A Trip Is Ruined, but Marilyn Monroe Is Safe
BBC News reports that two British tourists were stopped at Los Angeles International Airport last week and barred from visiting the U.S. because one of them joked on Twitter that he planned to "destroy America" (meaning have a good time) and dig up Marilyn Monroe's remains (a Family Guy reference). Customs and Border Patrol agents questioned Leigh Van Bryan, a 26-year-old bar manager from Coventry, and his 24-year-old friend, Emily Bunting, for five hours, then kept them in cells for 12 more hours before sending them back to the U.K. "Mr. Bryan confirmed that he had posted on his Tweeter website account that he was coming to the United States to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe," the CBP officers reported. "Also on his tweeter account Mr. Bryan posted he was coming to destroy America." Here are the messages that ruined Bryan and Bunting's trip:
January 3: "3 weeks today, we're totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!"
January 16: "@MelissaxWalton free this week for a quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?"
Bryan told The Sun CBP officers took the threat to the long-dead movie star seriously, looking for shovels in his luggage. "The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist," he said. "I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet, but they just told me, 'You've really fucked up with that tweet, boy.'…It's almost funny now, but at the time it was really scary." In response to the incident, a British travel industry trade group warns tourists that "airport security staff do not have a sense of humour when it comes to potential risk."
[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]