Judge John Hodgman Episode 102: Justice Abhors a Vacuum

| 4 comments
Guests: 
Jonathan Coulton

Matt brings the case against his good friend Jeremy. Matt borrowed a shop vac from Jeremy to do some grease trap cleaning at work, but he accidentally ruined it in the process. The friends finally settled on a replacement appliance, but Matt thinks he got a raw deal, since it was more expensive than the original. How should he have reimbursed his friend? Are they even now? Only one man can decide: JUDGE JOHN HODGMAN.

Joining us in the courtroom this week as an expert witness is internet music legend Jonathan Coulton! His newest album, Artificial Heart, is the first album he has recorded with a full band. You can catch Jonathan as the house musician on NPR's Ask Me Another.

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Special thanks to listener Thom Winters for suggesting this week's title!

EVIDENCE

Submitted by Jeremy:


An image of the original shop vac owned by Jeremy.


An image of the additional accessory hose. The original shop vac and hose, purchased new, total approximately $100. Both were ruined in the grease trap cleaning.


Jeremy's request to return the replacement vac.

Submitted by Matt:


Text message from their mutual friend, affirming that Matt did buy the replacement shop vac in good faith, believing that it was equivalent to the ruined item.

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Comments

apology?

where is the audio and video of the public and unconditional apology?

Where's the wedding video?

Hold them in contempt.

cemitas poblanas!

mmmmm I haven't had one in years. thanks for reminding me about them Jesus Espina.

Unjust! Unhodgely, even!

Faceless and nameless though I may be - and as insignificant as that renders my opinion - I believe the effort that Matt demonstrated to make things right was more than adequate, and he certainly owed no apologies by the time his friend had the new vacuum of his choice. Neither friend should have felt any reason to be slighted by the end, but magnification of a relatively trivial incident that is essentially resolved, and whose lessons were in the "fiasco" and follow-up themselves, now overshadows a friendship and a wedding? They both needed someone to scream at them to let it go. I've never disagreed with a judgement more.