Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Please Don’t Look at Me Right Now

Thank you, your honor.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’d like to ask that you avert your gaze from me as I speak, because I’m worried it will detract from what I say.

What I have to say is important, and I don’t want you to be all like, “Why is he shirtless? Why does he have a cross painted on his face?” because then you’ll be missing the point of my speech, which is that I didn’t do no robbery from Stokie’s Market.

Being your own lawyer is not something I would recommend, by the way. Do I wish I had a Public Defender? Yes, I do. At the time, I was all adamant and stuff about defending myself. But, bygones.

Please don’t look at me Juror Eight. If you could just, like, look at the clock or flag or something. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Anyway, it’s been hard enough representing myself for several days. It’s like I’m being judged all the time. Then my friend Luke calls me up the night before my big speech to you. I tell Luke I’m super busy because I got closing arguments the next day, you know? But Luke… he don’t take no for an answer. He says he’s gonna closing argument my face. He calls me names. Tells me to man up. Says I got no balls.

Well, I’m a lawyer, but I’m human too. I’m like, no balls? I’ll show you balls!

So, I’m at the Half Moon. We’re doing Sambuca shooters. Luke likes to drop coffee beans in ’em and light ‘em on fire. Feels like a gay drink, being honest. No offense, Juror Three. But I’m keeping up with Luke, showing him who’s boss. Next thing I know we’ve had, I dunno, four of ‘em. Five of ‘em. No idea. And some beers in between.

Please don’t look at me Juror, um, Seven? Thank you.

So, what really kills me, is I know I didn’t do no robbery at Stokie’s Market and I’m all eager to come in today and convince y’all. And even after, like, eight or nine of these shooters I’m well aware that I got court in the morning and it’s real important!

What’s funny is, if you knew me, you’d know I hate the taste of black licorice! Also, you’d know that I didn’t steal no bag of cornmeal from Stokie’s Market.

So, Luke’s toast. He’s head-down on the bar. I’m a mess, sure, but I’m smart enough to know that I have a big day in court. And so, like, my thinking is I should just get to court right away. When the doors open I’m gonna be ready to come in and defend myself. Right? Don’t wanna be late. I got a big day.

I get to the courthouse at three in the morning or something. No idea how. I’m sure I walked. I’m real hungry, but all I got is a Sharpie in my pocket. Gives me an idea that I think is real clever.

It’s the Sambuca talking of course, but I figure it would be good to do a Braveheart. I decide I’m gonna come into court painted up like Mel Gibson and shout, “You can take my life, but you’ll never take my freedom!”

In retrospection — like, right now — it seems like an imperfect plan, but at the time it seemed like a solid way to address you, the jury.

Sorry, number Twelve, sir, just not too much longer. Please don’t look. Maybe look at the Judge.

I’ll be damned if I didn’t use up the whole Sharpie painting this cross on my face. It didn’t have no more ink in it when I was done. And considering it was dark and I was using the water in the fountain as a mirror, I did a good job, don’t you think?

Sorry, please don’t look. Sorry. Please. Ma’am? Thank you.

So, I’m all proud of myself, right? I wanted to get some sleep maybe on a bench. And then I see these guys. Three or four. I dunno. You know when people have bad intentions, they give you that look? Well, they got that look. It’s like, four in the morning. They mean trouble. No doubt at all.

Bein’ honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them stole the bag of cornmeal from Stokie’s Market.

Well, there was more of them than me, you know? As you can see, they took my shirt. And my shoes. I’m lucky in a ways, because they didn’t take my pants. They could have, but they saw I’d made ’em a little soiled. Probably because of all the Sambuca shots, or maybe ‘cause I got scared. That happens. It’s biological that you do that when you’re scared. It’s nature.

Anyway, I think the prosecutor tried to paint a picture of me as kind of impulsive and simple drunk who does dumb things and blacks out. You know — the kind of guy who steals a bag of cornmeal from Stokie’s Market. But that’s just not who I am.

I sincerely wish I was saying this in a suit and tie and didn’t have no cross on my face. Obviously that’s preferable. But I hope you’ll consider that I am a good citizen and I sincerely hope you’ll find me guilty.

Not guilty, I mean! Geez. Haha. My head’s a little cloudy.

I rest my case. Thank you. Please kindly give me a couple seconds to hide behind the bailiff before you look.