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Chapter 3
Alternate Relationships

Whose Identity Is It, Anyway?

by SASKATCHEWAN KOLONOSCOGRAD, Alternate Reality News Service Existentialism Writer

In a potentially precedent setting case, Jean-Claude Majetsky is getting his ass sued off for just being himself.

Majetsky met Cindy-Lou Feggerman while both were playing the Massive Multi…uhh…Multiperson Online – no, wait, Multiplayer Massive Roleplaying – no, I’ve forgotten something… okay, they met while playing Star Blap: Captain’s Retreat, a really big online game.

Majetsky and Feggerman got to know each other in the long hours that they played ensigns in the game, since the ensigns mostly stand around waiting to be killed when they are the third people to go through doors. When Feggerman’s character was killed by an Altairian laser blast (just after having gone through the door), the couple began meeting in chat rooms and trading emails.

Trouble in the relationship began when the couple decided to meet in person. It was in a lonely International House of Blini off I0Newt that Feggerman made a horrible discovery.

“He…he…” Feggerman explained, desperately trying to hold back the tears, “that bastard was exactly as he described himself online!”

Andaluccia DeLuca, Feggerman’s lawyer, comfortingly put a clammy hand on hers and took up the argument. “Everybody online puffs up their descriptions to make themselves look and sound better than they are in real life,” DeLuca explained. “It’s a simple sign of respect, for yourself as well as the people you have to deal with every day.”

“I mean, he could have fixed up his jowls in Photoshop or…or said he was the President of his company,” Feggerman sobbed. “Isn’t that how you show somebody you love them?”

In response, Majetsky pleaded, “But, I have no imagination!”

Andromir Orangutan, Majetsky’s lawyer, comfortingly put a clammy hand over his mouth and took up the argument. “Is it fraud if somebody tells the truth when you’re expecting them to lie?” Orangutan mused. “This is a thorny legal issue, and, as everybody knows, thorny legal issues are full of pricks.”

Ouch.

In papers filed with the court, DeLucca argued that lack of imagination could not be an acceptable defense, since there were innumerable templates and filters that Majetsky could have used to tart up his online personality. She cited the precedent of Miller v State of Confusion, in which the court ruled that a butcher didn’t have to reveal the percentage of insect parts per thousand in the meat he sold if it would adversely affect his business.

The legal strategy may be obscure, but the argument about templates and filters has struck a chord with the Net-going public. Majetsky took his lawyer’s hand off his mouth long enough to respond, “Yes, but you still have to have some imagination to choose from all of the options that these programmes give you. Frankly, whenever I try, I get dizzy and have to turn off my computer for several hours!”

In his counter-claim, Orangutan filed papers with the court arguing that Web sites that have sprung up supporting Feggerman are prejudicial to his client’s interests.

“We have nothing against him,” responded Emily Nutella, Web Mistress for the Jean-Claude Majetsky Must Die! Die! DIE! Web site. “I started the Web site to support Cindy-Lou through her terrible ordeal. The way I see it, supporting Cindy-Lou means crushing the evil bastard who is putting her through it. But, it’s nothing personal.”

Nutella added that the reason she’s being dragged into the case is because her site gets 127 times more unique visitors per month than the main Web site supporting Majetsky, Jean-Claude Isn’t Such A Bad Guy Once You Get To Know Him. Really. He isn’t. Harold C3P0, creator of that site, refused repeated requests to respond because his mommy insisted that it was past his bedtime.

On Orangutan’s list of witnesses is Molly Doddering, the author of The Psychology of Indecisiveness. The main argument of this book is that, faced with so much creativity all around them, some people’s individual creativity shuts down. Where most people see opportunity, some people just see competition, and they opt out of it.

What does this have to do with the case at hand? Doddering, who died in a freak shrimping boat accident soon after her book was published, explained at a séance that: “Uhh…it was a…deleted chapter. Yeah. That’s it. A deleted chapter. I hate when all that research goes to waste!”

If Majetsky and Feggerman cannot work out their differences on their own, the case will go to trial just as soon as the circuit court judge stops laughing.

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