who's on judge mathis today? #40

a books/snacks/softcore daily mini letter

plaintiff: michelle from los angeles, california. i’m instantly taken by the vibrant seafoam green silky shirt floating beneath her fitted blazer when i hear the announcer introduce her as “mee-kyle.” the word on the screen is “michelle,” but for a second time this dude refers to her as “mee-kyle” and i almost snapped my fucking laptop shut. name your kid whatever you want, who cares! but who wants to spend their entire lives correcting people like “no, not as in obama, as in gorbachev.” just spell it the russian way, michelle’s (mikhail’s) mom!

defendant: tanji from los angeles, california. lilac shirt with an open gray cardigan overtop, a sleek swoopy bang across one eye, gold hoops, v thin accordion of truth™ in hand.

the complaint: michelle (mikhail) is claiming that tanji offered to help get her discounts on some home appliances but took the money and never gave her the goods

what does she want: $2200 for the missing refrigerator, et al. countersuit, thank you sweet baby jesus: tanji wants $2200 (okay now! tit for tat!) for emotional distress (oh no! deflating like a balloon!)

how it went down: michelle (mikhail) met tanji in march of 2018 and she “appeared to be a wonderful woman.” the devil needs no advocate, BUT: how come whenever people say “so-and-so seemed like a great person” they never finish that sentiment by questioning their judgment rather than maligning whoever they’re talking about? like sure maybe she sucks but what if you’re also just a shitty judge of character? anyway michelle (mikhail) says she thought tanji was “very christian and devoted to her family” but it turns out she was just “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” ooh boy she is tiptoeing on dangerous ground with all this religified talk. you know and i know that unless this case is about a misplaced bible she better get off this bad christian train or pastor greg is going to rain fire down on her from his pulpit. let me anoint myself with some oils before i get deeper into this!

michelle (mikhail) says tanji is a gossiper, a liar, and a drug user, and obviously i am dying to be friends with her. which begs the question: why was michelle (mikhail)?! she’s a piece of garbage but you did a business deal with her? this dude once said to me “you are only as good as your most despicable ex” and i was like “omg kill me” and had to lie down for two weeks. it’s true and i own it! so okay maybe tanji wastes money on men and doesn’t take care of her children but you’re friends with her, babe! what does that say about you, hmm?

tanji says she met michelle (mikhail) through a woman she works with and that michelle (mikhail) thinks she’s better than everyone. oh that shit is CRYSTAL CLEAR. just from the way homegirl talks you know she has “i speak proper english” somewhere on her resume. greg asks for an example and tanji says that michelle (mikhail) once told her “i don’t deal with black people.” oh, so she’s one of those. gotcha! michelle (mikhail) denies it and greg looks at her like he smells shit and asks “do you deal with your mama? do you deal with your daddy? do you deal with your sister? do you deal with your brother? do you hate yourself?” and everyone in the courtroom is all WELL DO YOU? and in my mind i’m like “get-her-jade dot gif!”

michelle (mikhail) defends herself by saying she is a Professional Black Woman who deals with clients of all races and there “isn’t a racist bone in [her] body” and we all know that means yeah she fucking said that shit. she pivots back to the case of the stolen merchandise and let that be a lesson to us all that sometimes you should just shut the fuck up and present your evidence without editorializing. michelle (mikhail) told their mutual friend that she was moving and needed some “goods” for her new place and the friend said she could connect her with tanji. unless you need weed or a roommate, i do not understand why you would call a regular ass person to furnish your new home rather than, say, value city furniture. greg asks what “goods” she needed and michelle (mikhail) says that tanji was going to get her a refrigerator, and then when she asked if she needed anything else michelle (mikhail) added two televisions and a vacuum to the list, and i understand now that we are talking about stolen items and bitch are you nuts trying to sue this woman on tv for shit she was supposed to get you from a fucking booster??????????????? i mean maybe she doesn’t actually have any black friends because if so they surely would have disabused her of this foolish notion!

tanji said she could make it happen for $2200 in cash. michelle (mikhail) and their mutual friend sequoia, i’m mad she’s not there to defend herself but whatever, met tanji in a secret location and she gave her the money. not to be this guy but we had to buy a new refrigerator a year or so ago and the one i got from sears that was like $500 including free shipping plus removal of the warm, moldy metal box that had inexplicably stopped working in the middle of the night, and they set it up for us and everything! i’m not a wizard but i’m pretty fucking sure i could figure out how to get two television sets and a vacuum and come in well under two thousand bucks? you can get a 40” vizio at target today for $199.99 each, and even if you got the nicest dyson on the market (i’m looking at the animal 2, which i desperately need as our crumbling house creeps ever-closer to grey gardens territory) right now it’s on sale for $448.99 at dyson dot com. so we’re looking at $1398.47, before tax, FROM THE FUCKING STORE, where you can get deliveries and guarantees and warranties and maybe even special financing if you happen to be a Professional Black Woman! seriously even if you add tax and you generously tip the guy who brings it all to your house you’re still getting off cheaper than this, plus you’d have a goddamn receipt! but i digress.

tanji says she doesn’t have a “hook up,” she has a “connect.” she says she’s from the streets and knows people who work in electronics stores and they make money boosting shit from the job. she doesn’t say it exactly like that because i’m sure she doesn’t want to be prosecuted, but that’s the gist. she says forget this “good christian” spiel, michelle (mikhail) knew exactly what she was getting and exactly where it was coming from, and that she knew the risk she was taking when trying to buy some stolen stuff. yo i love tanji, judgment for her and the prize is my heart.

the ruling: michelle (mikhail) pulls a stack of papers from her accordion of truth™ and girl what the fuck is that? it’s not like you and kenny at best buy had a contract! tanji’s defense is that dude took the money and didn’t come through so better luck next time you just gotta charge it to the game. greg says they have to determine whether or not michelle (mikhail) knew it was illegal. tanji says of course she knew, have you ever gone to someone’s home to give them money for a thing you could buy in a store rather than just go to the fucking store? if i go to your house for dinner and you casually offer me a brand new, deeply discounted blu-ray player, i assume you are going to go murder someone after dessert to bring it back to me. (i am truly sorry for this very specific reference but i had to go to an actual store to purchase a blu-ray player earlier today, on christmas eve, and when i tell you i would have rather fought a grizzly bear than do that i absolutely mean it!)

judge mathis asks michelle (mikhail) to prove that she didn’t know what was really going on and she shuffles through her paperwork looking for some exonerating printed text proof™ but can’t find any. while michelle (mikhail) keeps flipping we get to tanji’s counterclaim. tanji runs a homeless shelter for women and children and michelle (mikhail) showed up there acting real tough and hostile trying to collect her money. she handed tanji a note that said something to the effect of “if you tell me who you gave the money to, i won’t sue you i’ll go after him.” that’s a bold choice, sis. you just gonna roll up on a skilled stereo thief and serve him with a court tv subpoena?! lmao no you’re not! tanji says her emotional distress is from having been written up since michelle (mikhail) was clowning at her job. the printed text proof™ michelle (mikhail) thought she had doesn’t exist, and greg lays into her yet again, not because she’s unprepared but because he’s teaching her a lesson for shitting on tanji at the beginning. truly america’s disappointed dad.

greg says it’s clear that tanji ran game on michelle (mikhail) and while that’s a shame she knew it was based on an illegal act and he can’t enforce an illegal contract. michelle (mikhail) keeps talking and talking until finally greg says, “okay ma’am, i’m gonna grant your judgment!” her entire affect shifts and michelle (mikhail)’s face lights up! then he says, “...and for going to her job, which is a major violation, i’m going to grant her judgment! $2200 and $2200 equals zero!”

did uncle greg say anything fucked up to anyone: when tanji referenced her shelter he interrupted, saying, “i know it’s laid to the bone, though! i know it’s laid in there: TVs running wild, refrigerators, washer and dryer, silverware!” gahh i just love him so much!

*bangs gavel*