16 May 2007

B.Y.O.? in Montreal

B.Y.O or its more specific variant B.Y.O.B are acronyms well known and loved in many place, and even Wiki reserved a spot for explanation of this heartwarming custom.

B.Y.O.B. is an acronym for "bring your own bottle", "bring your own beer", "bring your own banana" or "bring your own booze", usually used to indicate that the host of a party or social gathering will not be providing alcoholic beverages, but that guests are welcome to bring their own if they choose to do so.
It appears that in the case of the fair city of Montreal, B.Y.O is applicable to some items you wouldn't be able to foresee.
Quebec Court awarded West Island pediatrician Peter Neumann moral and legal damages for what Neumann describes as the bar mitzvah from hell.
Bar mitzvah in general is a grisly business, but in this case there were a few new twists.
Neumann paid more than $1,000 to rent a room in the Pierrefonds Cultural Centre on Aug. 31, 2003, to celebrate his grandson's coming of age. Two caterers were hired for the 350 guests.

Things started to go wrong even before the party started when a drunken city janitor stole party ice from an ice machine, padlocked it in a freezer, then tried to sell it back to Neumann.
So B.Y.O in this case applies to ice, as you can see.
When guests twice got stuck in the elevators, the janitor, identified in court documents as Alain Blanchette, was of no help.
The next B.Y.O item would be elevators, I guess.
To add to the discomfort of the event, Blanchette didn't bother to fill the centre's toilet paper dispensers, and Neumann had to supply his own.
So toilet paper is a third item in the B.Y.O list, and I can guess that 350 guests could hardly cope with lack of this accessory.
As the evening wore on, the pianist on stage suffered a heart attack, but the custodian was nowhere to be found.
This one could hardly be blamed on the janitor, unless it is the direct result of elevators being out of order.

But the list of necessary items does not end here.
After Neumann filed for damages, he learned that someone in the city's legal department advised the city that he didn't have a case because his grandson, Ace (Alexander), wasn't even Jewish.
So, according to the city legal beagle, to sue them for negligence one should B.Y.O.J as well, however remote is the link between the fact of negligence and the cause of celebration being Jooish. Amazing, ain't it?

Well, at least someone will enjoy the proceeds of this bizarre story:
Neumann said he received the cheque this month and will donate it to charity.
I hope that the janitor, who was fired according to the article, will not receive a penny from this specific donation.

to Will.