By Staff Reporter Shengas McGlumphie
An Augher farmer plans to sue Hollywood makers for the theft of an idea which may have been as the basis for the recent smash hit movie, ‘Life of Pi’, currently shown in cinemas across the UK. Phelim McAlinden from McAlinden Farm near Altadavin wrote a poem called ‘Life of Pie’ in 1966 after his teacher punished him for throwing the spit bucket around another pupil by ordering a young Phelim to write a poem about pies over breaktime.
“I’m fuming if the truth be told. Them boys in Amerikay are ruthless. The Master said it was one of the best poems he’d ever seen a 6-year-old write and I’ve sort of been living off that praise since then. I’m known as ‘the boy who wrote the poem’ around these parts, even in my 53rd year. I remember it word for word:
Oh me. Oh my. I love a pie
And always will. I do decry.
Other food I sometimes try
But till the day I die. It’s a life of pie.”
‘Life Of Pi’, the film based on the book of the same name by Yann Martel, tells the story of a spiritual journey of a young boy in India who rejects his father’s rationalism and creates a personal amalgam of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Phelim admits he has no idea how they managed to come across the idea, nor accepts that the film has nothing whatsoever to do with his poem, including the title, the basic premise, the plot, the characters, the start, the middle, and the ending. He was originally advised to sue for £20m but has since said he’d settle for a ‘lock of pounds’.
“That’s what they do, lucksee. They change all the story to get out of paying. They’re crafty that way. Sometimes you have to stand up to the man. I don’t want to get in the way of a good movie but credit where credit’s due boys. If them boys in Hollywood send me twenty quid that would probably be the end of it”.
McAlinden says he is also also looking closely at the recent Quentin Tarantino film ‘Django Unchained’, which he believes may be sourced from another poem he wrote in the 1980s called ‘Jangle’, based on the loose change he had in the pocket of his dungarees that day.