And, after a bit of fabrication, it turns out there was.
It was around 11:00pm on a brisk autumn night when I approached the main entrance of Bieber Industries, a massive complex located in the city's arts/heavy industrial district. At the entrance stood a guard, large and disinterested. "Hello," I said blandly, playing it cool. "Just heading inside on regular business."
The guard nodded. "What's in the sack?" he asked, gesturing at the large sack I was carrying over one shoulder.
"Solvents," I said, with a shrug.
Silently thanking a country where the concept of "pride in your work" had long since grown flaccid and floppy, I watched him open the main gate for me. Walking inside the complex, I picked a building at random, and strode towards it confidently. I swung my sack around nonchalantly, trying to flesh out my "guy who belongs in an industrial complex" character in case I crossed paths with anyone else.
Entering the building, I stopped to get my bearings. It appeared to be a modern, automated production facility, set up for producing nail polish. To my right was the beginning of the production line, where the raw ingredients for the nail polish were being mixed. As expected, I saw the usual mix of resins, adhesives, plasticizers and pigments being mixed together, along with the ingredients that made this polish Bieber-specific, including sparkles, thousands of young girls' tears, and juiced koala bears. The ingredients were funneled down pipes and chutes, and all met in a central tank, where a solitary figure was slowly mixing it by hand with a big wooden paddle. Having fully donned my "industrial-complex belonging fella" persona, I marched right up to the figure and said chummily, "How's things going? Any dark secrets that the outside press must never hear about?"
The figure turned around, a surprised look on his face, though I'd wager no less surprised than my own. For indeed I was staring into the face of Justin Bieber himself.
"Oh my god! Are you a Bieber-clone? Are you one of a thousand Bieber-clones? Did an evil senator order the creation of you in anticipation of wiping out the Jedi?" I struggled to catch my breath. "Holy shit what a scoop!"
The Justin Bieber clone shook his head. "No, I'm the real Justin Bieber."
I wrinkled my brow, confused. "But that doesn't make any sense. Why would you be working here, doing the job of a robot? An immigrant robot even. I would have thought you'd be out touring. Or enjoying the trappings of your success?"
The non-cloned Genu-Bieber snorted. "The trappings of my success?"
"Yes man! Teenage girls!
The Bieb let out a short bark of a laugh. "My riches? Ha!"
"I don't understand," I said, not understanding. "You must be loaded."
He shook his head sadly. "No. They have all my money. I've got nothing."
I looked at him carefully, searching his expression for some hint at what he could mean. "Who took all your money?" I sat down on a nearby staircase. "Come on, I'm a trained columnist." I patted the space beside me. "Sit down and rap with me."
The Bieb sat down, took a deep breath, and began his story. "Ok. So a few years ago, I was just this regular kid in Canada. You know, working 9 days a metric week down at the socialism mine. But then one day this American, wearing a gold chain with a gold watch hanging from it, came to the mine and 'discovered' me. He convinced me to move to America to be a big rock-and-roll star. All I had to do was sign a contract."
I winced. "And the contract says that you owe them a huge amount of money every week for rent and haircuts and purple outfits." I gestured at his purple outfit. "And that all your earnings go directly to your managers first, to pay off these expenses?"
"That's right. And when I'm not out blushing at girls, they make me work here in the polish factory. But how did you know all that?" The Bieb looked surprised.
"It's a pretty common story I'm afraid," I said. "Cracked tried to do the same to me once. I was lucky though. A judge ruled that I was mentally incompetent to enter into contracts, and after that, all my problems went away," I said. "Well not all of them.
The Bieb looked at me carefully for a few seconds. "Do you think that will work for me?"
"Are you willing to poo your pants in a court of law?" I asked, leaning in, peering at him intently. "Most people think they could, but it's way harder than it sounds."
"You hesitated, and that tells me the answer is 'no.'"
"But you've got to help me escape."
"I've got to help you escape," I repeated, trying the words on for size.
"You could go to the authorities!"
I shook my head. "You're Canadian. They'd just push you down. I once had my car broken into, and when I reported it to the police, when they found out I was Canadian, they pushed me down the stairs. There wasn't even any stairs nearby - he actually lured me to some stairs to do it."
The Bieb frowned, and looked frustrated. "Well you could spread word about my plight in your column. Maybe one of your readers could become a lawyer or something? Or at least start a collection to get me out of debt?"
I inhaled through my teeth. "Eeeeeeeessssh. My readers kind of hate you. In fact, they are generally just really bad people. Telling them you were in distress would cause them no end of amusement, and in fact, a less scrupulous journalist than myself might even fabricate just such a story in order to generate some cheap pageviews."
"I see," Bieber said after considering that for a few seconds. "Isn't there anything you can do?"
I bit my lip. "Here," I said, reaching into my pocket, from which I produced a bill. I handed it to him.
He took the bill from my hand, a dejected look on his angelic little face. "Five bucks? You're giving me five lousy bucks?"
I looked embarassed. "Well... no."
I shifted uncomfortably. "Well, I mean... am I getting any change back from that?
"You're giving me less than five bucks?"
"I'm trying to."
So it turns out that Justin Bieber is just a real huge white-slave-baby, and is also a vicious little fuck when armed with a nail polish mixing paddle. He proceeded to smack me in the face and torso a couple dozen times, growing ever angrier by my lack of resistance and because "I smelled like I'd pooed my pants." When he eventually left to fetch the the security guard I made my pantsless escape, having heaved my indeed-very-soiled trousers into the vat of nail polish before bolting.
So if there are any genuine nail polish/Justin Bieber fans reading this, you know, fair warning. Wash your hands before you eat I guess.
Forget 'morale-boosters,' we'd rather have the money.
Trends among women trigger a level of contempt that's way beyond what is deserved.
Buckle up. This article is gonna be wild.