In this season of giving, there is a lawsuit that surpasses even Kevin Federline's for sheer chutzpah. Currently winding its way through Federal District Court in Brooklyn is a tugboat company's $8 million claim against New York City. The company seeks compensation for its rescue efforts during the horrific crash of a Staten Island ferry into a concrete pier in October 2003, in which 11 passengers died and many more were critically injured. The tugboat mate, Robert G. Seckers, is on record as saying next time he might not be so helpful. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.
The tugboat company, Henry Marine, was already under contract with the City to move ferries. But no matter. What we have here is a whole new way of doing business at sea. These days, money talks, bullshit drowns. Should you find yourself in distress on an open waterway, make sure you're carrying a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card. In fact, don't leave home without it.
Welcome to my country, where post-9/11, the gap between good Samaritan and bounty hunter is closing with each passing day. In the coming years, we can look forward to a series of cultural transformations that will disgust even the likes of Borat. Lifeguarding will go from honorable vocation to profit center, especially at Hiltons, Ritz-Carltons, and Club Meds. Mouth-to-mouth will fetch upwards of a thousand dollars, even if your rescuer looks more like Jeff Spicoli from
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