Just Sue Me, Myself and I
Illustration: Andrew Joyner

He’s guilty, my lord! It has now become clear that I need to take out a MASSIVE LAWSUIT against a vile individual who has fouled up my whole life. I am talking, of course, about myself. Suing yourself is all the rage these days, I hear from a reader who works as a paralegal.

He told me that last year in the US state of Minnesota, a government van crashed into a parked car owned by one Megan Campbell. Campbell took out a lawsuit against the van driver, a government staffer named, you guessed it, Megan Campbell. In such cases, repair costs go to the employer so everyone’s happy. Except for the long-suffering taxpayer, but come on, we all know by now that allowing himself to be viciously suckered is the taxpayer’s reason for existing.

This reminded me of China’s State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5, which specifies that people who have been reincarnated as Tibetan lamas must have had their names previously recorded on a Reincarnation Application Form. Clearly my current pitiful existence is a direct result of the total mess I made of form filling in an earlier life, and that version of me deserves to be sued for every penny he has… as soon as I can work out how to do it.

“US jailbird Robert Lee Brock sued himself for five million dollars for giving himself alcohol”

Another person told me about a US jailbird named Robert Lee Brock who sued himself for $5 million for giving himself alcohol, which violated his religious beliefs and caused him to commit crimes. He argued that since he was a ward of the state (in jail), the authorities would have to pay this huge sum to the victim (him). However, the US judiciary refused to support this utterly ridiculous lawsuit, which is odd, because I thought supporting utterly ridiculous lawsuits was their main activity.

The most convoluted case, sent in by reader Sunita Chau, came from the London borough of Islington. The authorities gave a parking ticket to one of its own cars, the driver of which then filed an appeal to the same authorities. As a result, the city’s authorities charged itself, appealed against itself, rejected itself, re-appealed against itself, accepted an appeal against itself, and finally filed a claim for costs against itself, which was then rejected on the grounds that it was just too absurd. Well, they would know.

Suing yourself gives you a hostility-free way to practice lawyering, which can be useful. Earlier this year, the chief prosecutor in the government of Zambia was accused of shocking irregularities in the way he ran his office. He referred the case to himself and dismissed it. Observers noted that the conclusion in this case strongly supported the opposite conclusion. This is the sort of circular paradox that causes philosophers to suffer cranial short-circuits, so hide this page from any philosophers who might be walking by.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to fill in a Reincarnation Form so I can be reborn as a wise Tibetan lama. Not that you’ll notice any difference. But anything’s better than my current role: long-suffering taxpayer.

Nury Vittachi is a Hong Kong-based author. Read his blog at Mrjam.org

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