Two years ago, Bart X. Dickson, a Chicago resident, was in a long distance relation with a Joan in the UK. Like many such relationships, they broke up, but Joan’s last e-mail particularly stung Bart.
“She said that I would never be able to earn a living own my own.” Said Bart. “That really hurt my feelings. Just because I don’t want to work doesn’t mean I can’t earn a living.”
Instead of crying, Bart dedicated himself to winning her heart back.
“I thought about going to the UK to talk to her. So I was Googling for British romantic advice when stumbled across an article about British libel laws. That gave me a great idea!”
Using his trust fund, Bart hired an English lawyer and journeyed to London.
“The customs dude asked how I was going to support myself. I said, ‘When I leave London, I will be a millionaire.’”
In London, Bart filed his first lawsuit against The British Chiropractic Association. Bart had a friend in the US make a critical post about him on an Internet forum affiliated with the BCA. Bart’s lawyers filed the lawsuit the next day.
“Next week, I got a check from them!” Said Bart. “They just wanted to keep it quiet because it would detract from their libel suit against Simon Singh.”
When The Guardian tried to write a story about Bart’s lawsuit, his lawyers threatened to sue them. The Guardian settled out of court!
“Cha-Ching!” Said Bart. “This was better than slaving away at a desk!”
Bart has now filed over 9000 lawsuits in the UK, dropping only 10 when the defendants threatened to really go to court. The rest were settled out of court.
According to The Libel Reform Campaign, claimants win ninety percent of all English libel cases. Unlike the United States, the burden is on the defendant to prove their innocence.
Now Bart travels around England as one of the most prolific libel tourists, seeking to punish any slight against him, no matter how small. He only leaves the country for a few months to renew his tourist visa application.
When I spoke with Bart at a cafe, he defended his actions.
“I can’t help it if so many of you hate me, and your libel laws are so generous.” Said Bart, wearing an American Flag jacket. “Thanks to your favorable exchange rate, I’m a millionaire!”
Late in the afternoon, Bart loudly announced to the server, “I want a coffee Americano, black!” As the young woman walked away, Bart announced, “The only thing British Tea is good for is dumping into the ocean.”
A muscular young man stormed up to Bart, and engaged in an obscene tirade against, “Bloody ugly US tourists giving North America a bad name.”
Bart smiled, and turned his laptop towards the man. He said, “Are you willing to post your comments on a public forum?”
The man flipped off Bart and walked off.
“That would have been an easy few thousand quid.” Bart said.
Bart says he doesn’t fear for his safety, though he did concede he was slightly worried once. He said a man threw a bag at him, then yelled that Bart was a Muslim.
“Unlike the rest of London, tube cops have guns! Fortunately I was wearing my George Bush pin, so I wasn’t too worried.”
Bart expressed concern that Simon Singh’s efforts might end his “career.” If British libel laws are reformed, Bart said would consider a career in American informercials.
“I’d just promise to tell people how I got rich for four easy installments of $69.99. I won’t promise them that they can get rich too.”
Bart also expressed hope that his success will someday win back Joan’s affections.
Joan told me that she still has no feelings for Bart.
“I’m sorry that our break up lead to his reign of terror. I wish I could make him stop.”
During the interview, Bart called Joan. During the conversation, she asked him to call back later, but apparently refused.
“Bart, to paraphrase a great philosopher, if you can’t live without me, why aren’t you bloody dead yet?”
She turned off the phone and sighed.
“Men can be such saucy peaches!”
Also in The Babbler:
Chicago mob denies sabotaging the 2010 Winter Olympics
Bolingbrook deports alien gang members
Autistic school denies it wants to ban diesel in Lisle
God to smite Bolingbrook on 2/20/10
Also in The Greater Manchester Mumbler:
Prince Harry denies dating a Muslim alien
Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.