A federal judge in Sacramento, California has ordered Gaggot & Maggers Biological Supplies of Palo Alto to pay $11.5 million in damages and interest to a customer who found a glob of yogurt in a container of cockroaches. G&M, which distributes dissection specimens to academic biology labs, was sued by a professor from Bill and Mary College of Billsburg, Virginia.
Dr. Solomon Derangler testified, "I had ordered the 'Squirmer Variety Pack' of mixed oversized revolting crawly things for our sophomore life science classes to dissect -- you know, sequoia-eating stag beetles, hairy sixteen-eyed spiders the size of a softball, 18-inch slugs as thick as your forearm -- the usual stuff. Well, I'm sure you can easily imagine my horror when I opened a box marked 'Giant Tropical Cockroaches' and was just about to plunge both arms in up to the elbows and scoop out a heaping double handful of chitinous vermin when I happened to glance in the box and saw an enormous, slimy, slithering, repugnant blob of -- eugh, I can hardly bring myself to even say it -- strawberry yogurt! My assistant fainted and I had to race to the bathroom to throw up. As a matter of fact I didn't quite make it, and the cleaning bill is part of the settlement. It was my favorite white coat."
The company admitted that the mix-up was "regrettable" and attributed it to negligence on the part of a new employee. G&M managing director P. Crawley (who happens to be a full-blooded Cree) explained, "We had a young woman come to work for us fresh out of junior college, and she was in the habit of eating her lunch right on the packaging line while continuing to work, loading case after case with the germ-infested corpses of lesser invertebrates. Apparently, she was eating yogurt one day and in a moment of inattention some of it spilled into that particular roach box. Our heartfelt sympathy, not to mention our year-end bonuses for the next fifty years, go out to the victims of this unfortunate breach of quality."
Prof. Derangler's lawyers expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the suit they had filed seeking compensation for "mental anguish, loss of work, loss of lunch, disruption of a healthy learning environment and having to appear in a 400-word joke based on the 'old switcheroo'."