Marvin was standing on a street corner one windy day, trying to light a cigarette with a match.

And, when he finally succeeded in his endeavor -- there being no fine tabletop or expensive oriental rug on which to drop the spent match -- he nonchalantly flipped two spent matches on the sidewalk.

Whereupon, Officer Dugon, who witnessed Marvin's nonchalance, stepped up beside him and gave him a ticket for littering the public sidewalk, which was "verboten" by city statutes.

Burned up by what he considered a trifling matter, Marvin fought the ticket in court.

"Giving me a ticket for dropping two tiny pieces of paper on the city sidewalk," he argued in court, "was too trifling a matter to warrant me being giving a ticket. Instead of wasting his time putting a collar on me, Dugon should have been out trying to put the collar on real criminals!"

"I don't make the law," was Dugon's indifferent response. "I only enforce the law. And, in this littering case, every litter bit helps in keeping the sidewalks clean."

IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE ...

Would you convict Marvin of violating the anti-littering statute.

THIS IS HOW THE JUDGE RULED ...

NO!

The judge, agreeing with Marvin, held that dropping two little tiny spent matches on a city sidewalk ... used to light a cigarette ... was too trifling an act to warrant judicial condemnation.

Based on a 1973 New York Criminal Court decision.

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