Recession Lesson From a Caveman
CNBC.com News Editor
If you want to ride out the rest of this recession in a cave, that’s fine — just make sure it’s up to code.
Eco-warrior Hilaire Purbrick is being evicted from a cave in Brighton, England, he’s called home for the past 16 years because it doesn’t have a fire exit, according to UK media reports.
Not an easily-intimidated caveman, Purbrick refuses to leave.
“I am still living there and intend to continue doing so,” he told the London Telegraph. “I know lots of people in this town who live in houses with only one door and no fire exit,” he said.
But, wait — it gets better. Purbrick is taking his case to court, claiming his human rights are being violated.
“I will take this all the way to the European Court,” he is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail, after his appeal was rejected by a UK judge. He claims the eviction violates Articles Eight and Nine of the European Convention on Human Rights. Eight states that, “Everyone shall have respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence,” and Nine says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
That includes, apparently, freedom to live in a cave with no fire exit.
This isn’t Purbrick’s first brush with the law: The caveman fought off a 1999 claim from the town that he was running an illegal vegetable shop. In 2000, he staved off a claim that he was keeping chickens and bees illegally.
There's more to this story than first meets the eye. Apparently, this cave, a seven-foot wide bunker he dug out himself, is on an allotment, which is a piece of land owned by the government that is rented out to citizens, usually for the purpose of growing crops.
Not only is he living on — er, under — this allotment, he's also running a co-op of 20-plus gardeners including a librarian, a blacksmith and some unemployed people, who grow dozens of types of vegetables and flowers on the site.
He is not to be confused with the American caveman, Curt Sleeper of Festus, Mo., a freelance Website designer who built a contemporary home in a cave then put the cave home up for sale on eBay as it was in danger of slipping into foreclosure.
Sleeper managed to keep his cave, too: After seeing the cave on eBay, a New Jersey company came to the family’s rescue with a 15-year loan.
You see? This is why cavemen evolved instead of becoming extinct — They’re always thinking!
Watch and learn, people. Watch and learn. Surviving a recession isn’t easy, but even a caveman can do it!
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