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A Fool and His Money


     A fool is generally defined as one who lacks good judgement. This includes those that are easily duped, as well as those that take unnecessary risks. By this definition, children are described as fools, but are granted immunity from this designation being derogatory by virtue of the fact that they simply do not know better. Ignorance is bliss, we say.

     Ignorance is a defense of Biblical proportions. Animals and children are permitted to jump the gates of Heaven if they wish, as are those not hep to the word; while those who know but deny this knowledge are punished until hell freezes over. Ignorance, in Biblical terms at least, implies a lack of knowing intent.

     Ignorance is not a defense in law, however. Though one may swear on a Bible, the ignorance clause therein has no significance in our courts: if the accused is illiterate, and cannot tell the difference between word of God and a phone book, it's not likely to excuse their later perjuries. And unlike in the Bible, if you are not aware of a law, your ignorance affords you no protection from punishment. But the court is quite likely to attempt to determine whether your "poor judgement" was intended, such as with premeditated murder; or accidental, such as with involuntary manslaughter. Fools are divided into two camps on the scales of justice.

     Last month, I was called in for jury duty. We were forced to look at the defendant while the crown and the defense gave us the skunk eye. The crown turned me down because somehow they'd determined by my looks that I'd sympathize with a child molester. That seemed pretty ignorant.

     Last week, while parked at the Kingston School of Art for a visit, I became so engaged in conversation that I lost all track of time. The meter ran out, and a green hornet broke camouflage to sting my car. A fifteen-dollar ticket, half price if I pay right away. "Fools" I thought to myself, "I'm not giving you fifteen bucks...". I went online and paid the bill that night.


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