Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

Judge Roy Phantly entered his chambers and took the seat at the head of the conference table. To his right, sat Stanley Matthews, CEO of Buy Gones Inc, and his attorney. To the Judge’s left, sat Samantha Blatchford, Lead attorney for the Class Action lawsuit against Buy Gones. “Good morning everyone,” opened the Judge. “This is a preliminary hearing to determine if the civil suit against Buy Gones should be certified and allowed to proceed to trial. The plaintiffs allege that Buy Gones has violated the personal privacy of thousands of claimants. Does the defendant have an opening statement?”

“Yes, Your Honor,” replied Matthews’ attorney. “This claim is totally without merit. Buy Gones has been in existence for 23 years, and has a license to provide its clients with the opportunity to experience real historical events, first hand.”

“How so?” inquired the Judge.

“Well, uh, the specifics of the technology are proprietary, of course. But in essence, Buy Gones has the capability to transmit the consciousness of our clients backward in time, into the minds of historical figures. While there, they can experience, strictly as an observer, thirty minutes of that person’s life, for a fee of $1000. Hence the name of the company, Buy Gones.”

“Do you have any examples, Counselor?”

“Of course, Your Honor. Many of our clients pay to live the experience of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the moon, George Washington crossing the Delaware, or Joe Montana’s fourth quarter drive in Superbowl XXIII. Not only do our customers see the event through the eyes of the host, they hear the sounds, and feel the emotions. They literally live the experience. It’s really remarkable.”

The Judge turned toward the plaintiff’s attorney. “That doesn’t sound like it merits legal proceedings Ms. Blatchford. I don’t see that this kind of behavior can be causing damages to anybody. What’s the foundation of your lawsuit?”

“Your Honor, Buy Gones has expanded their operation to include modern individuals.”

The Judge turned back toward the defendant, “Is that true?”

“Yes, Your Honor. The police routinely enter the mind of a murder victim minutes before their death to determine the identity of the perpetrator. In divorce cases, wives have entered the minds of their husbands during previous ‘business trips’ to discover that they were in fact, having an affair. Stuff like that.”

“Again,” the Judge said to the plaintiff’s attorney, “That doesn’t seem like an inappropriate application of technology. Apprehending a dangerous criminal, or a philandering spouse for that matter, is a good thing, is it not?”

“Your Honor, Mr. Matthews’ attorney is cherry picking the evidence. Most recently, clients of Buy Gones have paid to enter the minds, and live the sexual exploits of, people such as: Hugh Hefner, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Denzel Washington, and William Shatner.”

“William Shatner?” remarked the Judge. “Are you kidding me? That’s unbelievable. But even so, these are famous people. They have no expectation of privacy.”

“Your Honor, the celebrities are not filing the lawsuit. It’s their, er, uh, partners. Perfectly innocent people who were overcome by idol worship in a moment of weakness. As a result, we’ve now become the sexual conquests of thousands of sick, pathetic losers. It’s disgusting. Our privacy has been infringed upon without our consent. Buy Gones needs to pay!”

“A valid point,” noted the Judge. “But, you, uh, make it sound…personal, Ms. Blatchford.”

“Let’s just say I’m a very enthusiastic Star Trek fan, your Honor.”

“Oooooh, I see.” The Judge turned toward the defendant. “I’d hate to be you, Mr. Matthews. We’ll start picking the jury on Monday.”

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