NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CN) — In an odd lawsuit in New Jersey, a golf course worker claims that a remote control Goose-inator, designed to scare geese off greens, turned on him and sliced his ulnar nerve, tendon and artery.
Alfred Parcells III sued Tech Hobbies aka 3DX Hobbies and its owner, Paul Gentile, on June 3 in Middlesex County Court.
Golf course operators hate geese because they defecate on greens and use the short-cut bentgrass to wipe their bottoms.
“It’s the damndest thing,” a greenskeeper told Courthouse News. “I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it.” The greenskeeper asked that his name be withheld for fear of protests should the public know, or inquire, how his boss fights the geese.
Parcells claims that 3DX Hobbies sold a Goose-inator to Shackamaxon Golf Course for $1,500. Shackamaxon Country Club, of Scotch Plains, is not a party to the complaint.
Gentile’s toy store specializes in selling remote-control toy helicopters. Its Goose-inator is also known as a “pusher propeller.”
Parcells says that on May 8, 2015, he tried to turn off the Goose-inator but rather than stop, “the Goose-inator unexpectedly turned on at full force and high speed, slicing severely the left ulnar nerve, tendon, and artery.”
The ulnar nerve, which is close to the surface at the elbow, is why the elbow is called the “funny bone,” as a jolt to it can be unexpectedly painful.
Parcells says the Goose-inator should have had a protective covering for its blades, and a kill switch.
He seeks punitive damages for strict liability, defective design and manufacturing, breach of warranty, and negligence. His wife seeks damages for loss of consortium.
Tech Hobbies/3DX Hobbies referred a telephone call to its website, which said the company was closed Monday and will be closed Tuesday.
The phone number for Parcells’ attorney Michael Pressman, of Warren, N.J., was temporarily disconnected on Monday.
A business website, checked Monday, said that 3DX has a staff of one to four people and annual revenue less than $500,000.
The general manager of Shackamaxon Country Club was out of the office Monday, and will be out Tuesday, and was unavailable for comment.
Mankind has had a long, peculiar relationship with geese. In addition to eating them, humans have employed geese as watchbirds for thousands of years.
Because geese are territorial, aggressive and noisy, the ancient Greeks employed them as lookouts around their army camps.
In fact, the word “money” comes from geese, because geese warned the Spartans of a nighttime sneak attack during the Peloponnesian War. After the geese scared away the Athenians, the Spartans dedicated a temple on the site to the goddess Athena, in her role as Athena Moneta — Athena the Warner.
The Spartans then struck a coin featuring a goose on its obverse side, in recognition of the faithful geese. From moneta, metal coins later became known as money, according to John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1975 book, “Money: When It Came, Where It Went.”
Drug dealers still use geese as lookouts today.
For the literary minded, geese’s use of golf greens for sanitary purposes may be viewed as long-delayed revenge upon mankind.
The 15th century French monk Francois Rabelais devoted an entire chapter of his book “Gargantua” to a discussion of the best object with which to wipe one’s bottom. After considering a raft of alternatives, Gargantua the giant decided that best of all was the neck of a white goose.
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