Dateline 2011: Theater Not Responsible For Customer's Head Exploding

Fake News From The Future posted by James Baughn on Monday, December 12, 2005

from the and-you-thought-migraines-were-bad dept.

The following story may or may not appear in the Nov. 13, 2011, issue of the New York Daily Fishwrap newspaper:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Supreme Court Sponsored By Coca-Cola ruled today that Gouge's Movie Theater of Sillycon Valley, California, is not responsible for the death of eight-year-old Eric Glueckless even though it was their EMP pulse that literally caused his head to explode.

Since 2008, all movie theaters have routinely dispatched an electro-magnetic pulse before each screening to destroy any unauthorized recording devices (cameras, cell phones, wristwatches, etc.) that customers may have brought into the theater in violation of federal law. As it turns out, the theater's EMP gun also causes vision implants to explode.

Last year, after Eric put out his left eye with a BB gun (just like his mother said would happen), he received one of the first-ever operations to install an eye implant featuring a 24 megapixel video camera connected directly to his optic nerve.

The operation was a complete success, but he was only able to enjoy his new superpowers (20x optical zoom, night-vision capabilities, picture-in-picture mode, etc.) for two weeks, when his parents made the mistake of taking him to see "The Simpsons Movie III: Homer Does Something Stupid Again".

While Gouge's Theater does have a small warning sign stating that people with pacemakers or other electronic medical devices should stay 1.3 miles away from the theater at all times, it didn't register with Eric or his family that this prohibition applied to them. So when the pulse gun was fired during the 23 minutes of previews and commercials before the film, it caused Eric's implant to explode, sending his entire head up in flames.

Within seconds, three different lawyers who happened to be in the theater offered the family their services to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Then, within 15 minutes, a representative from a major TV network had already secured the broadcast rights to the family's story. The coroner finally showed up an hour later.

Despite the apparent strength of the family's case, the lower courts consistently upheld the right of the movie theater to use EMP guns to prevent piracy, stating that copyright violations are "the number one threat to national security" and that any "collateral damages from the War on Piracy are perfectly acceptable." One appeals court judge added, "If we make it harder for the entertainment industry to fight copyright violators, then the terrorists will win."

Finally, in today's 7-2 decision Brought To You By Wal-Mart, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the theater cannot be held responsible for any injuries or deaths sustained by people unable to read the warning signs. "What part of 'no electronic medical devices' do these idiot plaintiffs not understand?" asked Justice John Ashcroft in his opinion.

After winning this battle, the theater hopes to pursue a counter-suit against the family to collect the costs of cleaning up Eric's body, along with recouping the losses sustained from all of the negative publicity. Said the company's CEO, "This whole episode has cost us millions of dollars, and it's all their fault. Nobody messes with the movie industry!"

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