June 14, 2008
Patrick Greene, a 60-year-old man from San Antonio, believes fans tossing and Al Sobotka twirling dead octopi at Detroit Red Wings games is "a sick, ugly, tradition." He has threatened to sue several parties to end that tradition, and has compared his campaign to protect the sanctity of seafood -- which Puck Daddy sadly inspired -- to the revolutionary struggles for women's suffrage and gay marriage.
According to Fred Girard of The Detroit News, Greene claims he filed a federal lawsuit on Friday against Ilitch Holdings, owner of the Red Wings, to end this impious practice enjoyed by millions of Red Wings fans:
Greene, an Air Force veteran, says he's not a member of any animal-protection groups. His brief says he has a right to file the suit because "every human being has the universal responsibility of protecting all domestic and wild animals of the world. The octopus ... deserves to be allowed to live its life in peace." Greene cited no violations of federal law in his filing; but said the practice violates the Michigan Bodies of Dead Animals Act, a law passed in 1982.
We're guessing Patrick1948 on the official PETA forums is our dear friend Mr. Greene, writing about his litigation and claiming the Michigan law indicates that "if the octopus was not in refrigeration before being taken to the arena, and it can be verified, then [it] is against the law."
A Detroit News reader took a look at the Michigan Bodies of Dead Animals Act, and sees things a little differently: "Leave it to a Texan, who knows nothing about hockey, law, or tradition to sue."
Greene's litigious intentions were first given the spotlight on The World of Isaac, which has been doing a hell of a job on the NBA ref scandal story. Greene decided to use that site as a megaphone recently, sending a contemptuous e-mail defending himself against his critics.
Here's a short clip from the letter to World of Isaac:
I read all the comments about me, and I am greatly surprised at the large amount of idiots out there.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday June 13th, and it asks the judge to issue an order to Christopher Ilitch of Ilitch Holdings, to announce to the public that no real octopus bodies will be allowed in the Arena in the future.
There is no money involved.
This is a sick, ugly, tradition that I am going to get stopped, if I have to take it to the legislature in Lansing.
He went on to chastise the profane language of sports fans. Because, evidently, octopi have eight legs and virgin ears.
Look, it's easy to pass judgment on Patrick Greene as a misguided fool.
"Patrick Greene is a misguided fool." See?
But that would ignore the basic right of any misguided fool to filter his or her warped world view and imprudent intentions into a frivolous lawsuit. Like Richard Harris, who in 1991 sued Anheuser-Busch for $10,000 for false advertising because he never had the luck with the ladies the beer commercials promised. Or like Paul Shimkonis, who in 1998 sued a Florida strip club because he received whiplash from a dancer's oversized breasts.
Or like Patrick Greene, who has decided to sue a professional hockey franchise to force fans to throw an octopus doll, instead of a dead octopus, on the ice during games; citing both the Michigan Bodies of Dead Animals Act of 1982 and his desire to restore respect to octopi "in the oceans of the world."
No, we never thought we'd ever write that either...