&quot;Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else,&quot; quipped Will Rogers.
It’s been that way lately.
With a crazed look on his face and his country descending into chaos, Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi stepped out of his golf cart in Tripoli the other day twirling a big umbrella over his head and wearing a mad-cap hat with big furry ear flaps, a piece of head gear you’ll never see on the fashion runways of Paris.
He looked like Mary Poppins on an escape run from Shutter Island.
The protesters, declared Gaddafi, were &quot;greasy rats&quot; (not spotless and sparkling rats), &quot;cockroaches,&quot; and &quot;drug-fueled mice&quot; (not teetotal mice).
In other news, there’s allegedly a pill out there that turns cautious and regular run-of-the-mill people into wild gay gamblers.
Didier Jambart, a previously-boring and previously-straight 51-year-old married father-of-two in France, claims he took the drug Requip (ropinirole) for Parkinson’s and ended up erotically unveiling himself on the World Wide Web and becoming a gay sex addict and a compulsive gambler, or a compulsive gay and an addicted gambler, either way.
Jambart is suing his neurologist and GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company that produces Requip, for $610,000.
Mr. Jambart’s attorney says his client became a &quot;compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing,&quot; and then tried to kill himself three or more times.
No insensitivity intended, but it appears that Jambart was no better at ending it all than he was at cards and numbers.
Additionally, Mr. Jambart’s newly-developed and Requip-induced wild and crazy antics allegedly led to him being demoted at his defense industry job and becoming a rape victim on one or more occasions.
And more, on top of being hooked on gay sex and Joker Poker, all the family money has now allegedly disappeared, with Jambart supposedly taking his household’s savings down to zero via Internet gambling and then stealing to fund his habit, with both the betting and stealing the fault of Requip, according to the lawsuit.
This caused me to remember Gloria Sykes, the 23-year-old church lady who created a big stir back in 1970 in San Francisco by claiming that she became rather like a nymphomaniac after being knocked against a pole on a rough ride in a cable car.
The self-described devout and previously non-frisky Lutheran from Dearborn, Michigan, said what followed the bump was insatiability and 50 new and can-do boyfriends within five days, and some 100-plus boyfriends before the blow of the bump completely wore off.
She sued for $500,000 and was awarded, after 44 taped transcripts of a hypnotized Sykes were played in court, $50,000 by a jury of eight women and four men.
Well, funny thing, maybe it’s no joke.
A study published in the Archives of Neurology last May reported that dopamine treatment for Parkinson’s produced a jump in impulse control disorders – compulsive shopping, pathological gambling, binge eating.
On Requip’s warning label, the National Institutes of Health now lists this precaution, a warning that didn’t exist when Jambart began taking the medicine: &quot;You should know that some people who took medications such as ropinirole developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them, such as increased sexual urges or behaviors.&quot;
In 2008, a Minnesota man who became a compulsive gambler after taking Mirapex to treat his Parkinson’s disease was awarded $82 million.
It looks like Jambart is shooting low by asking for $610,000. The $82 million jackpot guy in Minnesota didn’t even put on a dress.
Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.
Ralph R. Reiland
E-mail: [email protected]