The “I Really Believed It Was True” Defense
Look, Your Honor—I can’t be guilty of “dognapping.” That’s because when I took my friend Kelly’s miniature schnauzer Barko from her home in the middle of the night, I really believed that Barko was my dog. Now, it may be true that I don’t have a dog. It may be true that I have never had a dog. It may be true that Kelly has a lot of paperwork legally declaring Barko her dog. And sure, everyone I’ve ever met has said to me, “Jeff, old buddy, fun trivia night tonight! Also, and I don’t know why this would ever come up, but just in case it does: There is no evidence to suggest that Kelly’s dog Barko Baggins is your dog.” But still, at 2:45 AM when I put that leash on Barko and walked out of Kelly’s house as she yelled, “Jeff, where are you going with Barko? Barko is my dog, Jeff! Barko cannot be your dog, Jeff, as you have never had a dog! Also—how the hell did you get in here, Jeff?!” I truly thought in my heart of hearts that Barko was my dog. So in that light, how could I be blamed for my actions? I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong at—
Oh, I did do something wrong? Very wrong? And now I’m going to jail? Wow that verdict was extremely fast. Okay, thank you for your time, you take care now.
The “It Wasn’t Me” Defense (aka “The Shaggy”)
Me? Fined for running a red light and causing an accident? Your Holiness, who can really say for certain whether my foot pressing firmly down on the gas pedal is what caused my vehicle to accelerate through that intersection, causing an 18-wheeler to jack-knife into a ditch as it swerved to avoid me and leading to an eleven car pile-up? I think it’s possible we’ll never know exactly why or how this tragic event transpired. After all, it was my car that drove through that red light—not me. And so it’s my 2014 Chevy Volt that should be on the stand here today, not me. And come to think of it, everyone knows electric cars are part of the climate-change hoax, just another way we’re all controlled by the globalist—
Bail is set at one million dollars? And I should stop talking immediately? I’m making it worse? A lot worse? Man, I thought that would go better, but yes, I understand completely. Have a lovely day.
The “But I Already Lost My Job” Defense
Ok, fine, Your Supreme Excellency, you got me. I have been living in the locker room at the Planet Fitness in Norwalk, Connecticut for seven months. I admit it. But to ban me from ever setting foot in a Planet Fitness again would be impossible. You see, I am no longer a Planet Fitness member: I canceled my membership shortly after my extended stay in the left-most shower stall. (And let me just say: Boy, was canceling that membership a hassle. That’s the real crime here.)
But at any rate, I clearly could not have broken the community guidelines set forth by Planet Fitness because I’m no longer a member of the Planet Fitness community, so therefore I can’t be subject to the community’s rules. As a result, I should be able to join any Planet Fitness I want in the future and work out or live there for however long I choose. After all, doesn’t Planet Fitness itself sanctimoniously decree that it is a “No-Judgment Z—”
Oh, this courtroom is a judgment zone? Being a judgment zone is its whole purpose? And you’ve judged me guilty? Big-time guilty? Like not even close? Yeah fair enough, this was a total Hail Mary, so that makes a lot of sense. Cuff me right up, Bailiff—away to jail I go! ❏
Keith Rubin is a writer and actor in NYC whose work you can read in McSweeney’s, Reductress, and Above Average. His work has also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and At Home with Amy Sedaris.