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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't Debate and Drive

OK, I know I said I was not going to be blogging but here's a quick question from the comments section:

Ask Shifra time, here's the scenario:
Two young couples dining at a restaurant. They leave and get in the car. The guys are involved in a heated political argument, so the guys get in up front to continue their discussion/argument.As the driver (we'll call him Bob) backs up, he asks the other guy (Joe) if it's clear. Joe is pondering how to convince Bob that Global Warming is real, and he quickly says: "Yeah, clear"Bob backs right into a Dumpster. Crash. Broken tail light, scraped fender.Later, Joe's girlfriend tells him he should help Bob pay for the repair. Joe says "Yeah, right." Should Joe help pay for the repair? Is he obligated to do so?If he doesn't pay, should his girlfriend secretly send Bob some cash? Or would that be bad for her future as Mrs. Joe?

OK first let me say that I do not want the comments section to become a debating ground for the topic of global warming. It upsets me enough to think about the waste, pollution, and conspicuous consumption that goes on in this country without having to hear about how global warming is all a big lie/left wing conspiracy and therefore, with that bit of self-righteous comfort in our pockets, we should feel free to pollute all we like since other countries are doing it anyway and of course the earth has endless resources and is completely self healing and we'll all be dead in another 70 years so who cares....
OK? So none of that.
Ahem.

Back to the situation at hand, here's my take:
Bob was depending on Joe to give him reliable advice about what was behind him, and in his failure to do so essentially caused the accident. Had Joe been lost in thought and said nothing at all he would not have been liable but since he went ahead and replied "yeah, clear" it seems to me that he should own up to his responsibility.
Now, I don't know Joe, but he does seem like a bit of a jerk in this situation - first giving bad advice and then not offering to at least help pay for the accident he caused. The future Mrs. Joe, while well meaning, should not step in to clean up Joe's mess behind his back, I think it sets a bad precedent on many levels. If I were the future Mrs. Joe I would try to have a serious talk with him about it. To me the unwillingness to be held accountable for one's own mistakes is certainly a red flag when it comes to choosing a spouse.

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30 Comments:

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous holy Hyrax said...

**cough**

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Miriam L said...

I think there is something about this situation in the Talmud, only with a shor and a bor.

 
At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah blah blah blah, cant we get back to noach's story. I really want to know what happens to him and to Lakewood...

 
At 6:58 PM, Anonymous holy Hyrax said...

heeeeeeeeeey, maybe the flood is being caused by global warming and not by God. Uh oh, I just said the GW words. Forgive me shifra.

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Shmendrik said...

Nope, the driver of the car has full achrayus. I'm pretty sure that that the guy who gave the bad advice is patur, at least m'dinei adam.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Enough of Noah and his fakakte generation. They screwed up everything! If it hadn't been for all their human sacrifices and burning bonfires, we wouldn't have had this global warming, which caused the ice age to end and the glaciers to melt, flooding the earth!

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhm, we were talking about Noach Goldberg, not THE Noah.... and Noach is in TROUBLE!

 
At 9:57 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Oh, uh, yeah. Of course.

 
At 11:05 PM, Anonymous holy hyrax said...

Darn you PT, insteading of mouting off, why don't you do something usefull for once and help us with the story.

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger Maven said...

i agree with you - MAJOR red flag.

 
At 12:47 AM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

clearly, if they had only gone to Hooters, they wouldn't be in a dispute about global warming! at least the car wasn't carried away by the tide that's going to be there when the oceans rise a few feet because of global warming....we can all be thankful for that!

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Shifra: You hit it on the head. Joe may not have a legal obligation but he is certainly not a mentch, which as our Rabbi always says, is the unwritten "fifth chelek" of the Shulchan Aruch. Joe's galfriend should definitely think twice about getting more serious with him.

Miriam, was this a true story or purely hypothetical?

I know you don't want to get into a Global Warming discussion but just to make one comment: like most big debates, there is scientific evidence, as well as ulterior motives, on both sides of the issue. I don't think it's fair to tar enyone who doubts the veracity of the latest GW theory-du-jour as fat cats who actually love pollution. Any more than it's fair of the anti-abortion crowd to tar their pro-choice opponents as "pro-death".

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Elie - fair enough.

Miriam - I was curious too, but since you didn't volunteer the info I didn't want to pry.
Now that Elie has I'll listen in for the answer ;-)

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Miriam L said...

Well, it is a semi-true story, though the actual events are shrouded in mystery and faded memory. I'm afraid I cannot reveal the true identities, as they may somehow find this blog and take umbrage. (And I try not to cause undue umbrage.)

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Elie said...

And I try not to cause undue umbrage

Miriam: I certainly agree, the last thing we need is another Professor Umbridge. One was bad enough!

Yes, I do have Harry Potter on the brain, why do you ask?

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Yes, well I do try to keep the umbrage to a minimum around here.

M- Does this mean that you have blogstalkers that follow you around from blog to blog?

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous holy Hyrax said...

quickly looking up the word "umbrage"

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

...and so Noach found out that he was being blogstalked by Rebbitzen Umbrage, who had observed him going into a bar in Lakewood to play bass guitar in an all-girl band, a bar, which he later found out, was powered by solar electricity...

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Miriam L said...

Believe you me, I've met Rebbitzen Umbrage and you don't want to mess with her!

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger megapixel said...

Hey you guys, I live in Lakewood and I am looking out my window (JEwish TV)watching all the guys running to yeshiva and the rain is starting to come down drip drip drip.
oh,no that's just my busted gutters.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Hot Chanie said...

Was powered by solar electricity

My DH works in the solar electricity business. (Well, he invests in it anyway).

Psycho: Are you blogstalking me?!

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

...slowly Noach turned...step by step...inch by inch...until he confronted Rebbitzen Umbrage. Dramatically, he pulled off her sheitel--only to reveal another shaitel underneath! This one fabulously stylish! And modern! But still tzius!

"A-HA! I knew it was you all along, Hot Chanie(TM)!"

"But how," she gasped, it her strange Euro-continental yet somehow still Five-Townsish accent, "how did you know it was me (I?)?"

"Did you not think I would notice the coincidence? The high heels? The fabulously frum yet clingy dress? But it was the solar panels that finally gave you away!"

"You mean--?"

"Yes! Your husband dresses in drag and plays drums in my band!"

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Miriam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Miriam L said...

Rebbetzin Umbrage was backing up the car when her sheitl slipped and blocked her vision.

"Chanie, look back and tell me if I'm clear!" the Rebbetzin said to her best friend in the passenger seat.

But Chanie was wearing a tight sweater and, besides, had just had a Botox shot in her neck to prevent wrinkles (though she was only 28, she was thinking ahead) and could not turn her head.

Rebbetzin Umbrage backed the Ford Taurus up quickly without waiting for a response.

"You crazy lady! Watch where you're driving!" shouted a Chasid who had been davening Mincha in the parking lot. "You nearly backed up over me!"

"What? Why are you yelling at me!" shouted the Rebbetzin. "You're the one davening in a parking lot."

"But you know how it is with Mincha," said the Chasid, somewhat abashed.

 
At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Botox in her neck???

LOL

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Botox in her neck???

There are other places it could be, but that would upset Hot Chanie.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger frumbabe said...

its time for most of you to get group therapy. . .

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Frumbabe - what do you think this is? ;-)

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Yoohooo!

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...

Jack,

Don't bother Shifra. She just got back from a very looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong chag. I am sure she will indulge everyone with all the juicy stories :P

 

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