I'd like to break with tradition by sharing a short story with you. No fooling, it really happened… it was down in the Hamlet of Hedeby, and a bunch of members (and a couple of non-members) were getting together for archery practice. It was a great Sunday, just a little windy. In order to avoid making the non-members pay event memberships — or do any sort of paperwork, to be honest — it wasn't announced as an Event. Just a bunch of people getting together.
And it was a fantastic day, with a William Tell shoot. Everything was going really well, until Lady Marion's arrow skimmed the edge of the target and went wide. And hit a pet. There was a member of the public strolling past with his companion meerkat on a leash, and the arrow killed it stone dead. It was really sad, and frankly a bit gross. The passerby wanted to call the police, Lady Marion was very upset, the whole atmosphere was ruined. Everyone went home chastened.
The bad news happened the next day, when Lady Marion was contacted by the meerkat-owner's lawyer. She's facing a $200,000 claim for emotional suffering and another $100,000 loss of income (it was a champion stud meerkat, as well as a companion animal). And she's on her own dealing with it, because it wasn't a Real Event. Good thing she didn't hit the owner — although that might have been cheaper!
By comparison, just up the road, the heavies were running their weekly fighter practice. And on the same day, Sir Boris accidentally broke the thumb of David of Hedeby, a non-member who was fighting heavy for the first time (and got his thumb in the way of what would have been a great kill shot). Now, David's medical expenses are no problem, because Medicare dealt with getting the thumb set. But it turns out he has one of those ambulance-chasing lawyers who advertise on late-night TV, who advised him to sue Sir Boris for loss of earnings — because David was planning on learning to be a concert violinist Real Soon Now.
That story has a happy ending, because the fighter practice was a Real Event. Sir Boris was a member, and David had taken out event membership, and signed a waiver. So we pointed David's lawyer at our insurance company, and left them to argue about waivers and penalties. Sir Boris hasn't lost a moment's sleep.
I won't bore you with the moral of the tale — if you can't work it out for yourself, visit http://sca.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Insurance-FAQ-July-2013.pdf
Lord Nicodemus Novello
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