Friday, January 19, 2007

Twenty in NY Lawsuit Scandal

Tch, turns out Twenty Major is just another of those fakes who blogs about Ireland while actually living in New York. Tax scam? Legal loophole? Failed screenwriting career? Hopefully none of the above, for not only is Twenty homeless and living outside a Manhattan antiques store, but he's currently being sued to the tune of $1 million in damages by the owner of the store, Karl Kemp, who says the sight of the bearded man and his filthy belongings is adversely affecting trade.

It seems Twenty has written almost the entirety of his blog from his grotty perch on Madison Avenue; he has been blogging for just over two years, which is also the length of time for which Kemp, according to his lawyer, has been plagued by Twenty's presence. Kemp says that the blogger, who is known on the street as "the Preacher" and often accompanied by up to ten followers, also homeless, can often be found "sleeping on the sidewalk,” “consuming alcoholic beverages from open bottles, performing various bodily functions such as urinating and spitting,” and “verbally harassing or intimidating the plaintiff’s patrons and prospective customers.”

But the real problem facing Kemp and other antique store owners, and the real reason for the staggering lawsuit, was revealed yesterday. It seems that Twenty has not only been "intimidating" would-be browsers of Kemp's goods, but he has also been running a sidewalk business in more modern, efficient, and interesting versions of such goods, which has, over the past year in particular, begun to siphon away Kemp's customer base. "We can't compete with the sidewalk traders," said another antiques dealer, who asked not to be named, yesterday. "They're plugged into everything that goes on in a way that we, surrounded by our mouldering antiques, never really can be. They get everything we do done more quickly and more economically. And while most of our most loyal customers do keep coming back to us, the sidewalk traders are stealing away the next generation. There is no next generation for the antiques dealers. Those homeless bastards - and it's not just Twenty, they're all over the place - have got us licked. I mean, look at them. They don't have any overheads, don't have any staff to pay, don't have any bosses to obey or pander to. Who wouldn't want to be homeless, the jammy bastards?"

The unnamed dealer did add, however, that not every sidewalk trader ran as successful a business as Twenty. Referring to the group of homeless people who often surround him outside the Madison Avenue Store, he said that the sidewalk industry had its share of inferior hangers-on and imitators. "That lot are just a merry band of wannabes," he said, prompting the ire of some of Twenty's followers, who at the time had been rooting through his "filthy belongings" and attempting to make them their own. "We say hilarious things about goats," bellowed one man, who seemed to be wearing a fake beard.

With the lawsuit, Karl Kemp hopes to compel the city to finally remove Twenty and his associates from the area outside his store. Homeless advocacy groups last night criticised his action, however, calling it "blinkered". "Regardless of where they pitch their camp, the homeless will still be out there, and their number is only getting larger," said a spokesperson for one group. "Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not there. They haven't gone away, you know."

Read more on Twenty's new found celebrity (much better than a crummy mention in the Irish Times): Gawker, New York Times

9 comments:

cornaroy said...

Aha! I always wondered about what happened to the old Captain Birdseye. If that is Twenty Major then all Mr. Kemp has to do is restrict his wireless internet signal. Twenty is just sitting there so he can get free access, the cheapskate.

Twenty Major said...

That really is a very good picture. You know the way sometimes you can look horrible? I'm happy...

haydn said...

I remember making a mention of Twenty in an Irish Times article. Hmmm. I hope it wasn't crummy. The paper was taking too little notice of a burgeoning group of writers who are using blogs because they don't have the access they deserve to the mainstream so I raised a few names there.

hesitant hack said...

Haydn, no, I wasn't referring to your article, but to another one which was published last week.

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