who was on judge mathis yesterday? #101

a books/snacks/softcore daily mini letter

plaintiff: effie from oxford, mississippi. aunt effie looks like she takes absolutely zero shit. you know how you have, like, that one mean auntie whose house you never wanted to go to during the holidays? my sisters have kids and i can tell you who the mean aunt is out of all of us (it’s jane, without question), and effie is definitely that: stern-faced and grouchy-looking, dressed head to toe in black, mouth frowning, her eyes in a permanent scowl.

defendant: keisha from grundy center, iowa. alright alright you know i love to see black midwestern representation! keisha sashays into the courtroom in a tight black minidress and cardigan, long braids, and oversized bamboo earrings. her eyebrows are immaculate and her accordion of truth™ is tight and right.

the complaint: aunt effie alleges that her former tenant is combative and is suing her for property damage. wait a minute, KEISHA FOUGHT THIS OLD LADY???????

what does she want: $2424. countersuit filed: keisha would like $3500 for harassment and defamation. oh no.

how it went down: aunt effie begins her testimony like this, “your honor, i’ve known miss wannabe stripper keisha—” and the crowd gasps dramatically but, like...in the year of our lord 2020 are we still stripper shaming???? did aunt effie not see hustlers????????? exotic dancing is a glamorous and well-paying way to get a sweet apartment and ruin a man’s life! literally what is the problem?? anyway aunt effie has known keisha for several years, but when keisha asked if she could move into her rental property aunt effie hesitated and sought counsel from some of her friends, all of whom told her not to do it because she “cusses and likes to fight.” again, i ask, who cares?

aunt effie says her friends said “let me show you a picture of what she likes to do” and she starts waving what looks like a printed out facebook picture™ of keisha but i can’t really tell what’s going on? aunt effie gives the picture to doyle who gives it to greg who shows it to the camera and it appears to be keisha sitting on the curb with her wig snatched off (maybe???) and her clothes torn up after a fight. aunt effie says her friends told her not to rent to a person like that but she knows the lord can change people and she wanted to give keisha a chance. listen i love a second chance as much as the next spiritual-but-not-religious person but you can’t be a judgmental asshole offering another person redemption. that’s literally the opposite of the point? second chances need to be handed out by people who don’t print out pictures of bad stuff you’ve done and carry them around in their pocketbooks!

speaking of, now aunt effie is waving around a printed out facebook picture™ of keisha “dancing on a pole.” i am not into this irrelevant character assassination at all! aunt effie is a character herself, and greg can barely conceal his laughter while she’s screaming and waving wrinkled sheets of printer paper all around the courtroom, but what the fuck does this have to do with *scrolls up* property damage to her house??? imagine if i got sued for sideswiping somebody and they showed up to court with my book like, “your honor...she writes about her butthole.”

finally greg cuts aunt effie off and lets keisha start telling her side of the story THANK YOU GOD. keisha says that she met aunt effie a year ago just before she moved into her “raggedy house.” greg cuts her off and says he wants to know what happened right before the picture of her on the ground was taken, and keisha says she got jumped. damn, what a nightmare. i mean, getting jumped is obviously the fucking worst but these days when everybody is an amateur documentary filmmaker???? lmao fuck that. you can’t have shit happen to you anytime or anywhere lest somebody with a phone turn you into the star of a snuff film. aunt effie tries to interrupt keisha again (i am growing weary of her) and keisha interrupts back to say that she is a mother and takes care of her 16-year-old disabled child and that aunt effie stole those photos from her facebook. uhhh that is not how the public internet works but we are not here to litigate IP so let’s get into this damaged property.

i don’t know if i’m in a shitty mood or what but this case is killing me slowly. aunt effie screams that keisha wanted out of the lease because she said someone was “trying to kill her daughter,” so she told her to file a police report and show it to her and she’d let her break the lease. i was like “excuse me?????? this should be on the FBI network!” but then keisha clarifies that she wanted to move because the house was in a violent and dangerous neighborhood and she was worried about her daughter’s safety as a result. why would aunt effie frame it that way, and why would she demand a police report?? i mean, i know why, she wants the rent money, but this is gross. all that shit about keisha being on the pole and fighting was just a diversion from her gross house and bad neighborhood.

to divert from this case aunt effie now launches into a bootstraps speech about how keisha needed to change her ways and be a better person and all this old timey judgmental shit and greg cuts her off with disgust (here we go!) saying, “ma’am, this woman is your tenant not your daughter!!!” (thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) “you’re judging her lifestyle, going on the internet—how do you even know what she has on the internet?” (seriously! how does aunt effie even know the internet exists????? whatever keisha wants for harassment? double it!) “you internet stalking your tenant!” he shouts and aunt effie keeps shouting back about what a terrible person keisha is and how she tried to mother her with tough love and greg is shouting shouting back that all she’s doing is degrading her and do y’all realize we still don’t know what aunt effie is suing for yet?????? i’m going to cry!

the ruling: greg is exasperated and he and keisha keep shrugging at each other like “i’m lost, you are too?” and doyle is chuckling uncomfortably, meanwhile aunt effie rails on and on. “let me get y’all outta here,” greg grumbles before prompting aunt effie to tell him about the damages, AGAIN. aunt effie says that keisha broke a window and honestly did she do it to get away from this monster because i absolutely would understand!

okay there’s a twist, and i’m fucking furious that it happened 14 minutes into these proceedings because we could’ve been done with this shit 7+ minutes ago: the house aunt effie rented out is section 8 housing and therefore is subject to inspection prior to anyone moving in. keisha contends that the window was broken and there was a messed up sink when she moved in, she even has a video of the damages, but aunt effie has the section 8 inspection report with her and there’s no mention of either of these things needing to be fixed. hello???? aunt effie brought all those printed out facebook photos™ trying to prove keisha was an unsavory person when all she had to do was flash the inspection paperwork and get her money in thirty seconds??? ughhhh, judgment for the plaintiff but also: ELECTRIC CHAIR.

did uncle greg say anything fucked up to anyone:wannabe a stripper? she auditioned and she didn’t make it??”

*bangs gavel*