Monthly Archives: December 2013

Mistakes Were Made

Macaca mulatta in Guiyang
1 CASE ID: 9:13-CR-14388
2
3 STATEMENT BY THE DEFENDANT PRIOR TO SENTENCING:
4
5 "Your honor, some things careen out of control due to
6 ignorance, and my child's group science fair project is an
7 example of that. I really had no idea what was going on,
8 and I will forever carry a burden of guilt and shame for what
9 happened. I accept full responsibility for all the hurt,
10 confusion, and trouble, and will fully compensate all affected
11 parties.
12
13 I beg the court for leniency and the indulgence of explaining
14 how matters came to pass, as there are multiple untruths being
15 spread that impugn the honor of my family and imply that
16 malice was behind the events, when none whatsoever was
17 present.
18
19 Your honor, it is true that my daughter's project was examining
20 the brain chemistry of addiction. It is also true that I supported
21 this project financially by giving her my credit card number
22 in order to purchase supplies. It is true that I neither provided
23 oversight of the finances nor of the project.
24
25 I believe, and still do, that children must be accorded a certain
26 liberty in order to learn and should be graded on the quality of
27 their work, not by how well their parents assisted them. Of this
28 I am guilty.
29
30 Concerning the rhesus monkey, I am at a loss how the animal
31 husbandry firm my daughter and her friends ordered it from
32 did not vet her as a buyer. My lawyer advises me that they
33 have conveniently lost the purchase order and live animal
34 laboratory certification that should accompany any order.
35
36 That the local pet shop did not bat an eye at a sixteen
37 year-old girl ordering, and I quote from their order sheet, "One
38 small, stainless steel primate enclosure and three, forty-pound
39 bags of monkey chow" with her father's credit card is beyond
40 me. Such is capitalism nowadays, a sale at any cost, no matter
41 how farcical, I guess.
42
43 I also must look askew at my credit card company's anti-fraud
44 division for allowing daily maximum cash advances until my
45 card was maxed out. A close review of my account shows that
46 I had never, ever taken a cash advance prior.
47
48 Now, as to the trafficking of seven kilograms of cocaine, this
49 can be explained by entrapment, a unit measure mix-up, and
50 youthful naïveté.
51
52 The testing protocol my girl downloaded from the Internet
53 called for seven grams total for the experiment. Not familiar
54 with the metric system, which is an indictment of the poor state
55 of science education in my district, she took the word of the
56 undercover DEA agent who told her that what she really wanted
57 was seven kilograms.
58
59 The science group did eventually figure it out after they brought
60 it home, but by then it was too late; the transaction was
61 complete.
62
63 At this point I must stress that the agent's own report says,
64 "Suspect indicated she needed a bunch of cocaine so she and her
65 friends could get as high as monkeys," which is such an amazing
66 twisting of the facts to be laughable and is clearly a misquote.
67
68 I will let the court draw its own conclusions around the DEA's
69 judgement of actually delivering to an underage girl seven
70 kilograms of cocaine. Aren't there laws against providing minors
71 with controlled substances?
72
73 With regards to the headless monkey corpse in the ice cream
74 freezer at school, it was a practical joke gone awry, and our
75 daughter and family deeply regret the lunchroom supervisor's heart
76 attack upon discovery of the body. We wish Mrs. Stowe a speedy
77 convalescence.
78
79 I feel for her, as I can tell you from personal experience that it
80 is a shock to discover monkey body parts in your kitchen. In our
81 case, it was after we posted bail and our daughter showed us the
82 rest of the monkey's remains in the recycling bin and the
83 bloody meat slicer in a garbage bag under the sink. Given
84 all that, there is no truth to the rumor that she obtained the
85 brain slices she exhibited at the show from a break-in at the
86 local research hospital.
87
88 About the show itself; this was, again, a clear case of the
89 teenage mind at work. It does not excuse the behavior, but it
90 does at least explain it.
91
92 As we all know, the girls' exhibit drew a crowd. Their idea
93 to demonstrate addictive behaviors at the show by placing "sugar-
94 coated graham snacks" at their table was, obviously, dumb.
95
96 I extend my deepest apologies on behalf of my daughter to
97 all the parents, students, family, friends, and staff who ate the
98 cocaine-dusted monkey chow and to all who were injured in
99 the resulting melee.
100
101 We will, of course, pay all medical expenses and for the
102 replacement of the bleachers, basketball backboards, plumbing
103 and subsequent water damage, and detox for Mrs. Mayfair, the
104 principal. We deeply regret breaking her narcotics sobriety
105 and wish her well for the future.
106
107 Humbly,
108 Alex Southworth
109
110
111 APPENDED TO THE RECORD AS EXHIBIT S.

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35,324 of ???

Still plugging away on that novel…

Atonement

I weaved, and luckily the feces flew by my face.

“You’re the worst fucking dad in the world! I fucking hate you! I want to get out of here!”

The shrill pipe of the scream doesn’t mesh with the adult curse. I have to remind myself not to take it personally and that he learned it from the kid with Tourette’s. The angry boy is here now, not the sweet one who calls kittens cute.

“You need to get cleaned up. You’re hungry. You need to eat.”

“Grrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” GO! AWAY!” His fists start windmilling at me and he also tries to kick. His head’s down, but I can see him looking out the corners of his eyes, trying to avoid stepping in his own effluent.

I hold him away with my arm. I’m hoping he doesn’t grab me. I don’t want shit on my sleeve. “You need to get cleaned up.”

“Go away! I hate you!”

It stinks in here. There’s piss and shit on the linoleum floor and the padded walls. I’d be angry about being in here, too.

“Come on, let’s go get you cleaned up.”

“RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!” He leans into me and lands a few glancing blows on my chest. Satisfied, he pulls back and crouches in the corner.

“Mark, you can’t sit in this room naked from the waist down all day. What are you going to do?”

“Go away, dad. I hate you.”

“What do you want to do here?” the principal asks me from behind.

“I don’t know yet. I think wrap him in a towel or blanket and take him to my car.”

“I’m not going, dad. I’m staying here.”

“I thought you wanted to leave?”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.” He pokes at a turd with his finger.

Later that evening at storytime he interrupts me, “Dad, I was thinking that in graveyards, they should have bells on top of tombstones attached to strings that you could pull from inside the coffin in case someone was buried by mistake.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, that way they could ring the bell and someone could come and dig them up.”

“Where did you hear about that?”

“Nowhere. I just thought it up.”

When I turn out the light, kiss him goodnight, and tell him I love him, he tells me in a quiet whisper, “I love you dad. I’m sorry about today. I don’t mean what I say when I’m angry. You’re the best dad in the whole world.”

“Thanks, Mark, I love you too.”

Between the Plancks

Loudest at our silences
Amidst the lace of life
Fairies flit and caper
Exhorting us to join