Dream of: 19 January 1999 "Star Wars"

Carolina and I were living in a modest second story apartment in a white frame building, perhaps over a garage. Both of us were in the living room, settled in our chairs, watching one of the Star Wars movies. I was thinking about how much attention would soon be directed to Star Wars, once the new movies began coming out. We would soon be flooded with Star Wars publicity. That didn't bother me because I liked Star Wars anyway.

Suddenly I heard an unexpected knock at the door. I stood up with my remote control in hand, and walked over to the door. When I opened the door, a wiry man (probably in his mid 40s) stepped in and immediately began complaining. He said that my use of the remote control was bothering him, and that if I didn't stop, he was going to file a lawsuit against me to force me to stop using the remote control. After I had listened to him for a few minutes in astonished silence, he turned and walked back outside. I also stepped onto the small porch for a moment, surveyed the surrounding area, then stepped back inside.

I discussed with Carolina what had just happened. I was unclear how my remote control could be bothering someone. But I accepted what the man had said as true. However, I wasn't willing to give up the use of the control, and to demonstrate my refusal to abandon the control, I pointed it at the television and clicked it. I explained to Carolina that the man would have to file a "nuisance" suit against us if he wanted me to stop using the remote control. But if I fought the suit, it would be difficult for him to win. And surely it would cost him a great deal of money to pursue the suit.

Suddenly, I heard another knock at the door. Once again, with remote control in hand, I walked over and answered the door. This time, two police officers were standing outside. They quickly walked in and asked me if I knew why they were here. I told them I figured they were here because of the remote control, and they said I was correct.

It was quickly clear that they weren't here to arrest me, that they had no authority for that. They simply wanted to talk to me about the problem. Meanwhile, I was already thinking about how I was going to fight any lawsuit which might be filed against me. I thought I had a right to use my remote control if I wanted, and I would counter with a suit for "tortious interference." I would claim the man complaining about my remote control was interfering with my right to use the remote. I wasn't certain such a cause of action as "tortious interference" existed, but I thought I would try it anyway. I definitely wasn't going to give up my remote control without a fight.

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