Wagin' a war again in tort-accuserville
Suing to line the inside of my vault
Some people claim that I'm the woman to blame
But I know it's the manufacturer's fault


When Jimmy Buffett blew out his flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top and cut his heel, he didn't sue the thong manufacturer. He blended up some frozen margaritas instead and wrote a hit tune that parrotheads and popular music lovers have been singing along to ever since.

Buffett understood the natural hazards of flimsy, open-toed shoes. They offer no protection against nails, shards of glass, falling objects, mosquitoes, horse flies, animal dung, sunburn, and IEDs. Clumsiness and inebriation only increase the risk of injury for flip-flop fans.

Nevertheless, thongs are comfortable and inexpensive, and parrotheads and plain folk alike seem to think that the pleasure of wearing them outweighs the peril.

Everyone, that is, except Shawna Pinkerton, who is clearly no parrothead. In fact, she appears to have no prior experience with thongs at all, having never worn them before in her entire life and being thus utterly unaware of the well-known dangers.

An attorney for the Geico car insurance company in Charleston, Shawna is suing Nike in Kanawha Circuit Court for the injury she allegedly suffered while wearing a "defective" pair of the company's flip-flops. She claims to have dislocated and broken her ankle and wants to hold Nike responsible for failing to warn her about the pitfalls of flimsy footwear.

As staff counsel for Geico, Shawna is no doubt familiar with dubious claims. We wonder if, in her professional capacity, she's ever encountered one as suspect as her own.

In any case, we have a suggestion for Shawna: The next time you blow out a flip-flop, blend up a batch of margaritas instead of a lawsuit. That "frozen concoction" will help you hang on -- and maybe, eventually, you'll realize that the misfortune you're experiencing is your "own damn fault."

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