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VANDAL   5'?m2f Name-calling, judgementalism, self-deprecation

JUDGE -- (enters in black robe, carrying file folders, crosses
to podium or judge's bench, pounds gavel) This court will come
to order. (pounds gavel) Case number 17324, the defendant is
Elizabeth Larson. The charge is vandalism of public property.

LIZ -- (enters in hand cuffs) Vandalism?! Your Honor, this
charge is absolutely ridiculous! I've never....

JUDGE -- (pounds gavel, points gavel at Liz) Did you happen to
notice who is wearing the black robe in this court room?

LIZ -- Yes, Your Honor. I'm sorry. You are wearing the black
robe.

JUDGE -- That would mean that I'm in charge here, wouldn't it?

LIZ -- Yes, Your Honor.

JUDGE -- I didn't hear myself asking you for a response. Did I?

LIZ -- No, Your Honor. I'm sorry.

JUDGE -- Let's start over, shall we? Case number 17324, the
defendant is Elizabeth Larson. The charge is vandalism of public
property. NOW it's your turn, dear. How does the defendant
plead?

LIZ -- Your Honor, I haven't even been near a public building
until I came into this court house. How could I be accused of
vandalizing public property?

JUDGE -- (pages through file folder) You ARE a Christian, are
you not?

LIZ -- Well, yes, but what does that have to do with anything?

JUDGE -- When you surrendered your life to the Lord, you became
part of the body of Christ. As such, you are not your own, but
you are now public property.

LIZ -- I am?

JUDGE -- You're sure you're a Christian?

LIZ -- Yes, I told you. But how does that make me public
property?

JUDGE -- In the body of Christ, can the eye say "I don't need
the hand?"

LIZ -- Well, no.

JUDGE -- Then, you belong to all the other Christians in
the body of Christ. You're public property.

LIZ -- So, what are you saying? Are you saying that "I" am the
public property that I've been vandalizing?

JUDGE -- According to your arrest report.

LIZ -- Well, I didn't attempt suicide or cut myself or anything.
(turns 360) Do I look damaged to you?

JUDGE -- No. But the vandalism statute also includes graffiti.

LIZ -- Graffiti?! Look again, Your Honor. Do I look like I have
any spray paint on me?

JUDGE -- (reading) The vandalism of which you are accused is
reported to be internal.

LIZ -- Internal?! Internal vandalism?! (shouts) That's 
ridiculous!

JUDGE -- (pounds gavel)

LIZ -- I'm sorry, Your Honor.

JUDGE -- Would the defendant like to hear the arrest report?

LIZ -- I can't wait. I mean, yes, Your Honor.

JUDGE -- (reads) According to the arresting officer, the
defendant was working at her computer when she was overheard
calling herself the following names: (imitating) "stupid
idiot", "silly fool", "incompetent clod"...

LIZ -- You call that vandalism?

JUDGE -- It's damaging to the body of Christ. Of course it's
vandalism.

LIZ -- How is it damaging?

JUDGE -- Name-calling in the body of Christ leaves the body
tainted as if the words had been spray-painted.

LIZ -- I don't call people names.

JUDGE -- You call yourself names. That's just as damaging as 
if someone else called you names.

LIZ -- It is?

JUDGE -- Just like graffiti, it starts with one small epithet, 
then, in time your whole being is covered. The effect is every 
bit as damaging to the body of Christ as graffiti is to a 
neighborhood. It degrades your image. And I will remind you that 
you were made in the image of God.

LIZ -- (sigh) Oh. I didn't know.

JUDGE -- When God created the universe, he said at every step of
creation, "It is GOOD". But when he created man, he said, "It is
VERY GOOD." Who are you to vandalize what God created in his 
own image.?

LIZ -- I'm sorry. I had no idea. What can I do to make it up?
I... I'll do anything.

JUDGE -- You're a Christian now. You don't have to DO anything.
You are released on your own recognizance. (pounds gavel)

LIZ -- You mean... You mean I can go?

JUDGE -- Yes.

LIZ -- But... Why... I mean, not that I'm complaining.

JUDGE -- Your penalty has already been paid. (pounds gavel,
exits)

LIZ -- Oh. Of course. Jesus paid my penalty. Wait! (follows
judge for two steps) What about my hand cuffs?! (pulls hands
from behind back, holds them forward, hand cuffs fall off,
dangle from one wrist) Oh. (removes cuff from wrist, drops on
podium, exits) I'm sure glad I have friends in high places.
2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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