Saturday, June 16, 2007

Judge, Jury, and Pooper-Scooper

All rise!

The honorable Judicial Magistrate of Profound Excellence Charles A. McKay is presiding.

“You may be seated. Do the People wish to begin their opening arguments?”

Yes, Your Honor. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: The case before you this afternoon is a difficult one. The defendant who sits before you may appear harmless, but during the course of this trial the State will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is the living nexus of pure, remorseless evil.

Objection, your honor!

“Overruled. Continue, prosecutor.”

As I was saying: The state will establish the following facts: Young Mr. Jethro, aged three years, is a mangy mutt trying to pass for a chocolate lab. On the night of June 12, 2007, he willingly, and with malice aforethought, sneaked his way onto the couch during the night and slept there until discovered in the early morning hours by his owner. In the resulting chaos, the defendant's claws tore into the sofa cushion, mercilessly ripping it wide open.

[Audible gasps.]

“Order! Order in the court!”

The state will further prove that the defendant has a lengthy criminal record, ranging from misdemeanor reckless urinating and vomiting to aggravated criminal jumping on the guests, a class C felony in this jurisdiction.

Objection! My client's previous record has no bearing on the current charge!


You will also see overwhelming physical evidence that proves the horrifying destructive power of this creature. Exhibit A: several pieces of chewed-up Tupperware with tooth marks matching the defendant's bite patterns. Exhibit B: The remains of a homemade birthday cake, painstakingly baked and immaculately decorated over the course of five grueling, sweat-drenched hours, subsequently 88% devoured by the defendant in the span of ten seconds when his owner left the room to answer the phone.

[More gasps.]

Furthermore, the defendant sometimes ignores obedience school commands and runs off to find the largest pile of manure possible to roll around in.

Objection! Counsel is obviously misrepresenting my client! Everyone knows that Labs need to be walked and allowed to run to stay healthy. My client was simply exercising his right to ... uh, exercise.

Your honor, the state will prove that this particular lab could run for miles a day and still maintain this same psychopathic behavior. I think the jury might agree that his chosen form of recreation, matting his oversized, wrinkly coat with old horse droppings, poses an undue hardship on his owners.

And I haven't even begun to describe the holes dug in the yard, the annoying begging at the dinner table, the prodigious piles of poop in the yard--

“I've heard enough. Jethro, this court finds you guilty of all charges. You are hereby sentenced to serve three consecutive weeks in Uncle Henry's under the “Free For the Taking” section.”

No! Your honor, look at him! Those floppy ears! Those earnest, loving eyes! He's so good with the toddlers! He lets them climb all over him and doesn't budge! He's so loyal! He just needs more love and attention, more opportunities to run, and he'll--

“My conscience does raise a good point, counsel. Do the people have any rebuttal?”

Your honor, we would ask you to consider the poor, defenseless sofa cushion, ripped open and exposed to the world for all time. The physical and psychological wounds for this piece of furniture and its family may never heal.

“Very well. The court will recess indefinitely. You will have my final decision... someday.”

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