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• Thomas Hardy-Har-Har-Har •

for English Literature at USC

Narrator: The case you are about to hear is fictitious. The names have remained the same because the people don’t exist anyway.

This is the prosecutor, Edith Harnham’s husband. He claims that his wife cheated on him by writing letters to a young lawyer in London, and having pseudo-sexual relations with his hand at the fair. His lawyer is Charles Bradford Raye.

This is The Defendant, Edith Harnham. She claims that she was merely helping her illiterate servant get married.

And it looks like we’ll be delayed because Mr. Raye has not arrived yet.

Raye: No, I’m here!

Narrator: Well, apparently he’s here now – he was just a little tardy.

Raye: No no, I’m not actually tardy, I was just homas tardy. I say, I was just “Homas tardy.” (Audience cheers) Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I am speaking today on behalf of Mr. Harnham, an elderly gentleman who has been brutally betrayed by this woman, his wife, his evil, conniving wife. His evil, conniving, slutty whore of a wife that wrecked her husband’s life and mine, all for a cheap thrill. That’s right, Edith, you’re a slut! I hate you! And, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you all should hate her as well. Today I will prove that over a period of six months, this evil, detestable woman cheated on her husband by writing love letters to, uh, me, and also participated in some hardcore finger-palm action at the fair. For my first witness, I call Edith Harnham. (Jury boos) Do you swear to say your lines, all your lines, and nothing but your lines, as said in your script?

Edith: I do.

Raye: Edith, you filthy slut. (Jury cheers)

Edith: I’m not a filthy slut! I only wrote those letters to help my illiterate lady servant! (Boo)

Raye: That’s a good one! Hardy-har-har-har! I say, “Hardy”-har har har! I have here the stack of letters written by you, in Anne’s name. And I have proof that you wrote them, so don’t try to deny it!

Edith: I wasn’t going to deny it. I already confessed to it.

Raye: That’s all forgotten now. Look here: Exhibit A: A letter written to me, signed “Anne.” (Holds up neat letter) Compare the handwriting on this letter, to the handwriting on THIS letter, exhibit B. written by Anne to my sister. (Holds up scribble letter) (ooooooo) Tell me, Edith, how do you explain this if you didn’t write these letters?

Edith: I did write the letters, I said that earlier. Twice.

Raye: As for the second allegation, I present Exhibit C: (holds up glove) This is the glove that was involved in the famous, eh, “fingering” at the fair. At the time, I was under the impression that I was giving Anne the finger, when really it was you all along!

Edith: Gasp! How did you find out?

Raye: Oh, it almost slipped past us. But then, when we tried to put the glove on Anne’s hand… it didn’t fit! (gasp)

Edith: But – but- it may have been shrunk in the wash! (boo)

Raye: We considered that… until we found Exhibit 4: The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume 2C, 7th edition, page 1922.

Edith: Gasp! Where did you get that?

Raye: The bookstore. Anyway, I quote: “she knew the hand to be his: she also knew that from the position of the girl he had no other thought than that the imprisoned hand was Anna’s.” (ooooo)

Edith: Yes, yes, it’s all true! I loved you, and I wanted to have, like, ten thousand of your babies! I wrote those letters for myself, not for Anna. I hate my dirty old husband – just look at him. (boo)

Raye: Ok, I will look at him. You may step down. For my next witness, I call Mr. Harnham. Do you swear to say your lines, all your lines, and nothing but your lines, as said in your script?

Mr: I do.

Raye: My first question – in the Norton Anthology, I could find no mention of your first name. Tell me, is it Thomas?

Mr: Hardly.

Raye: I say, is it “Thomas?”

Mr: “Hardly”

Raye: Moving along. Mr. Harnham, how long have you been married to your wife?

Mr: Three years.

Raye: And would you say those have been happy years?

Mr: No. Not very happy at all. It was all right at first, but as time went on, I could tell that she was never really fond of me. Just because I’m a dirty old man. I believe… I believe that she hates me! (awww)

Raye: I’m sorry. That must be very rough on you.

Mr: Yes, you have no idea! It’s just so hardy! I say, It’s just so “Hardy.”

Raye: I understand.

Mr: How could you understand? You’ve never been in a marriage that was doomed from the start! (raye gives a look) Oh, right. Anyway, I’ve tried to be good to her, really I have! I try hard! I’ve supported her these three years, I don’t complain. I sleep most of the time anyway.

Raye: And how does she repay you?

Mr; I’ll tell you what she does. She goes off and has a written affair with some lawyer from London! I tell you, it just breaks my hearty. I say, it breaks my “hearty.”

Raye; Thank you, Mr. Harnham, you may sit down. So you see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this woman, for want of nothing more than a cheap thrill, ruined the lives of both her husband and myself. I rest my case. And now, we’ll have a vote to see if this dirty slut is guilty or innocent.

Edith: Don’t I get to say something in my defense?

Raye: Come on now, be serious! You’re a woman!

Edith: Oh, right.

Raye: Anyway, now we’ll take a vote – all those that say she’s guilty? Innocent? (declare the winner)




2009 - Nathaniel Jones