On January 6, 26-year-old Briton Paul Chambers became the umpteenth English-speaking person of questionable impulse control (original descriptive language changed to skirt Britain’s rather strenuous libel laws) to vastly misconstrue authorities’ post-9/11 sense of humor regarding jokes about bombs.
After his local Doncaster, England airport was shut down, canceling his flight to Ireland — during a time when the entire U.K. was pretty much frozen solid — Chambers updated his Twitter feed with a facetious threat to bomb the facility. A week later, he was visited by police who, while unfamiliar with the concept of tweets, were well-trained to investigate the origins of phrases like “you’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!” They questioned Mr. Chambers for seven hours, and confiscated his computers and iPhone. Chambers was released on bail, but has been banned from Robin Hood Airport Doncaster for life, and could face prosecution under Britain’s version of the Patriot Act.
In a Daily Mail article about the incident, Chambers describes himself as a “mild-mannered guy” who “would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened.”
All of which begs the question:
What the fuck is wrong with Paul Chambers, and anybody else that lets an idea for a bomb-threat joke get past, at its absolute farthest, the four or five people sitting drunk around a poker table?