Only In America . . . TM

Copyright © 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.


The Pottawatomie County Grand Jury indicted a ham sandwich yesterday. County prosecutor Hank Kababble called the indictment "a necessary step on the path to true justice", and praised the jurors for their integrity, fortitude, and "steadfastness in the face of possible ridicule".

Defense lawyer Franklin Footwork called the indictment a farce. "This is a clear abuse of prosecutorial power," he told WERD-TV in an exclusive interview, "and you can rest assured that the county will see the largest lawsuit in its history as soon as my client is vindicated at trial".

So what, exactly, did Hammus Porkslab, the defendant in this case, do?

"You may think this is all a joke," Hank Kababble told the same TV journalists, "but I can assure that it is not. It is a very serious matter. Mr. Porkslab stands accused of two counts of trademark infringement and one of consumer fraud, and the brave members of our grand jury found sufficient cause to indict him for those offenses."

Again: what, exactly, did Hammus Porkslab do?

"The first count of the indictment came about because Mr. Porkslab billed himself as a Honey Ham Sandwich - a direct infringement on the Honey Ham Trademark registered years ago by a major food company," the prosecutor said. "Besides that, the honey part also attracts bears, which could have resulted in an additional public nuisance charge if the jurors had been feeling vindictive."

The consumer fraud indictment alleges that Mr. Porkslab added water to his ham - without making the consumer aware of it - for no other reason than to add weight to the product. "Other ham producers always place water added in a prominent place on their label", Mr. Kababble explained, "and even then they only add it as necessary to neutralize the strong flavor of some hams. No legitimate ham producer in America would even dream of adding water to their product just to increase the weight - and, thus, the selling price - of their ham," he said.

The final count of Trademark Infringement was brought because the use of the word sandwich was opposed by a coven of naked witches from upstate known as The Sand Witches. They registered Sand Witch as a trademark fifteen years ago, and have been aggressively pursuing perceived trademark infringement ever since. The witches have brought suit against fourteen different national fast food franchises and have been instrumental in obtaining indictments against sandwich shops all across America. "We see this indictment as one more vindication of our coven," Selma Broomrider, the chief witch, was reported as saying.

Mr. Footwork made light of all three indictments, and pressed for a speedy trial. "My client is eager to refute these allegations," the defense attorney told reporters, "but he can't wait forever. Every day of delay is a day closer to his expiration date. It we don't move quickly Hammus will spoil completely before he ever gets his day in court."

Copyright © 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.