In Breaking News To No One, Manhattan apartments are small, and at 295sf my place is tighter than a prom night virgin. However cramped it may be I lucked out by having an enormous amount of storage space. My kitchen, miniscule as it is, has two large banks of deep cabinets capable of holding spill-over from my closet. My bathroom is the same; a large cabinet under the sink and an equally respectable drawer above the loo.
But no matter how much storage one apartment has living in New York means space is at a premium and nary an inch can be wasted.
Submitted into evidence for the jury’s review is Exhibit A: The Space Above The Toilet. Doesn’t it seem like such a waste of good space?
The defense concurs.
“Objection,” says the prosecution, “on the grounds of installing a shelf in such small quarters seems silly.” They take a moment before adding, “Ikea doesn’t even make shelves that size!”
“Screw Ikea,” bellows the defense. They high-five each other in grand fashion.
“Strike that from the record,” orders the judge. The jury looks on.
The prosecution motions that the court recognize the holes and damage to the walls the defense will make with said shelf.
“Irrelevant,” screams the defense. “That’s why they invented spackle!”
The judge eyes the defense. Only he can say ‘irrelevant’ and he wants them to know it. So he squints. Hard.
The defense is ordered to proceed with their case. In it they outline their trip to the lumber yard in Midtown, where a shop steward from Dyke’s Lumber kindly cuts the defense a piece of wood from their pile of scraps to measure because they asked so nicely. The defense also emphasizes this wood was free.
The prosecution unsuccessfully stifles their laughter. After all the defense did say “dyke” and “wood” in the same sentence and they’re only human.
The defense demands the prosecution keep their cool, and they continue with their case. Although the wood was free it was still very rough. They’d like the court to recognize their efforts sanding the raw wood, first with a coarse grade then with a finer one, because it took a lot of work and their arms were tired after.
“Ninnies,” yells the prosecution!
“Eat me,” cackles the defense.
The defense continues, despite being a little weirded out by the use of the word ninny.
After the wood was sanded and cleaned, a generous coat of dark stain was applied to the shelf in question. The defense submits into evidence a foam brush to show the court they know what they’re doing. Only a jerk would use a bristle brush for this kind of work. The defense not so coyly looks over at the prosecution. The prosecution is too busy deducting the amount from the security deposit of the soon-to-be botched shelf installation and they miss the accusatory stare.The defense asks to approach the bench.
“What is it,” the judge says, annoyed. The defense admits this next part is a little shady, but since the weather was bad they had no other choice. The shelf had to be spray painted and it had to be done in the bathtub.
The prosecution catches wind of their whispers and screeches, “Mistrial!”
The judge looks down his glasses at the prosecution and tells them to shut their talk boxes.
The defense assures the jury a window was open and that as long as they weren’t huffing from the can it’s all gravy. The jury cringes at the phrase ‘it’s all gravy’ but seems to be OK with their explanation.
Nearing the end, the defense mounts their final push. At $4.99 a bracket this shelf has racked up the infinitesimal debt of 10 bucks. Whatever their peers must be thinking they can’t deny the value of a shelf that cheap.
The jury is slack jawed.
Submitting their last piece of evidence, the defense begins their closing argument.
“BOO-YAH!” They pick up a microphone–from where no one knows–and drop it on the floor, walking out of the courtroom and letting those little saloon door thingies sway to and fro behind them.
The prosecution doesn’t know what to say.
One by one the jury stands and slow claps.
The bailiff, who should really just stand there and say nothing, takes a look at the final piece of evidence and says, “WHAAAAAAAAAA.” Most people in the courtroom take this to mean he’s impressed, though with the bailiff you never really know.
The judge bangs his gavel. The prosecution bangs their heads,