Turns out to be easier to give in to the urge to do a year-end “top ten” list than to keep worrying about it (plus I want to justify the recently bestowed “Fun” label, thanks again), so here are the ten Lowering the Bar posts that seem to have received the most traffic in 2011.
I say “seem to have” because figuring this out is much harder than it should be, but it also strikes me that full scientific accuracy on this is neither possible nor, to be honest, cared about.
10. “Man Who Stabbed His First Two Lawyers With a Pencil Stabs Another Lawyer With a Pencil” (Nov. 2) (stabbed the first two in May; no real harm done except to his chances of acquittal);
9. “Today in Pro Se Litigation” (Dec. 9) (one case involved monkeys dressed like pirates, the other a “Petition to Be Left the F*ck Alone”);
8. “Cereal Maker Claims Non-Profit’s Bird Looks Too Much Like Toucan Sam” (Aug. 23) (in which the company that makes Froot Loops unwisely went after the Maya Archaeology Initiative);
7. “Sarah PalinTM Having Trouble With Registration” (Feb. 5) (she later got it figured out);
6. “Man Sues Couple He Kidnapped” (Nov. 28) (self-explanatory, really);
5. “Whoa, Did Something Die in Here? Oh, It Was Freedom” (Dec. 6) (and the followup, “You Say ‘Indefinite Military Detention of Citizens’ Like It’s a Bad Thing,” at Forbes.com);
4. “For Christmas Your Government Will Explain Why It’s Legal to Kill You” (Dec. 21) (completing my cheery trifecta on the hilarious death of freedom in America);
3. “Immigration Officer Puts Wife on the No-Fly List,” (Feb. 2) (also self-explanatory);
2. “Injury Code W5922XA: Struck by Turtle” (Sept. 13) (on the oddities of the new ICD diagnostic codes, along with this followup and some reader turtle-attack stories); which was pretty much tied with —
1. “The Homeland Security Snow-Cone Machine” (Dec. 8) (and two followups, here and here).
Honorable mention (from me) goes to “Court Rules Punch to the Groin Was No ‘Accident,’” in which even insurance litigation became, I think, temporarily fun.
Also popular this year, but on pre-2011 events, were “Reasonable Consumer Would Know Crunchberries Are Not Real, Judge Rules” (June 2009; one of several posts on that legendarily stupid litigation) or “Identical Twin of Michael Jordan Drops $800-Million Lawsuit” (a 2006 post popular for some reason again this year, certainly more popular than Jordan’s current mustache).
I also spent a little time trying to figure out what was the least-read post, thinking it might be a good tradition to identify the weakest of the herd at least once a year and publicly execute it as an example to the others. But figuring that out is pretty much impossible, and a waste of a bullet besides, and it’s time to move on to 2012 anyway. So away we go.