Judge John Hodgman Episode 33: Hors d'oeuvres in the Court


Mike's three children were enticed to try a foreign food -- bacon-wrapped scallops -- by an offer from their father of $5 for each boy. However, Mike now claims that since the boys enjoyed the food, he no longer owes them compensation. Mike's wife Ellen represents the boys in court.

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You never forget your first

This was the first JJH I ever listened to and it is still my favorite. When I recommend this show to others, I always suggest they start with this one.

The OTHER contract

Ellen's marriage to Mike makes her legally and morally responsible for contracts entered into by her partner. If she wants to advocate for her children, that's fine. But, by getting involved at all, she is liable for half of the payment to the kids. As equal partner she could have nullified or re-negotiated the scallop contract. She did neither. Since she "won" the case, Mike AND HIS PARTNER owe the kids five dollars.
I really dislike a spouse taking sides with someone else, even kids, against the other spouse. Hopefully judge Hodgman will consider pre existing agreements when settling future disputes... billybatson

Over before it began

Man, this one was over before it began. Still, His Honor was awfully hard on pops, weaselly as the old man was.

Free Contract Advice (from a former finicky eater)

As a note for defendant Mike, his next offer should be for $5 for eating ONLY ONE serving of the food item. If the child wants more of the food item, then they forfeit the monetary gain for the enjoyment of the food and the cultural capital gained.

That setup will provide compensation for disliking the food, while minimizing the incentive to lie about enjoyment and collect a quick cash reward, and then make trips to the kitchen in secret.

I love this podcast!