Many years ago, my husband and I had a three-hour date at an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant, after which his voluminous red beard smelled of charred meat for a week. I found this to be the most alluring thing I have ever experienced, and briefly considered spiking his cologne with melted pork fat. Today I am grateful that I don’t live next door to Cillia Carden, an Australian massage therapist who has thus far sued her neighbors twice over wafting meat smells. Meat smells that are so frequent and intense that there’s no way they could be accidental:
“It’s deliberate,” said Carden in an interview with Perth’s 9News. “That’s what I’ve said to the court. It’s deliberate.”
Neighbors had previously attempted to make peace without legal intervention. Toan Vu—whose children have also angered Carden with the sounds of their playing—even moved his grill to the opposite side of his yard, believing that was a reasonable and rational solution to the problem. But according to Carden, not so! She told 9News the smell continued to be “devastating.”
After the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia dismissed her case, Carden took her case all the way to the Supreme Court, submitting a 400-page appeal that was described by Chief Justice Peter Quinlan as “well in excess of anything that might be thought to be proportionate to the issues.” We here at The Takeout have yet to find this 400-page missive to meat vapor, but you bet your ass we’re looking for it.
Carden’s case was once again thrown out of the court system, but she will not be discouraged. Just keep this case in mind the next time you’re having a reasonable dispute with a neighbor over lawn mowing or dog barking. It could be so, so much worse.