Whom do you blame for a sunburn? If you get soaking wet walking in the rain, whose fault is that? Who’s responsible for your belly ache the day after Thanksgiving?
In the not-so-distant past, you would have blamed yourself: for staying out on the beach too long, for forgetting your umbrella at home, for gorging on holiday food.
Before we became a nation of whining idiots, we all knew that the sun can sear, that rain can saturate, and that our stomachs may protest when overburdened.
Nowadays, too many of us seem to think that we should be spared the obvious consequences of our foolish actions – or that others should be held to account for them.
We insist that the lifeguard should have warned us about that pretty orange ball in the sky, the TV weatherman should have made it clear that it really was going to rain and he wasn’t kidding this time, and our reckless grandmother should have cut us off before we had that seventh helping of oyster dressing.
Ervin Victoria of Beaumont has a similar complaint. He allegedly slipped on a wheelchair ramp as he was coming out of the Wells Fargo Bank on Gladys Street last Valentine’s Day. The ramp was apparently still wet from the previous day’s rain, but the bank had posted no warning signs to alert its customers to the once widely known and understood fact that rain does indeed make things wet and wet things can be slippery.
Last month, nearly a year after the incident, Victoria filed suit against Wells Fargo in Jefferson County District Court.
Of course, the bank is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide that handicapped-accessible ramp, so maybe Victoria should sue the federal government instead — or lobby for an Americans without Disabilities Act to ensure that handicapped-accessible ramps are also nonhandicapped-accessible.
Or he could drop the suit, conceding that he should have noticed the slick surface and been more careful.