Local Motorcyclist Hits Tree, Sues Township

39 year-old motorcycle enthusiast Bernie Shoal met with an unfortunate accident yesterday when he skidded out of control on his Harley Davidson cycle and crashed into a tree on the side of the road, wrecking his bike and sustaining minor injuries in the process.

Shoal, holding a press conference today on his front lawn, announced his intentions to subsequently sue the town of Pennsburg, PA for damages in excess of $320 million dollars.

"I am sick and tired of this town treating its inhabitants like dirt," he complained. "As if the taxes and bumpy roads weren't enough, now we have to contend with trees on the side of the road threatening to destroy our vehicles and bodies? I don't think so."

According to Shoal, the town's "irresponsible" placement of the tree was completely to blame for his accident.

"I was out for a leisurely bottle of whiskey and a drive on my motorcycle," he said, "when all of a sudden, my bike slipped briefly out of my control. It wouldn't have been a big deal, except as I was calmly guiding things back to normal, a gigantic tree rose up and smashed into me and my bike, grinding my machine to a small metal ball and throwing me down to the ground, so that I skinned my knees."

"Painfully," he added ominously.

The amount of money that the lawsuit is asking for, says Shoal, is a mere "fraction" of what the accident cost him "physically and mentally."

"Now, I spend my days wincing as the material of my jeans scrapes painfully across my skinned knees," he said sadly. "My mental state is in disarray, since I keep replaying the accident over and over in my mind, and so I am unable to attend work."

But "worst of all" is the spiritual ramifications of the accident.

"My relationship with Jesus is just...well, it's gone to hell," Shoal said, openly weeping. "I just keep thinking, what kind of son of God would allow things like this to happen?"

But Gerome Harver, mayor of the town, says that although Pennsburg sympathizes for Shoal, it has no intentions of awarding him compensation.

"We offer Mr. Shoal our deepest condolences, particularly with regard to his ruined knees and shaken faith," said Harver. "But the fact of the matter is, the tree didn't cause his accident, and in fact stopped his momentum from carrying him off a nearby cliff, which would've significantly added to his injuries."

In response to Shoal's accusations that the town is "out to screw" him, Harver replied that the tree has nothing to do with anyone in town, let alone Shoal.

"Tests indicate that the tree actually sprouted over 50 years ago, significantly prior to Shoal's birth," Harver said. "Unless he is suggesting that our town's leaders in 1960 were able to see into the future and preemptively plant a tree to thwart the then-unborn Mr. Shoal, we are forced to discount the possibility of Pennsburg working against him."

"Time machines!" Shoal replied with shocked wonder. "Those bastards!"

Until a verdict is reached on the lawsuit, however, the town is exercising caution with regards to possible additional lawsuits of the same nature.

"We've gone ahead and ordered warning signs for the rest of the trees in the town," said the mayor, referring to the "Warning: Crashing into tree at high velocity can cause injury and/or death" signs now plastered to all trees in Pennsburg. "We're just trying to cover all our bases here."

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