09 February 2014

Bieber Shot

Music is almost as important to SleuthSayers as mystery. I like classical, blues, dark, smokey songs, and so-called progressive rock before alt and acid became respectable. And I listen to other rock, even pop, like Coldplay’s dysphoric Viva La Vida and Imagine Dragons’ foreboding Demons. Meanwhile my cockatoo, Valentine, likes to dance to Lorde’s Royals.

It should come as no surprise I know next to nothing about Justin Bieber. Justin Beiber? Wait, don't leave. There's a flash fiction payoff at the end.

Sure, I’m aware he’s a teenager, at least for the next three weeks. It’s difficult not to have heard his name, thanks to true Beliebers. I well remember adults despised our rock ‘n’ roll, so I'm not too judgmental and he's probably harmless.

I’m not familiar with his songs and couldn’t identify his voice if I heard it, but he’s played at the Apollo and appeared on CSI where he was, er, gunned down. Of course there were those disappointed that happened in fiction.


My impression is fame and fortune outstripped his ability to handle celebrity, but that’s happened to many supposedly far more mature. But he has a positive side.

In my blog records, I noted a tear-jerking article about ‘Mrs. Bieber’, a six-year-old with a fascination for the boy. She ‘married’ him in a ceremony shortly before her death from a fast-growing cancer. Even if his publicist made the arrangements, Justin gets high marks for classiness and sensitivity.

Like a lot of teens but on a worldwide scale, Bieber’s been getting in trouble recently with graffiti, vandalism, reckless driving, assault, and… $21,000 egg-throwing hijinks. Although Bieber wasn’t present, police in Sweden and the US found marijuana and apparently other drugs in his home and tour buses. On a flight from Canada to the US, Daddy Bieber, Justin, and their entourage of ten smoked so much dope on board and refused to stop despite repeated requests, the crew wore oxygen masks so they wouldn't test positive for THC. Whew! Talk about getting a mile high!

This tarnish on his image has prompted jokes:
“Police found drugs but less than an ounce of talent.”

Mother hears “Baby, baby, baby, oooooo…” from her daughter’s bedroom. “What are you doing?” “Having sex.” “Oh, thank goodness. I thought you were listening to Justin Bieber.”

Conan O’Brien said, “The police report described [Bieber] as 5’9 and 140 pounds – or as his cellmate put it, just right.” Which brings us to today’s flash story, inspired by a quip from a friend who went on to add, “The teacher in me finds this wickedly funny.”

Justin Goes to Jail
by Leigh Lundin

Police arrest Justin Bieber and send him to lockup. Dismayed but not disheartened, Bieber writes “Free JB!” on the walls in protest.

That’s when he learns his cellmate is dyslexic.


  1. You have a talent for flash fiction!

  2. Well, not to be too much of a downer here, but a joke about sexual assault wouldn't be funny if it was about a young woman. Right? I don't care anything about this particular young man as a celebrity or a musician. But I think we all need to care about young men enough to not speak casually about sexual assault. It's not a joke. Not even if the victim is male.

  3. I'm trying to figure out who is Justin Bieber. Okay, I've seen his name in the news but still couldn't connect him to anything musical or otherwise. I'm just behind the times I guess.

  4. Janice and Anon #1, thank you. I still have a way to go to match John Floyd!

    Louis, I’m much the same way. And it doesn’t bother me in the least.

    Anon #2, I agree and it would be disingenuous if I didn’t recognize the possibility with my bit of flash fiction or the Conan O’Brien one-liner. Worse, much of our society seems to regard rape as part of punishment along with bad food and other humiliation. It’s as if “You stole a car, you deserve to be assaulted.”

    In SleuthSayers, we’ve also touched upon the problem that society values male lives more than women’s. Anthropologists, sociologists, and most recently science writer Chip Walker point out that family and life itself can go on without a male, but not without a female.

    I was about to point out a recent SS article that addresses the disparity when I noticed a comment that sums up the issue. As you say, we need to care about our men, young, old, and in between.

  5. I like the joke where we agree to keep Justin Bieber if Canada will agree to take back Ted Cruz.

  6. Sounds like a 9yo in a 19yo body.

  7. Sorry, I don't see anything in Leigh's flash piece about sexual assault.

  8. okay, if he was Mexican instead of Canadian when that plane landed, wouldn't we deport him? Just sayin.

  9. Okay, I also don't care for jokes of sexual assault whether it's male or female. Somehow we've got to change our culture of thinking such jokes are funny. In Leigh's defense the joke wasn't so much about an assault as the idea of a prisoner being dumb enough to write something on his cell wall and a silly kid might do that. A BJ is not exactly an assault.
    I know who Justin is but couldn't name one of his songs. BUT we do have to remember this guy has been singing since he was about 12 or 13. I think he's just now being a kid that he missed out on. I do think his parents who are on his payroll are doing him a disservice by allowing this behavior. I know there may not be much they can do since he's now considered "of age." But if the behavior is hurting his career they better get someone to get him back under control if they want the gravy train to continue. Just my opinion.

  10. maybe not so far from truth :


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