I have some news!

I have some news.

I’m sure some of you (especially the writers) will remember that I reported here a week or two back the disturbing news that fictitious characters now have the legal right to sue their creators for defamation of character, or any other hurt (real or perceived) caused through those said creators’ thoughtless and heartless actions.


In case you want to have a look, the link is below.


Well, news reaches me this morning of a new grouping of characters, namely sidekicks in detective stories, who have come together under the name of Sidekicks Of Detectives (or ‘Sods’) to challenge their positions as The Most Stupid Person In A Detective Story.

Initially, the group was to have been organised by Captain Hastings, sidekick to the famous Poirot, but after some heated discussion it was agreed that, actually, he couldn’t organise his way out of his own front door without help, and the task was then delegated to Doctor Watson, who arranged a meeting at a coffee shop, one of a well-known chain, in Central London. Unfortunately, he forgot to mention either which branch it was, or the time of the meeting, and so there has only been limited progress on that front, so far.

But, further cases have already come to court.

A number of characters from ‘Three men in a boat’, by Jerome K Jerome, Bertie Wooster and others created by P G Wodehouse, and various characters from books by Spike Milligan began a collective case, but were laughed out of court.

Dan Brown is being sued by every single character he invented.

And there is some confusion in America, where Donald Trump has apparently filed a case against himself on the grounds that he has irreversibly blackened his own character.

I’m told he is confident of winning the case, since the stories he has spread about himself are scarcely believable, and that it is generally held that he must be a fictitious character, since the majority of observers and commentators say they ‘can’t believe this guy is for real!’

The trouble is, all this is symptomatic of our legislative culture. It was the retrospective case brought by Big Ears and Mr Plod against the estate of Enid Blyton that, I think, I found most distressing. By all accounts, they cooked it up over an evening of heavy drinking, after being taunted by the Tubby Bear family, and it is strongly suspected (although it cannot be proved) that much of the impetus came from a third character – possibly one of the Fluffy Cats, since they are known to be bad through and through (it’s okay, I can say that. It was proved in a recent court case of character assassination that the Fluffy Cats brought, and lost, against the estate).

But Big Ears and Mr Plod did win their case, and now not only is it a legal requirement that in future they both be referred to as intelligent, but Big Ears must henceforth be renamed as ‘Graham’. And his ears are officially ‘of normal dimensions’. Or else.

Which brings me to my own characters.

I have decided that I am not going to be dictated to, or browbeaten by, some miserable little…hang on, there’s someone at the door. I’d better just get that. Hello? What? A writ? about what? Oh…

I’m sorry, I have to stop there.

43 thoughts on “I have some news!

  1. Oh! My dear, dear Captain Hastings! I shall have you know that he is my favourite literary character of all time, and quite possibly the first man I ever loved (from watching Poirot with my mother as a small girl, I have always adored Hastings.) He is hilariously dim at times, I’ll admit. But the eponymous Hercule did not want him for his brains, it was for his bravery and lovely bottom. As for my own characters turning against me – as long as it isn’t The Dean I’ll probably be okay. Not only is The Dean a doctor of international law, he is also insane. I shall try to keep him onside.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hastings will clearly have a good defence team, although I can’t be certain that all your arguments will carry equal gravitas in court, and after that practice you may be in a good place to defend yourself against the massed ranks of Old College. As for the Cast of Who Shot Tony Blair? – I’d be jolly worried about that one!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, Morse. Yes, Sergeant Lewis was the sidekick. But we re-watched a few of those recently, and it’s interesting to see that often Morse puts him down, only for Lewis to be proved correct later. He’s a rather more complex character than he first appears.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I know I could banter something back with you, but there is no need. It really is terrifically funny and well done. Have you thought of sending it off to the papers to publish. A very wry story.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like Trump should be fictional, but truth is stranger than fiction. Love the notion of him suing himself for blackening himself.

    Your Poirot reminds me of Father Brown, and the way he constantly makes the local police look like idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed the post, Mick, especially the part about Donald Trump. I only wish he were a completely fictitious character. At the time of writing, it looks like he is going to be the next US president. If that does happen, I suspect happy endings may be in short supply for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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