Statue of limitations

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Myths and legends of the market

The JC’s guide to the foundational mythology of the markets.™

Two vast & trunkless legs of stone, yesterday

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The statue of limitations was a colossal marble erection, five hundred cubits in height, that was expected to bestride the entrance to the Cycladean harbour of Santorini for a thousand years as a primordial testament to the perennial uselessness of humankind.

In a titanic bout of irony, the statue collapsed under its own weight a week or so after completion, killing King Ozymandias who commissioned it and the entire race of proto-Greek epicureans who conceived of it.

As the marble hunks fell like great meteors into the sea around them the people cried, “hark! The sky is falling upon our heads!”

Their lawyers said, “well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

In the ensuing weeks and months, administrators of King Ozymandias’ estate lodged a claim against the sculptor, but due to a succession of bureaucratic misunderstandings and clerical mishaps, delayed filing their claim until, in a further compounding irony, it was thrown out by the Greek courts as being time-barred under the Statute of Limitations.

In a final irony, none of the people responsible for either the commissioning of the sculpture, its negligent construction much less the pursuit of the claim felt the twisted lip or sneer of cold command (that is, no-one got sacked), and instead enjoyed long, rewarding careers in middle management.

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