Friday, October 10, 2008

The Impact Of King Solomon's Judgment

From the BBC: 
An estranged couple in Cambodia have sawed their house in half to avoid the country's convoluted divorce process. 

Moeun Rim and his wife, Nhanh, who have been married nearly 40 years, split the building last week following an argument, local officials said. 
The Rim's decision to literally split the house in half seems to be inspired by the biblical tale of King Solomon, who, when two women came to him claiming to be the mother of a baby boy, proposed to cut the child in half. The actual mother said that she would rather see the child go with someone else than see him killed, and was then given the child, because the other woman was totally down with the plan and clearly was stupid and awful and had a deep seeded hatred of babies. The Rim's have obviously taken the parable of Solomon's judgement more literally than most, but they're not the first - 

London, England, 1886 

A disruption broke out between two factory owners in the Clerkenwell neighborhood over who had the right to use a local urchin boy, Pip Geraldo, as a gearsweep in his factory. A local magistrate decided to use the Solomon judgement technique and declared that both men would get half the boy. The magistrate grossly underestimated the pride of the two men as well as their total disregard for the well being of the boy, and before anyone knew what was happening, Mr. Geraldo had been taken to a local butcher shop and cleaved in half. He was then turned into meat pies. 

Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1937

As the LZ 129 Hindenburg was preparing to land, a disagreement broke out between Riley O'Rourke, an American financier who had set up the American share of the funding, including the lavish landing ceremony the ship was about to receive, and Josef Dolleschal, the Nazi official who had by all accounts spear headed the project, over who would address the crowds when they landed. The argument over who really deserved the credit grew so loud that Irene Glass, an American bible study teacher who was returning home from a tour of European churches, threatened to "Cut this thing in half if" they didn't stop their squabbling. O'Rourke and Dolleschal dismissed the woman and told her to return to her seat. They went back to their argument, all the while ignorant that Ms. Glass was going through with her threat, removing a fire ax from it's holder, and sending thirty six people to their fiery deaths. 

Portland, Maine, 1956

A fight at an Episcopal church bake sale erupted when Edna Smith and Doris Lane, two local stay at home moms, both claimed ownership to a strawberry rhubarb pie. The local priest then decided to cut the pie in half. This, by all accounts, worked out pretty well for everyone. 

No comments: