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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

36

Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep

"The church took him to court, but the court ruled on December 20 that the legal customs practised in the 14th century had ceased to be valid when Switzerland reformed its lending sector in the mid-1800s."
—Deadbeat farmer refuses to honor totally normal-sounding contract.

36 Comments / Post A Comment

Scandyhoovian

My mom's favorite "don't make promises you can't keep" has to do with childrearing: never threaten that you'll kill your kid, no matter how frustrated you may be, unless you intend to actually do it. Otherwise, you look weak and like you won't follow through.

Also, those people have been paying that all these years!? Crazy!

SarahP

@Scandyhoovian I know, that's my favorite part of this story: it took 655 years for someone not to want to pay the lamp oil costs! Everyone else was like, "well, sure, it'd be nice to have a little extra money this month, but he said all eternity..."

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP The Catholic Church probably thought the world would have ended by now, anyway.

ourlightsinvain

@Scandyhoovian I like to think the mentality that led to this is similar to the mindset that causes me to contort myself into bizarre yoga-esque poses to pick up a remote control with my feet rather than just stand up and fetch it.

fondue with cheddar

@ourlightsinvain Don't you feel so proud of yourself when you manage to pick up something like that with your feet, though? I know I do.

I got spoiled by my last boyfriend, who was 6'6" and could seemingly reach everything in the living room without getting up, so I never had to get up.

Cawendaw

@ourlightsinvain Or how I once payed the internet bill of whoever was living in my old apartment for a year because the company made it so hard to cancel the contract. Only with more murder.

MartinCores

I agree with what you say. Promise is a matter that can not be denied. If we feel unable to keep secret, would be better if we decided to undertake because it is only it will damage the trust of others against us. escrow services

Lili B.

This Swiss attitude of "never forget anything, especially if it's people who owe you money" is entirely familiar to me from my own family.

ImASadGiraffe

My dad's side of the family comes from Switzerland, their views on money kinda make more sense now.

Lili B.

@ImASadGiraffe jinx! Same here. My father cheerfully refers to himself as a "tightwad".

fondue with cheddar

Wait...if it's been invalid since the mid-1800s, did they make the the church pay arrears to the family?

gobblegirl

It sounds like the land is broken into several holdings now ("one of the landowners") so not only have people been cool about paying this for 656 years, some of them were totally cool still until one dude objected.

Nicole Cliffe

I'm amused that the church sued, honestly. You're not just going to be thankful you've been paid for THIS much of eternity and slink off with your remaining lamp oil?

decantate

@Nicole Cliffe And why is there even still oil in this lamp? Dammit, now they'll have to put a light bulb in. Doesn't 47 euros per year in oil seem like a lot? What's this church's carbon footprint? etc etc.

fondue with cheddar

@decantate This never would have happened in a synagogue.

gobblegirl

@fondue with cheddar This is the best joke.

leonstj

@decantate - I think it's more about the landholding part. The secret of the Catholic Church (I mean, one of them. They're basically a science fiction group, in some ways, which is part of why I miss being a Catholic. Did you know that "Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith" (ie, the inquisitioners) STILL EXIST?

In some ridiculous ways, the Catholic Church is mind-bogglingly awesome. Like, they have their own full on legal system, with lawyers and everything. They INVITED CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS to testify in the trials regarding beatification of Mother Theresa.

They have embraced evolution since 1950! And actually, they way they have done it is pretty impressive, from a pure philosophical point of view.

They have a library w/ a bunch of Henry VIII's love letters to Anne Boleyn.

It just goes on and on.

fondue with cheddar

@gobblegirl Thanks, I'm here all week! Be sure to tip your waitress!

meetapossum

@gobblegirl The best part is that they were perfectly willing to keep paying until the church wanted to register it officially.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@leon s
Did Hitchens go? He had some good points, if I recall.

stuffisthings

For what it's worth, the Kyrgyz national gas company successfully got the government to pay some of its arrears by threatening to shut off the eternal flame honoring soldiers who died in WWII.

Faintly Macabre

Wait, so does this mean that that murderer is now going to fall straight into Hell?

I think that could make a good movie--murderer floating around heaven with some comely angels does his annual check-in on his lamp, only to find that some modern landowner with an iPhone and car and no animals living under his house all that crazy stuff is refusing to pay for his soul lamp. He has one month to convince him, or risk eternal torment!

jule_b_sorry

@Faintly Macabre OOh, yes! And then the iPhone owner finds what's REALLY important, falls in love with the girl who's been there for him all along on this wild adventure, and settles down with a newfound appreciation of heritage, home and lamps. Possibly with a new dog, who was adopted after being briefly possessed by the Lamp Spirit to do a hilarious breakdance routine sometime around the 40-minute mark.

Barry Grant

@jule_b_sorry

I'm thinking Owen Wilson, Jennifer Anniston, NO -- Sandra Bullock! And Schwartzenegger's back, he can play God. Who can we get to direct? Michael Bay?

iceberg

@Faintly Macabre I love you guys

Faintly Macabre

@iceberg We and our lampghosts love you, too!

@jule_b_sorry The Lamp Spirit causes him to do the hilarious breakdance routine in the Catholic church, convincing the priests that he is possessed. Since being possessed by the Devil would also handily explain his avarice, they insist on performing an exorcism while GirlWho'sBeenThere (aka Jennifer Aniston) desperately tries to drag him out the door. Luckily, a stray dog, attracted by the noise and smells of burning animal sacrifices (I don't know what they do in churches), runs in and bites iPhoneOwner on the leg, causing the Lamp Spirit to flee his body. From gratitude and for protection, iPhoneOwner adopts the dog and names it Gabriel.

whateverlolawants

@Faintly Macabre The movie would open with a way-too-comical portrayal of Heinrich's murder.

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Your article shows you have a lot of background in this topic. Thanks Nora

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@ourlightsinvain Or how I once payed the internet bill of whoever was living in my old apartment for a year because the company made it so hard to cancel the contract. Only with more murder. zynga poker hack tool free download

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,great post... runs in and bites iPhoneOwner on the leg, causing the Lamp Spirit to flee his body. From gratitude and for protection, iPhoneOwner adopts the dog and names it Gabriel. buy Canadian medical marijuana

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