Pop Rocks: Which Celebrity Should I Sue?

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If it's month with an "R" in it, Lindsay Lohan must be in the news again:

Lindsay Lohan is speaking out against claims made by a night club manager, who says the actress "grazed" his knee with her Porsche early Wednesday morning and bolted from the scene immediately.
Lohan's rep, Steve Honig, released a statement, explaining, "Lindsay stopped by the club to drop in on a friend's birthday party. When she arrived, there were so many photographers there that she decided to leave and never even got out of the car. At no point was there ever any indication that her car hit anyone or anything. We are confident this matter will be cleared up in the next few days."

TMZ reports that the 26-year-old man may want to press charges against Lohan.

I'm condensing, because who really cares? But the salient facts are: Lohan makes three point turn to escape paparazzi and may have bumped said manager's Corvette; police are called; club manager appears to be fine, so no report is filed; manager later discovers it was Lindsay Lohan driving the car, and suddenly he might want to file charges.

Maybe the guy's really hurt. He could be suffering from one of those delayed ACL tears I've been hearing about for...well, never. But I can totally see his reasoning. Lohan's a big-time Hollywood star, right? With a recent history of box-office success, right?

This guy's bold and wholly original strategy got me thinking of my own limited encounters with celebrity, and how I could exploit these for quick financial gain (statutes of limitation -- and whether the celebrity in question is still alive or not -- be damned).

The Celebretrator: Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell The Year: 1992 The Circumstances: At Lollapalooza in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was hustling down to grab a bite after Ice Cube's set, head down, barely noticing the two guys coming in the opposite direction. That is, until the taller one ran straight into me and knocked me on my ass. Being no slight fellow, I was understandably startled. And then the hairy fellow offered me a hand, "Sorry, kid." My reply, recognizing the singer and guitarist of Soundgarden: "Hey, Chris Cornell!" He waved and continued on. A hit-and-run if ever there was one. The Charge: Bullying: referring to a 23-year-old as a "kid"? The Damages: $5,000 and an autographed copy of Ultramega OK.

The Celebretrator: Marlin Perkins, host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom The Year: 1974 The Circumstances: My dad and I ran into the legendary host at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah. We had a brief conversation that convinced me more than ever to pursue a career that would make a difference in the world around me. *cough* The Charge: Perjury: that promised episode about whales never aired. The Damages: Perkins has sadly passed on, but his trusty assistant Jim Fowler is still alive. And as restitution I want $10,000 and to watch Rush Limbaugh wrestle an anaconda, Fowler style.

The Celebretrator: "Alternative" stand-up comic Patton Oswalt The Year: 2005 The Circumstances: Oswalt's comic-umentary (is that even a word?) The Comedians of Comedy was debuting at SXSW, and I ran into him in the Convention Center, where I convinced him to pose with me for a quick picture. The Charge: Battery, crouching to get closer to Oswalt's height left me with permanent back spasms. Yeah, "permanent." That's the ticket. The Damages: $15,000 and a public disavowal of Blade 3.

The Celebretrator: Batman's Adam West The Year: 1975 The Circumstances: West, as Batman, is making an appearance at a local mall. My parents do a poor job hiding the newspaper that Saturday and I find out about it, insisting that they take me. After what felt like minutes (but was probably hours), I came away with my cherished autograph. The Charge: Forgery: West signed it, "To Peter: Batman," when clearly the only real Batman is Michael Keaton. The Damages: $20,000 and a month's worth of Batusi lessons.

The Celebretrator: The dear departed Patrick Swayze The Year: 2003 The Circumstances: Swayze's movie One Last Dance was enjoying its premiere at WorldFest. My wife and I were walking up just as he and wife Lisa Niemi were emerging for the red carpet. The Charge: Spousal abuse by proxy: I shouted, "You were the bomb in Steel Dawn!" and was promptly eagle clawed in the ribs by my aforementioned wife. The Damages: $25,000 and the part of Jed and Matt's dad (made "famous" by Harry Dean Stanton in the original) in the Red Dawn remake.

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