How to Photoshop Your Way to a $425,000 Payoff

Former University of Northern Colorado student Tom Mink (right) (ha, just kidding—left!) just received a $425,000 settlement from a bunch of Colorado cities for improperly searching his home and confiscating his computer after he'd created "Junius Puke," the Photoshop at right of UNC finance professor Junius Peake.

Mink had to wait eight years and endure many rounds at the federal courthouse before reaching his settlement, so calling his $425,000 the fruits of a "get rich quick" scheme would be like calling Gene Simmons' legendary ability to score women "obvious and impossible to deny." But if you've got some Photoshop skills and patience, you can follow his example and maybe get a nice settlement of your own. Here's what you do:

  • Move to a state with a criminal libel statute on the books.
  • Start an online satire website. Don't call it The Howling Pig, because that was the name of Mink's e-zine. Don't call it The Onion.
  • Take a photo of the most humorless and thin-skinned person you know—for example, UNC finance professor Junius Peake—and Photoshop it to make it look like Peake has merged with another real-life person, such as Adolf Hitler-Simmons.
  • Wait for the humorless person to find the Photoshopped work and call the police on you for hurting their feelings.
  • When the police show up, they might confiscate your computer and search your house. Prepare in advance by getting rid of any illegal items you own, and also by arranging for them a savory meat and cheese tray.
  • Narrowly escape being charged with criminal libel, which in Colorado carries a fine of up to $100,000 and a year behind bars. (Watch what you write about That Slut Shana on those public bathroom walls, Aspen tourists!)
  • Tell the ACLU, who will hopefully represent you and help you in your effort to overturn your state's stupid criminal libel statute.
  • Go to court numerous times.
  • Settle.

Much of Mink's $425,000 will go to the ACLU, which represented him for free for all those years. But he'll get to keep $25,000, which he'll use to buy a new car (a Camaro, hopefully).

[Courthouse News Service. Images via Westword]