rec.humor.spc is up on the roof...

From: spc-request@tc.fluke.COM (Judge Moriarty Wapner)
Newsgroups: rec.humor.spc
Subject: rec.humor.spc is up on the roof...
Summary: We're goin' down, down, down, down...
Date: 15 Feb 88 08:58:01 GMT
Reply-To: spc-request@tc.fluke.COM
Organization: Stupid People's Court
Lines: 283
Approved: moriarty@tc.fluke.COM

[SCENE: Late afternoon in the summer.  The sun is just beginning to drop
        below the crests of the nearby forest, their leaves beginning to
        filter red, and the wavering surface of the pond uses the rays as a
        rhythmic semaphore.  To the left, in the distance, an old wooden
        cabin is spotlighted by the afternoon glare; the peeling bark
        reveals yellowish wood, now shaded orange.  The sounds of the bayou
        are soft, but distinct: the regular croaking of bullfrogs, the wind
        through the marsh; a heron cries in the distance, and from somewhere
        outside the cabin, a harmonica is being played to a low, slow tune.

        Three figures walk around from the back of the cabin.  In the lead
        is an middle-aged hound dog with yellow fur; it wears no collar or
        leash, but walks a few feet ahead of the other two figures.  One is
        a boy, with a disarray of short blond hair on his head and freckles
        on his face.  He is wearing a pair of overalls over a plaid shirt,
        sleeves rolled up over his elbows, and is walking barefooted.  He
        appears to be about 9 years old, a slightly larger version of the
        boy in SHANE.  The other figure is an adult; he wears a beaten-up
        cap covered with fly fishing lures (much like the one McClane
        Stevenson used to wear in M*A*S*H), and a black judicial robe over
        much of outfit; however, a red shammy shirt and tan corduroy jeans
        are revealed at the edge of the robe.  A backpack is looped over the
        robes, and what appears to be a gunbelt stretches around the man's
        waist; however, instead of a pistol, the holster of the belt
        contains a wooden gavel.  He is carrying an old hunting rifle over
        his shoulder.]

[The three reach the edge of the pond; the dog begins to sniff around the
 tall grass while the other two gaze across the surface of the pond,
 watching the ripples from where turtles have dived and dragonflies have
 lighted upon the surface.]

TIMMY: Shoot, Judge Wapner, you couldn't've asked for a nicer evenin' to've
       gone huntin'.  T'ain't muggy, and the breeze'll keep you in good

JUDGE MORIARTY WAPNER: You're certainly right there, Timmy; I can't remember
                       the bayou having ever been prettier.  On a day like
                       this, it doesn't matter whether I bag anything or
                       not; the scenery and the weather make it worth the

TIMMY [pointing to the dog, who is walking through the marshes]:  
                       Well, *he* sure's enjoying the trip!  I think you've
                       got about the best dawg I've ever seen... he'n me
                       have sure enough become friends over the last coupla

JMW [smiling sadly]:   I guess you and he got along pretty well, eh, Timmy?  I
                       sure appreciate you taking care of him while I was on
                       that Pat Robertson pederasty case...

TIMMY [grinning broadly]:  We sure did!  He's about my best friend
                           now-a-days.  [Turns in the direction of the dog,
                           and cups his hands] Here, rec.humor.spc!  Here,
                           boy!  C'mon, Rex! [dog bounds back towards them;
                           Timmy turns to JMW] I named him Rex... short for
                           rec.humor.spc.  Was that OK?

JMW [nods quietly]:    That's fine, Timmy, just fine; I think it's a pretty
                       good idea.  [The dog runs up to Timmy, and the boy
                       kneels to hug him.  Boy and dog are soon laughing and
                       barking together.]

[Judge MW takes a deep breath and looks over the pond.  Then he turns back
 to Timmy and Rex]

JMW [sadly]:  Timmy, there... there's something I haven't told you yet.

TIMMY [noting the tone of the Judge's voice, his face fills with concern, as
       he leans against the dog's side]: 
            What's that, Judge Wapner?   Is something wrong?

JMW:  Timmy, I didn't tell you until now, because I didn't want you to
      worry... but this isn't really a hunting trip.  I was taking
      rec.humor.spc out into the bayou today... for something other than

TIMMY [looking confused]:  What's that, Judge?  He ain't much of a fishin'
                           dawg.  Heck, he isn't any great shakes at
                           huntin', either, but he knows a skunk when he
                           sees it.

JMW [takes deep breath]:   Timmy... the long and short of it is, I'm taking
                           Rex out to put him down.

[TIMMY stops petting rec.humor.spc and his arms go around the dog's body.
 His face falls, his jaw wavers.  Both TIMMY's and REX's eyes raise to meet
 those of the JUDGE's.]

TIMMY [his eyes beginning to tear up]:  Y-you're gonna shoot Rex?

JMW [kneels down next to Timmy, his voice compassionate and gentle]:  
                                        Yes, Timmy, I am.  I have to.

TIMMY [his voice has become choked with emotion]: 
            B-but WHY?  He's a good dawg!  He's clean!  He ain't got no
            bandwidth problems!  [Eyes begin to flare up] Is it them Net
            Gods?  Did they make you go out and shoot ol' Rex?  I'll...

JMW [firmly]:  
            No, Timmy, it has *nothing* to do with the Net Gods.  Actually,
            *I* asked them to let me kill rec.humor.spc.

TIMMY [openly crying now]:  But why, Judge Wapner?  Why kill rec.humor.spc?

JMW [slowly, his voice drawling]:  
                            Well, that's something of a story; now, dry your
                            eyes, and I'll tell you why.

[JMW pulls out a handkerchief and offers it to Timmy, who takes it

JMW:  When I got rec.humor.spc, I had planned to write for it nearly every
      week, with a few repeats of old Stupid People's Court every other week
      or so.  But, a lot of things happened that I hadn't counted on. [He
      looks out over the pond] I took a long vacation, right when
      rec.humor.spc was born.  Then, I had some work that I needed to catch
      up on, that didn't let me write very much.  Finally, I got asked to
      write a couple of monthly columns -- one for money -- and I just
      didn't have time to put out new SPC cases all of the time. [Turns back
      to look at Timmy and Rex].  It hasn't been fair to the net, Timmy, and
      more importantly, it hasn't been fair to *him*. [points at the dog,
      whose ears lower] I can't provide for him any longer, Timmy; all my
      old stuff's been printed, and I haven't time for any new stuff --
      not on a regular basis, anyway.  So I've decided that ol' Rex... has
      to go.

TIMMY [hugging the dog intensely, his eyes hidden in the scruff of Rex's neck]:
      Awwww... damn.

JMW [gently yet sternly]:  Now, none of that kind of language, young man.
                           [pauses, then looks into Timmy's eyes] Tim... I
                           was thinking that, if err, Rex has to
                           go, maybe it's better if you're the one who...
                           who shoots him.

TIMMY [face registers shock; his voice is high-pitched and almost yelling]:
        ME!?  I *couldn't*, Judge Wapner!  Why should I have to hurt poor
        ol' Rex?

JMW [Staring at Timmy in an understanding way]: 
        Timmy, there's no one closer to Rex than you... you've become his
        friend and master over the last few weeks, even though he's my dog.
        Frankly, I think he should be put under by someone who knows him and
        loves him best.

TIMMY [face screwed up into a frown, his voice petulant]:  
        That don't make no sense, t'all.

JMW [Sighs, raises eyes to sky]:
        And, I'm also a little afraid I'll hurt myself with this rifle here...

[Timmy's face becomes a wall of obstinance; with one hand resting on
 rec.humor.spc's back, he shakes his head vigorously.  The dog pants
 happily, his tail wagging with affection towards Timmy.]

TIMMY [frowning, his voice high but deliberate]:  
        No, sir.  I ain't a-goin to shoot rec.humor.spc, and that's final.

JMW [inquiringly]:  You're sure about that, Timmy?

TIMMY:  Yes, sir, I am.

JMW:  What if I offered you something for your trouble, Timmy?  Maybe a bike
      or a Ozzie Osborn album?

TIMMY [now standing with his arms across his chest, shaking his head]:  
      No, sir.  Nothin' could make me shoot ol' Rex.  [Dog pants happily and
      rubs his head against Timmy's leg]

JMW [rubbing his chin with his hand, thinking intently]:  
      Howzabout the entire STAR WARS collection, with all 523 action
      figures and the new Darth Vader "Single's Apartment" set (some
      construction required)?

TIMMY [stares frostily at JMW]:  
      Sir, I don't know 'bout you, but where *AH* come from, N-O means NO.

JMW [bends down next to Timmy's ear]:  OK... how about this rifle, for keeps?

[TIMMY's eyes suddenly squint; the dog stops wagging its tail]

TIMMY [in low tones]:  License, too?

JMW:  I'll even toss in some ammo.

TIMMY [under his breath]:  Lemme take a look at it.

[Rex gets up, and begins to slowly edge off to the left.  JMW hands TIMMY
 his gun for examination.  Timmy gazes down the stock; examines the balance;
 pops the shells out and examines the barrel]

TIMMY [grimly]:  Could stand t'be oiled.

JMW [slightly impatiently]: Mmh-hmm.

TIMMY [peering up at JMW]:  Got a night scope fer this?  [turns back to
                            examination of gun] I wanna have some fun during
                            evenin' little league practice next week.

JMW [sighs, shrugs shoulders]:  I think I can dig one up somewhere...

TIMMY [after looking through the gunsight one more time]:
                    Well, then, I think we've got a deal.  Lemme get some
                    ammo from your backpack...

[JMW takes off backpack and hands it to TIMMY, who begins digging through
 it, looking for bullets.  JMW now faces camera, looking indulgent]

JMW [speaking to audience]:  Not that this means no Stupid People's Court
                             cases.  I may well come up with something that
                             eggs me on into print, in which case I'll try
                             submitting it to rec.humor.funny or an
                             appropriate newsgroup.  I still have a few good
                             cases in me, and while I can't unload one week
                             after week, I think you can expect to see
                             something before the year's out.

TIMMY [looking up from the backpack]:  
                             You got any Dum-Dums?  Or anything with
                             armor-piercing capabilities?

JMW [turning to look at Timmy]:  Just buckshot, I'm afraid.

TIMMY [stands up, loading shells into the rifle's chamber]:  
                                 Figured that.  Well, these'll do, I reckon.  

[TIMMY snaps gun shut, and turns to the forest, cupping one hand to his mouth]


[TIMMY sprints off stage left]

JMW [returns gaze to camera]:  Well, even if Timmy doesn't get old Rex, I've
                               arranged with Greg Woods at hao to finish off
                               rec.humor.spc in a week or two, after this
                               article has propagated correctly.  Just want
                               to thank Greg and other administrators of the
                               net for their patience and support with this

[Gunshots heard off to the left]

                               And I want to especially thank all of you who
                               wrote me the complimentary fan mail -- it was
                               appreciated.  To those of you who didn't
                               enjoy the newsgroup: well, it's committed
                               suicide now.  Don't you just feel guilty as
                               all hell?

[Suddenly, rec.humor.spc stumbles in from stage left, panting profusely and
 wobbling from side to side.  It wanders over dazedly to JUDGE MORIARTY
 WAPNER, and looks up into his face with it's sad hound eyes]

REX [In a perfect Daffy Duck voice]:  You're DESPICABLE!

[Scene disappears in the closing credits for a Warner Bros. cartoon.  At the
 very height of the jingle, DeForest Kelley's head and shoulders pops
 through the MERRY MELODIES logo, and with a big wave, he says:

	AhBee-AhBee-AhBee-AhBee-AhBee-IT'S DEAD, JIM!

  If you've got a flame, don't take it to the net.  Take it to court.

		   ****** STUPID PEOPLE'S COURT!! ******

			"You know what I wish?  I wish all the scum of the
			 Net had one throat and I had my hands about it."
			 			-- Rorschach (1985)

					Judge Moriarty Wapner
					Stupid People's Court

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