SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1933. Volume 4. Number 6.
Vitchmileriski v. Mccalumniate
Vitchmileriski v. Mccalumniate.
Lord Menaughty: This circumstances of this case are remarkable. As the defendant (who is Vice-President of the Weir House H2 O Club, Nice-President of the V.U.C. Model Railway Club, and Twice-Member of the Associated Stewed Asses) was leaving the Libery run by "The Bookies (Unassorted) Ltd.," a heavy volume—by one Pound—fell sixteen feet from an upper shelf and was distressfully damaged through landing upon an attache case which, in defiance of the Regulations, he had introduced into the very portals of the Libery! The Libationary in charge, having a hazy hang of the doctrine of [unclear: deodand], propounded the Rule, expounded the Regulation, confounded the rascal and impounded the rubbish. He now sues for the cost of repairs to the book and his scattered nerves.
It must first be found whether there exists between the plaintiff and the defendant any relationship (not, of course, [unclear: consangu.neons]—which would be intolerable) or not. I think it is only too clear that the function of the Libery as a place of amusement is a suieient nexus. The Libationary's consent to the "Comments Chronicled" (ride official "Smad," 12/6/21 at p. 10) connotes a certain conception of his constable ship. He cannot waive the taught, for if he did. then we should be infra-red time with ultraviolet [unclear: emunisti], hunted by innuendoes, chased by Cannons and (horrible dictu!) concomitant Free Disgusting. He must maintain gross silence until—as at 2YA (venerable pile)—the facet is over and the Antient Guy Forks Celebrations re-established in the sacred precincts. Ichabod! no more the Education student sang-Froid, nor did the Here-am-I Club sinn fein.
The defendant, too, is under uncertain obligations : e.g. he must pay rapt attention whenever the robot says, "Stop talking," to the Lore Wing and when he hears the Halsbury bay, and must limit his communication with other students to the phonetic system—when it is installed. He must secure a Prof, as common vouchee, and must watch the Notes Board in case a regulation is foisted upon his unsuspection. He may not smoke but may fume, though strange to say there is always a draught "on the house." Like Stychus in the fairy-tail, his status is quasi-servile (distinguish serf, surf, seraph, serif, sheriff, and the S.C.M.)
Sacondly, did the defendant step into any breaches —of his duty ? An attache case is not really a dangerous thing, it is merely an instrument of larceny. I cannot see any unavoidable mistake, there has been too much mis-taking in the Libery, and it is now the quintessence of abstraction : fortunately this case was "M.T." and the burden did not run with it. The accident was not inevitable, as the defendant should have shifted more smartly—he knows by now that his dilatoriness might have deposited him, deserted in the dark, dark, dark, to felis way out like the Office cat (if they have one yet to deliver letters to Weir House and save postage—suave qui poste.) He offended the Lares et Penates of the Libery and incensed them with his odious case, so they retaliated with a brutum fulmen, which missed as, the comic aberration of a blot on the escutcheon had not been voted on.
I am inclined to consider that there was such contributory negligence that its categories, too. are never closed. For is it the natural and probable consequence of shelving books that they shall fall out ? Res ipsa loquitur. Therefore the plaintiff also is liable to the uttermost fluke at the bitter end of the chain of causation. Apart from the probability that the Notes to "Beware of the Books" will be misread as "Beware of the Brooks" the Libationary cannot by such placardly means escape and dun the defendant. He must not discriminate, fairly or unfairly, between readers and books ; he owes to his charges a duty commensurate thereto. There is a state of continuing negligence set up by either party, each to each, and they can sell out so far as this Court is concerned.
Obiter I may remark on the peculiar feature that it took the book exactly one second to fall the distance. This seems an infringment of the Rule regarding rates of progression within the College buildings and the police or Common Committee should look into this : it may need a Commission of Inquiry.