Automobiles

Fred Flintstone Should Stay Out of Toronto

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In court the other day, Toronto prosecutor Daniel Lerner was trying to make the case that a 1986 Buick Regal converted into a four-man pedal car by local artists was an inherently unsafe vehicle. He argued that if the operators on the left braked before the operators on the right, the car could swerve into oncoming traffic. Maybe. But as the artists' lawyer pointed out, Toronto allows rickshaws on its streets, and they have no brakes at all. Then Lerner turned his attention to the Buick's headlights, which had been replaced with candles:

"What would happen," Lerner [asked] with pointed conviction, "if a lit candle hit another car?"

As the small courtroom in Old City Hall erupted in giggles, Lerner withdrew his question.

The artists won.

[Thanks to Mark Young for the tip.]

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  1. He was a moron, he got laughed at.

    All is right with the world. At least in Toronto.

    I wonder, do giggles sound different in French?

  2. “What would happen,” Lerner [asked] with pointed conviction, “if a lit candle hit another car?”

    Shoulda had Michael Bay make the presentation with him.

  3. I worry about the safety of the vehicle occupants when it tips over from the weight of a giant rack of ribs.

  4. Elemenope | April 4, 2008, 10:51am | #
    I wonder, do giggles sound different in French?

    ?

    There’s more Italian, Greek, Punjabi, Hindi, Cantonese & Spanish than French spoken in T.O.

    T.O. is one of the world’s most polyglot cities.

  5. Besides this, Flintstone might get in trouble for walking around Toronto with no pants on.

  6. Shoulda had Michael Bay make the presentation with him.

    ROFL!

    There’s more Italian, Greek, Punjabi, Hindi, Cantonese & Spanish than French spoken in T.O.

    Fascinating. I knew that Vancouver had a large immigrant population, but did not know about Toronto.

  7. You would think that they would have used something a little bit lighter than an 86 Buick.

  8. I worry about the environmental effects. What if all the operators had consumed cabbage and beer the night before, and had hard boiled eggs the following morning? They might as well pour a bucket of mercury into the river.

  9. Toronto is in Ontario, LMNOP. English-speaking province.

  10. I wonder, do giggles sound different in French?

    I doubt it, however, English is the predominant language in Toronto (I spent a month or two there).

  11. Wait, what does LMNOP mean?

  12. “What would happen,” Lerner [asked] with pointed conviction, “if a lit candle hit another car?”

    Not much, unless the other car was covered in spilled gasoline :-}

  13. Not much, unless the other car was covered in spilled gasoline :-}

    Or painted with dynamite!*

    *I am aware of how unlikely this is.

  14. The artists won.

    Is anyone else still surprised about this outcome, regardless of the douchey-ness of the prosecutor ?

  15. Toronto is in Ontario, LMNOP. English-speaking province.[…]I doubt it, however, English is the predominant language in Toronto

    Good point. For some reason, my defective recall placed Toronto in Quebec.

  16. Elemenope = LMNOP

    Oh, I thought it was also some sort of acronym. Like the second half of my name:

    Personnel-Other-than-Grunt

    or

    Psychological Operations Group

    …depending on my mood.

  17. If only artists ran the world . . .

    No! Wait! I did not say that!

  18. That car is UnSafe! There’s no way an infant could reach the pedals from a certified child car seat. Why doesn’t anyone ever think of the children?

  19. or…and I just though of this…Grand Old Party…backwards!

    Full disclosure: I’ve never (intentionally) voted Republican, except for Geo. Voinovich.

  20. Hell, many communities in the U.S. wouldn’t let you park that thing in your driveway,
    let alone put in on the road.

  21. Ever consider making a backronym?

  22. Apologies in advance

    Sullum’s just a shill for Big Hanna-Barbera.

  23. Art-P.O.G. | April 4, 2008, 11:13am | #

    Not much, unless the other car was covered in spilled gasoline :-}

    Or painted with dynamite!*

    *I am aware of how unlikely this is.

    Given the generally level of idiocy in T.O., I wouldn’t consider it unlikely at all.

  24. For some reason, my defective recall placed Toronto in Quebec.

    With that sentence you have managed to insult two sizeable groups of people.

  25. Ever consider making a backronym?

    LMNOP…

    Hmm.

    Let’s Mount Nethers Of Prudes?
    Live More Nights On Pot?
    Loquacious Miserable Nubile Old Prick?
    Liberty Means Nothing On Paper?
    Love My New Ontological Pretensions?

    Vote Today!

  26. With that sentence you have managed to insult two sizeable groups of people.

    I’m efficient. I’m also part French-Canadian, so I might as well take umbrage with myself.

  27. Elemenope:

    #4 is fantastic, but I also cracked a smile at #5.

  28. Just ot make the car safer, they should install two prehistoric pelicans to serve as airbags.

  29. Does Lerner have Halliburton stock or what?

  30. Maybe that’s why he cleaned out his 401K.

  31. an unfrozen caveman lawyer could have prosecuted successfully

  32. “What would happen,” Lerner [asked] with pointed conviction, “if a lit candle hit another car?”

    Um, the candle would go out?

    Hell, many communities in the U.S. wouldn’t let you park that thing in your driveway,
    let alone put in on the road.

    And in many communities, you wouldn’t park it in your driveway, you’d park it (and all its friends) on your front yard.

  33. Mr. Slate

    401K = RRSP in Canadian.

    LMNOP

    Love My New Outfit People?
    Low Moral Nexus Outrages Prudes?

    Otherwise, #1

  34. Yabba-dabba-douchebags.

  35. You guys do understand why the government brought this prosecution, what their real motivation was?

    Comment: Toronto is a pan-Asian city more than anything else now. Fun to visit.

  36. Yabba-dabba-douchebags.

    [Applause.]

    Beautiful.

  37. “What would happen,” Lerner [asked] with pointed conviction, “if a lit candle hit another car?”

    Um, the candle would go out?

    Then it would no loger be lit. The lawyer pustulated(sorry) a candle, remaining lit in it’s flight, and landing on another car.

    After consulting with Rosie, there would be no danger since fire can not damage steel. On further consulting with Greenpiece, if a lit candle fell on some silly little plastic earth-o-car, much fun would follow as the plastic ignited the hydrogen cells and the sealed batteries. More fun if the body is made from hemp fiber.

  38. Aresen,

    I’m in the middle of a Canadian law issue, with Canadian counsel and everything! The firm is in Toronto, so I will observe and report back on any strange behavior. I’ve never been there, myself. Oddly enough for someone from the Southeast U.S., the only place I’ve been in Canada is Vancouver.

  39. For some reason, my defective recall placed Toronto in Quebec.

    LMNOP == Avril Lavigne?

  40. Help. Jane. Get me out of this crazy thing. Help. Jane.

  41. LMNOP == Avril Lavigne?

    *Very* not nice, dude. Not nice at all.

    😉

  42. Toronto is a pan-Asian city more than anything else now. Fun to visit.

    Pining for the long-lost days of “Toronto the Good”, are we? When all the food was bland and there was nothing to do?

  43. Rhywun

    “Toronto the Good” has become “Toronto the Ultra Politically Correct.”

    That hasn’t changed the fact that every non-Toronto Canadian hates Toronto, though.

  44. Everyone not from Toronto hates Toronto, Aresen. It’s not just Canadians.

  45. Episiarch

    Agreed, assuming they know it exists. In Canada, knowledge of its existence is forced upon those living in other Provinces in the colonies.

  46. Pining for the long-lost days of “Toronto the Good”, are we?

    I didn’t know the earlier Toronto. I only lived there for about four years. It has a lot of immigrants with relatively little cultural assimilation. The economic engine for the city seems to be cheap immigrant labor that is willing to put up with kind of shabby living and working conditions.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. the Asian immigrants seem to appreciate the opportunity to be out of Asian without much pressure to culturally assimilate. However, it is not as comfortable as the United States and life is, frankly, kind of hard there.

  47. However, it is not as comfortable as the United States and life is, frankly, kind of hard there.

    Can’t get Boylan’s in Toronto, Dave?

  48. Yeah, even in California we sing: “Leafs suck, Leafs suck.”

  49. I have never seen Boylan’s anywhere. The single hardest thing there is traffic / driving.

  50. Obviously they were prosecuted for not paying the fuel tax. Don’t screw the tax man, eh? The rest was window dressing to avoid the reality.

    And that sad-sack of a prosecutor will one day be a really big secretary of something or other up in Ottawa, where nitwittery and law is promulgated.

  51. Grumpy

    where nitwittery and law is promulgated.

    Promulgated?!?! Hell, in Ottawa it’s celebrated!

  52. OK I’ve only been to Toronto one weekend back in the early 90’s. Even so, Toronto was famous for being a very clean, very comfortable city, with loads of culture, world class theater, and night life. The only knock on Toronto was it cost an arm and a leg every day you stayed. With the $CA valued above the $US I wouldn’t even want to cross Niagara Falls these days.

    Still, I do not know this slum ridden city on the verge of civil war that you speak of.

  53. I like when I speak with Canadian lawyers in Ontario and they say, “We regulate that area pretty much like the FTC does in the U.S. Well, except in Qu?bec. Are you sure you want to do business there?”

  54. PL

    Probably almost as amusing as when I speak to a lawyer in Utah who considers a court order issued in Salt Lake City binding in Vancouver without a petition for recognition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

    I try not to laugh as I explain extraterritoriality.

  55. Aresen,

    Yes, well, sometimes people forget that we’re like different countries and stuff.

    My outside counsel in Toronto–advising me about a deal we’re doing with a Canadian corporation–said that we could use a Canadian venue while opting for U.S. governing law. She said that Canadian courts were used to interpreting and ruling on contracts using U.S. law. There’s something just weird about that.

  56. JLM:

    I think that’s part of the joke.

  57. Toronto is pretty much a smaller, cleaner, safer, colder version of New York.

    Take all the best stuff about New York, and lose the top 20%. Then take all the worst stuff about New York and eliminate the bottom 20%. What you’d be left with is basically what Toronto has to offer.

  58. PL

    It’s not weird at all, from our perspective: 60% of our economy involves trade with the US, so we gotta be familiar with your laws.

    It’s just the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold, makes the rules.”

  59. Aresen,

    So why not just adopt our laws and be done with it? In return, we’ll invade Qu?bec.

  60. Probably almost as amusing as when I speak to a lawyer in Utah who considers a court order issued in Salt Lake City binding in Vancouver without a petition for recognition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

    Well, he probably just saw the way you guys rolled over for the DEA and assumed you’d given up on that whole sovereignty thing.

  61. Well, he probably just saw the way you guys rolled over for the DEA and assumed you’d given up on that whole sovereignty thing.

    “Ouch, baby. Very ouch.”

  62. PL

    I like having money in pretty colors.

    😉

  63. This car must certainly be insured by Geico.

  64. I think that the maker is of this simply brilliant, but he has not thought clearly to a reverse acceleration and also not to lights, and what if it starts rain, then comes in everything along the ground to.
    I will try it itself also, but then for at least FIVE PEOPLE and only the chaufeur must kick by means of a lot of cog wheels so that it becomes very light very rapidly go.

    Sorry of bad orthography I live in Belgium and my mother language is Dutch.

  65. it is a great idea , but the candles might set the car on fire/other traffic.so i would change them to somthing safer

  66. maybe u could road insure it and maybe sell plans of how to make it possibly on EBAY

  67. I think it’s awesome. The guy who wanted to ban it is stupid.

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