The new client I obtained this morning is a handsome, twenty-four-year-old, six-foot tall man with a thick head of coal black hair and a dazzling smile. Of equal significance, he weighs in at a hefty 388 pounds. I mention these attributes because they feature prominently in Ralph’s proposed lawsuit — against his twin brother, “Fred.”
As Ralph informed me during our meeting today, he and Fred made a substantial wager last year. The twins, who share an apartment together, bet $5,000 in January as to which of them could lose the most weight and keep it off by year’s end. Their final weigh in was to take place on December 31, 2011, at 11:59 p.m.
I asked Ralph how much he’d weighed at the start of the bet. He answered: “385 pounds.” I asked him the same about Fred and he said: “390.”
Seeing how Ralph weighs more now than he did when the wager began, I naturally wondered whether his brother had fared better. He had, Ralph acknowledged. At their last weigh in, the scale registered a trim 180 for Fred!
It didn’t take a mathematician to estimate which twin would’ve weighed less on New Year’s Eve. As my new client explained, however, the final weigh in never occurred because he’d already canceled the bet. Why? Both brothers had agreed to use the same popular weight loss program for their wager: a system involving a mix of solid foods and liquid shakes. Although Ralph obeyed the program’s dictates to the letter, the scale’s reading remained mysteriously constant as the year progressed. In contrast, Fred’s waistline diminished at a rapid and steady rate. Fred didn’t gloat though; instead, he encouraged his brother to keep his chin up and try harder. Ralph did just that, making herculean efforts to shed pounds. Maddeningly, he couldn’t seem to lose a single ounce.
As December approached, my frustrated and dejected client resigned himself to defeat. Ralph mentally prepared himself to behave graciously on New Year’s Eve, and to congratulate his brother for a well-earned victory. Burying his disappointment as best he could, he threw himself into the holiday spirit, purchasing extravagant gifts for his beloved twin. He was looking for a hiding place for Fred’s presents, two weeks before Christmas, when he happened on a carefully stashed, half-empty case of “Weight Gain” powder. Putting two and two together, he began to view in a new light Fred’s helpful preparation of their morning diet shakes. My enraged client confronted his brother who, under the pressure of Ralph’s rotund ass on his newly slender chest, confessed to spiking Ralph’s drinks.
Ralph told me he wants to sue Fred. Frankly, I didn’t think $5,000 justified the far greater cost of a lawsuit, and I said so. But Ralph had a ready answer: “I’m not suing for the money we bet. You see, I interviewed with the weight loss company at the beginning of the year, and they agreed to hire me for their ad campaigns if I got skinny using their product. They even took “before” photos last January. Apparently, those photos won’t go to waste, since the company can use them with their new spokesperson … my skinny twin!”
I took the case.