Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Rules Don't Apply (Again)

This is the kind of thing that just "gets my goat." It seems Toys R Us had a contest that would award a $25000 to "to the first American baby born in 2007." Sounds pretty simple; first one born is the winner...maybe. The "winner", Yuki Lin, was born at the stroke of midnight at New York Downtown Hospital.

Although promotional materials called for "all expectant New Year's mothers" to apply, Toys "R" Us spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said eligibility rules required babies' mothers to be legal residents. Many sweepstakes have such requirements, Waugh said.
(Source: Associated Press)
So what's the big deal? Well, it seems that Yuki's parents are NOT legal citzens of the United States and when Toys R Us found out, they took back their prize. That's when the grits hit the fan. The Lins got themselves an attorney; lots of people cried "foul!" and "racism!" and ultimately, Toys R Us caved and gave the money back. You can read about the whole stupid thing here.

Here's my question and observation: I don't begrudge the kid getting the money, but if the rules say "you must be a legal resident" AND YOU'RE NOT, why would you enter the contest? I can tell you why...THE RULES DON'T APPLY! And if you think the rules do apply, think again--just ask most Americans.

"Speed limit 25 miles per hour" means everybody else but ME.

"15 items or less" means 18 or 25 items or whatever happens to be in MY cart.

You get the idea. Maybe we should change "E pluribus unum" to "You're Not the Boss o' me!"

Okay. I'm moving on, now.

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