Midseason Replacement

Earnest Pettie, comedy writer

My Remarks Upon Stealing A Loaf Of Bread

What follows is a mostly accurate transcript of my heartfelt appeal to the jury at my trial. All instances of sobbing, hyperventilation, and tearful stammering have been redacted to protect the innocent:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you, is it a crime to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? Certainly, the answer becomes blurry if you are considering generic brands. Whether stealing bread is legal or not, the additional pilfering of jelly, cream cheese, or other suitable toppings should never be recognized as wrong because it is naked toast which is truly the crime against nature. I admit did steal the bread. I had to steal the bread to feed my starving family– the car, I stole, because the bread was in it! They say teach a man to fish… but what if you live in a landlocked state? I never had a chance to make good. Growing up, I was deprived of my childhood by a bully– he robbed me of my youth and laughed with his friends as they passed it around.

It takes a village to raise a child, does it not? Before you can have a village, you must start with a hut. Where have all the huts gone? Robber barons with fine-pointed moustaches stole them in the middle of the night and replaced them with ranch-style homes. But no one points a finger at the robber barons. No one remarks, “What’s up with all the robber barons roaming the streets? Will our kids be safe? Wait. Where are the kids… gone with the huts?”

In fact, this world I come from was no place for a kid to grow up, which explains, in part, why it was so difficult for me to crack 5’2″. A boy becomes a man and puts away childish things, but then he has kids and needs childish things once again. He curses himself for putting away childish things but knows what he must do! If a man steals a bike to placate his whining child, I ask you, is it a crime? Bikes and loaves of bread are OK to steal, but not my new Blu-Ray player. It’s not that the quality is great, It’s just took me a long time to get used to the remote control.

In fact, I blame society for this. Each one of you is as responsible for what transpired as I am. That leads me to wonder where you were during the hard part! Everyone wants to take credit but no one wants to put forth any effort. Well, shame on you! Society has been responsible for all the major crimes of at least the last forty-two years, yet a small guy like me has to take the fall. I feel no remorse for my acts! Like industrial espionage, mine were victimless crimes! Oh, why didn’t I go into industrial espionage? I had the opportunity but lacked the follow-through.

What follows next is a mostly accurate transcript of my appeal to the parole board with the exception of the part where I tried to escape through an air vent but couldn’t find my screwdriver:

I do understand that I have the right to remain silent, but I have opted not to exercise that right because I am laughably horrible at charades. You ask me whether I feel remorse for my actions. Well, sirs and madame, I would like to tell you what Webster’s says about remorse. Unfortunately, Webster’s is uncharacteristically neutral, opting only to provide a definition. So let’s forget about remorse for now– God knows I have. I think, instead, we should look at my record inside this prison.

Specifically, I’d like you to consider my record of perfect attendance. This is something I was unable to achieve in middle school or high school, but in prison, I’ve been present every single day, even when I’ve felt under the weather! I am the first to admit, though, that my stay here has not been all positive. I’m perfectly willing to admit my yearbook club didn’t go as well as I had hoped. It turns out people are not very interested in memorializing their time in prison. Surely you wouldn’t hold it against me that the Aryan Nation managed to convince MS13 and various bloods and crips that group photos were not a good idea. Right?

I am clearly no real danger to the public at-large. I punch like and girl, and I’m afraid of my own shadow, which seems to grow very large and stand over my bunk at nighttime, telling me not to worry because it will all be over soon. And need I remind you of my ties to the community? I owe many people money, and I never made it home with that loaf of bread.

What follows next is a copy of the letter I’m mailing my lawyer tonight, the eve of my execution.

How exactly did this happen?

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2010 by in Wednesday Comedy and tagged , , , , , , .

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