalds is the biggest fast food corporation on the planet. They can afford to pay someone that was damaged by their product.


So because they are rich and do a great job at marketing their product, they then deserve to pay someof that back on a truly baseless claim.
And if it was such common knowlege that their coffee was too hot, that even makes it dumber to stick it between your legs.


No, because they are a bastard corporation that doesn't give a shit about the health of the general public. AND because they target most of their marketing at kids. I have an extreme dislike for McDonalds and would not give a shit if they went away overnight. Anytime they are called out for their crap is good.

And no, I think you shouldn't put hot coffee between your legs, but there is also no need for coffee to EVER be ALMOST BOILING. It's stupid.


Your irrational feelings aside, you've done nothing to disprove the lack of common sense shown by the person. Even if the coffee was just 'normal' coffee hot, it doesn't belong there, and would cause injury if spilled.


There's alot of myth surrounding the "hot coffee incident" and I myself don't have the transcripts for the case. However, I have read that while the coffee was placed between the person's legs that it was super heated and caused third degree burns to the individual.

Was it stupid to put hot drink between legs? Yes

Should you have to suffer third degrees burns due to incredibly hot coffee? No

Common sense isn't dead, common sense just isn't that common.


Why'd you quote me? You make sense I just don't see what it had to do with my post hah.


How is it irrational to have a strong distaste for a corporation that pushes extremely unhealthy junk food on little kids? They couldn't care less about the health of people. It's been only recently that they've taken any flack for it. Now they're offering some "healthier" meals, but only because of the exposure of how bad their food has been in the first place. Yes, I hate McDonalds with a passion.

I really don't think that placing a coffee cup with a lid for a moment between your legs is necessarily showing lack of common sense. Poor judgement definately. But who of us at one time or another hasn't displayed poor judgement?

Yes, the person in that case should have gotten a cup holder, but you don't buy coffee expecting that if you spill it you get third degree burns. Normally hot coffee would most likely not have caused as great an injury as the person got from the McDonalds coffee.

Once in a while I buy a cup of coffee from the nearby donut shop. Yes, I've spilled it on myself a time of two. But it has never caused more that very mild burns. I also spilled a cup of ramen noodles on my stomach when I was about 12 or so. THAT water was being poured and was close to boiling. I spilled it on accident. VERY VERY painful burns. So I can definitely see the distinction.

If we're talking lack of common sense, there have got to be better examples.


Answer rant

Do you hate Coke,Pepsi,Hardees,Oscar Meyer.....I mean there's alot of shit out there. America aint fat because of McDonalds alone.

The whole coffee thing is overblown. My reference was simply to the original poster who suggested that laws and regulations were at the root of these problems not lack of common sense.

Better examples--yah

How about continuing to smoke after 30 years of knowing what it does to ya. And I don't want to hear about the addictive chemicals added or anything else. Bottom line you know the hazards, yet you chose to partake. That is a lack of common sense.


Common sense says that people should be help accountable for their own lack of judgement. Now you can say "the coffee was way too hot" but chances are that McDonalds had people previously complaining that coffee wasnt hot enough. People will complain about anything.

I haven't heard the specifics of the story but from what I've gathered from this thread, McDonalds should be held partially responsible. In my eyes, the person who spilt the coffee is the one who should take most of the blame.


And they did. I don't know the specifics, but this case took place in a comparative negligence state meaning the jury could apportion the fault. I think the jury attributed something like 80 or even 90 percent fault for the lady. The reason the award was so high was because the jury figured that a fair compensation was the 10 or 20% that McDonald's was liable and they mutliplied that by a percentage of McDonald's profits. It wasn't the best case for personal responsibility, but it also wasn't based on as outrageous a theory as people believe it to be.

Someone mentioned that the coffee was near-boiling hot. What made the plaintiff's case was that they compared the temperature of McD's coffee to other fast food places like Burger King and found that the temperature was way hotter than the industry standard. So the argument was why did McDonald's need to make its coffee so much hotter than the rest of the industry.

Here's another, perhaps more "sympathetic" fact scenario to consider. A lady is holding her baby waiting in line and some dumb ass bumps into the person in front of this lady and spills the super-hot coffee, which is again way hotter than the industry standard, on the baby, causing third-degree burns over most of the baby's body. Now, clearly the dumb ass is at fault here. However, should McDonald's bear a portion, not 100% but a portion, of the liability because it decided to make its coffee way hotter than the rest of the industry?

Discuss amongst yourselves.


"I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
(But i did five Mil)
I ain't been rhymin like Common since"

Common Sense is probably best rediscovered in the form of brilliant hip hop (if you're looking for any kind of substanceful, enduring reminder) of Mr.Since.
(Although.. even Common, formerly known as "Common Sense" is recognizing the endangerment here)


Why in the hell would you blame McDonald's instead of the dumbass parents who shove happy meals in their kids' faces?

Unless the kid is working a 40hr/week job, paying rent and buying their own food, it is their parents' fault for pulling into the drive-through.

How do you differentiate between "lack of common sense" and "poor judgement"? Both are your fault.

So, the plaintiff should have been compensated for the difference between the suffering caused by a second degree burn and a third degree burn.

You really think that makes more sense than saying the plaintiff shouldn't have spilt the coffee in her lap?

Who did you sue? Don't tell me you (and your parents) took responsibility for your own actions.


So, because McDonalds does a better job of heating their coffee than Burger King (which McDonalds wouldn't do unless their clients wanted really hot coffee), they should be punished?

Of course they shouldn't bear any responsibility. Just like Ford should bear any resposibiltiy if a drunk drives an Escapade through a line of kindergardeners, even though the Escapade weighs way more than the average car.


With respect, they're after money. Who has more, a huge corporation or some dumb sod? Easy money.

It's a great pity that such a great country as yours' has problems such as rampant litigation. What's worse is that other countries are copping onto it and using it as an easy way to make money. Frankly, it's a pain in the ass and makes me want to live in the middle of the desert and never talk to anyone.

On a lighter side, I do remember a quote from bash.org which said something along the lines of

"We don't have to kill the stupid people. We just have to remove all the warning labels and let natural selection take care of it".


The coffee was 180 degrees, which is undrinkable. Do you really believe their customers wanted coffee they couldn't drink? They now serve their coffee at 160 and I still have to remove the lid and let it cool before drinking.

Part of the reason this litigation succeeded, is that Mcdonald's showed a blatant and consistent disregard for public safety. They had many complaints on the temperature of their coffee.

I do believe we are sue happy, but this is not a good example IMO.