Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ask Scaebolah! # 3

Dear Scaebolah,

Does being a lousy cook make me less legal? Please advise.

-Lousy Cook

Dear Lousy Cook,

Awful cooking is usually merely damnum absque injuria. Which means those unfortunate enough to encounter your cooking should just roll with the punches. However, the case could be that your cooking is so odious that it qualifies as a nuisance, analogous to a rabid dog, infected clothing, the carcass of a dead animal on a private lot, the presence of a smallpox patient on the street (Iloilo Cold Storage v. Municipal Council, March 26, 1913). In case it’s that bad, municipal authorities can actually summarily remove the offensive meal.

My suggestion is to settle for the ready-made meals, such as instant noodles. Can’t go wrong with those and you can deflect legal liability to the manufacturers.

Bon Appetit,


Dear Scaebolah,

I’m having a hard time dealing with my girlfriend when she has her monthly um…”visit”. How do I deal with it?

- Bloodied

Dear Bloodied,

It seems to me that you are dealing with her PMS, which can interpreted in at least three senses: 1) Pre-menstrual Syndrome (before); 2) Post-menstrual syndrome (after); and 3) Pag Meron Sungit (during). For purposes of this discussion, we shall consider them as coetaneous aspects of the same phenomenon.

Ancient laws have surrounded menstruation with a sense of taboo: as if it were something to be feared, or a form of punishment. Hebrew Law, for instance, commands that when a woman has her period, or niddah, she is to be set apart for seven days (Leviticus 15:19-33):

“And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even…”

There is also the account of Pliny the Elder, who although not a lawyer, as a Natural philosopher and historian, reflected the prevailing medical jurisprudence of his time. Of the female menstrual fluid he said:

“But nothing could easily be found that is more remarkable than the monthly flux of women. Contact with it turns new wine sour, crops touched by it become barren, grafts die, seed in gardens are dried up, the fruit of trees fall off, the edge of steel and the gleam of ivory are dulled, hives of bees die, even bronze and iron are at once seized by rust, and a horrible smell fills the air; to taste it drives dogs mad and infects their bites with an incurable poison…”(Pliny the Elder, Natural History)

It is submitted that Pliny’s opinion was skewed by the psychological manifestations of PMS, rather than the actual properties of the female menstrual discharge.

In these more enlightened times it is possible to view menstruation as a source of pride and empowerment.(MacKinnon, Catharine. 1989. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law).

Even if you’re a male, it is possible to view the situation and its accompanying syndrome in a better light.
As difficult as this period may be even for you, it is far less onerous than obligations that you may incur upon “delay” or “non-performance” (Article 1169-1170, New Civil Code) of the menstrual flow. Remember: no period means the increased possibility of parental responsibility, of the obligation to support, and of the production of a legal heir. Menstruation means you’ve avoided these (for now). Isn’t it a cause for some celebration?

Good luck, and don’t give up!

- Scaebolah

Confused and afraid? Let the guiding light of the law solve your problems! Just! Ask! Scaebolah! (


Blogger jegs said...

this is a comment not related to the post. heck this may even be mistaken for a spam! looks like i've known you from my youth..take care, emer!

2:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home