Monday, February 20, 2006

Attractive nuisance

Who uses it: Lawyers and insurers
What it means: "An inherently hazardous object or condition of property that can be expected to attract children to investigate or play." The classic example is a swimming pool, but something like a discarded refrigerator is also an attractive nuisance. An attractive nuisance imposes the same legal responsibilities on property owners that they have for people who are invited onto their property -- a very high standard.
How you can use it: For anything that's bound to cause trouble.

From this morning's Kennebec Journal:

Man pulled from ice at Great Pond
Staff Writer
Copyright © 2006 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

BELGRADE -- Rescuers needed just seven minutes to fish out a Rome man whose four-wheeler crashed through the ice on Great Pond just before 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Leslie Witham, 27, had been fishing on Long Pond and had driven over to visit a friend on Great Pond when his vehicle got too far to the right and went through the ice, said Game Warden Kevin Anderson.

Witham was successfully treated for hypothermia during the ambulance ride to MaineGeneral Medical Center, Thayer Campus, and friends picked him up there, Anderson said.

Witham told rescuers he had been drinking earlier in the day, but Anderson said he did not expect to file charges.

One could argue that the pond was an attractive nuisance, but one could also argue that this man was an idiot and should not be allowed to reproduce. Despite the last couple of days of hard freezes, we had temperatures in the 50s last week; how could anyone think that the ice was solid enough to drive an SUV on?

It was so warm last week that the pub down the hill put its patio tables out, and I was talking to Anna about buying patio furniture of my own. When Dizzy and I walked by the pub this morning, he started barking at nothing I could see. It took me a minute to realize he was barking at the patio table umbrellas, waving gently in the breeze. This confirmed my suspicions that 1) Dizzy doesn't see that well and 2) he too is not the smartest. Fortunately, he makes it up in personality and good looks.


Anna said...

Maine tip: A "four-wheeler" is an ATV (all terrain vehicle), kind of like a snowmobile for the ground. Not an SUV. Easy mistake as many SUVs have four-wheel drive.

Anonymous said...

It wasnt an SUV but an ATV!