ALL RISE AS THE THRILL ADJUDICATES ON A FAMILIAL DISPUTE
THE BACKGROUND: The defendant, Mr. Aidan McLaughlin, a junior history major at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has been accused of abandoning the large cups he accumulates from his summer excursions to Yankees baseball games in various locations around the house during his visits home. His mother, Professor Jennifer McLaughlin, a history professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., brings these charges against him. She opens with the following statement:
PROF. McLAUGHLIN: Aidan comes home every few weeks and scatters giant Yankee Stadium cups all over the house… It’s even worse when he’s home in the summer for an extended period of time…. The cups also remind me of the fact that every time he goes to Yankee Stadium [he] insists on taking every single souvenir cup home. Why not take them to Worcester???
The trial erupts into contention almost as soon as it begins:
MR. McLAUGHLIN: Name one time I’ve done that!
PROF. McLAUGHLIN: Are you being serious?
Professor McLaughlin brings forward Exhibit A:
PROF. McLAUGHLIN: Why is there a cup here?
MR. McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, dinner table — perfectly respectable place for a cup to rest.
Prof. McLaughlin then brings into evidence Exhibits B through E:
Mr. McLaughlin objects and requests that the evidence may be stricken from the record, claiming that Prof. McLaughlin was “Planting evidence!!”
PROF McLAUGHLIN: Yeah there was some planting.
A confession! Planting of evidence is a violation of Connecticut Penal Code Sec. 53a-155 and is a Class D Felony. But Prof. McLaughlin justifies herself and doubles down on her defense:
PROF McLAUGHLIN: Why does he need so many cups? They’re so big.
28 ounces to be exact! A size formerly banned in the state of New York.
Mr. McLaughlin calls his first and only witness, his father, Mr. Brian McLaughlin:
MR. B. McLAUGHLIN: She planted three of those cups.
The evidence is stricken from the record. Mr. Aidan McLaughlin may now argue his case:
MR. McLAUGHLIN: Why bother putting them in the sink if I’m just going to drink out of them later?
MR. McLAUGHLIN: Doesn’t excuse leaving multiple ones in non-eating areas or one in the dining room since we eat in there 5 times a year.
MR. McLAUGHLIN: It also helps my father do fewer dishes, until I bring down a dozen from my room, which I suppose I shouldn’t leave in my room in the first place.
Sounds like a concession to me. I decide this is enough and dismiss the court.
Prof. McLaughlin makes the most logical argument. Mr. McLaughlin could easily either put the cups away and take them out when needed, or just bring the cups to his apartment in Worcester. But, as a college student myself, I do appreciate and understand Mr. McLaughlin’s desire for efficiency– having a cup in each location he frequents. Plus, he’s being environmentally conscious in reusing the souvenir cups instead of tossing them in the proximity of a garbage can like many baseball game attendees.
Mr. McLaughlin is guilty of leaving cups in unnecessary locations around the McLaughlin house. However, as Prof. McLaughlin committed a felony mid-trial, I will be lenient in my sentencing.
Mr. Aidan McLaughlin may only leave two (2) Yankee stadium cups on two (2) separate surfaces, of his choosing, at a given time. The rest must be put away, or brought back to his apartment in Worcester. The court is adjourned.