I really shouldn’t laugh. Meh heh heh. But a report coming from the UK this week—heh—says that a 53-year-old man named Peter Bayliss forced a six-year-old child to watch the George Romero classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as a form of punishment, and that the kiddie not surprisingly suffered from nightmares for weeks afterward. Heh heh. His conviction came about over twenty years after the fact, which means that the victim, now a grown-ass woman, went into a police station somewhere and filed a complaint against this guy. Even the judge in the case stated that this “was not sustained abuse” and that there was “not a long-term psychological injury” caused by the incident. Even so, the guy got community service.
What isn’t funny is that this case ever made it to a judge in the first place. They should have laughed it out of court, finding it, as I do, rather absurd. A bonehead move on the guy’s part? Sure. But abuse? Please. The poor little thing had nightmares. My parents let me watch SALEM’S LOT when I was four or five, and I had nightmares for weeks, too. (Come to think of it, looking at the way I turned out, this may not be the best analogy.)