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Author's Note: This is based on something I think I read years ago. I swear I read this article (in a respectable magazine) about a California woman legally marrying a rock. I started thinking about this a few days ago, and these are the results. My problem is this: no one believes that this marriage ever occurred. If you can find any solid proof related to this matter(even if it means I'm wrong - wouldn't be the first time) I would be extremely grateful. I would even do a little dance. For sure. Maybe even a big dance. You never know...

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Scene I

Scene: Judge Judy's Courtroom

Debbie Hughes, roughly thirty years old and rather neurotic-looking stands at the Plaintiff's podium. Her fiancé, Sam Mann, a typical beach bum, sits in a chair nearby. A football-sized rock sits on the Defendant's podium. Lawyer, looking very polished and radiating confidence, sits behind the podium. A Bailiff stands...umm...wherever bailiffs stand (off on the side somewhere, I think). The court Stenographer sits in his undersized chair, eagerly awaiting another truly memorable case...

(Judge enters room)

Bailiff: All rise, court is now in session. Judge Judy finally got busted for possession, so the honorable Judge James Judgeson is presiding.

Judge: Damn straight. (sits down) You may be seated.

Bailiff: (hands Judge a stack of papers) Your Honor, this is case #1234, Stone Vs Hughes.

Judge: (looks at papers) Let me get this straight, Miss Hughes. Back in March, you and Mr. Stone got married, is that right?

Hughes: Yes, Your Honor.

Judge: (shakes his head) What kind of retard judge would let you marry a rock? (checks papers)...Judge James Judgeson. (long embarrassed pause) Stenographer, strike that statement from the record.

(Stenographer nods)

Judge: (continues) And then, in May, after only two months of marriage, you filed for divorce.

Hughes: Yes, Your Honor.

Judge: On what grounds?

Hughes: Irreconcilable differences and impotence.

Judge: On whose part?

Hughes: His, Your Honor.

Judge: I see. I'm sure that was an interesting case. Handled by Judge...(checks papers) James Judgeson...hmm, I don't remember that one.

(Drug Dealer waves at Judge from the gallery)

Judge: Oh, was that on a Tuesday? 'Cause I smoke my blunts on Tuesdays.

Hughes: I believe it was, Your Honor.

Judge: Thought so. So Mr. Stone, you're suing for half of Miss Hughes 's estate, is that right?

Lawyer: That's right, Your Honor.

Judge: And who are you?

Lawyer: I'm Donovan Edgeworth. I represent Mr. Stone.

Judge: I think the plaintiff can speak for himself.

Lawyer: He has no mouth, Your Honor.

Judge: That didn't stop him from saying "I Do", did it?

Lawyer: I couldn't tell you, Your Honor I wasn't at the wedding.

Judge: Miss Hughes?

Hughes: It was more of a mumble. I heard him, though.

Judge: Told you! (smug) I think you owe me an apology, Mr. Edgeworth.

Lawyer: My sincerest apologies, Your Honor.

Judge: That's better. Now let's hear Mr. Stone's side of the story.

Lawyer: Thank you, Your Honor. California state law clearly states that-

Judge: (interrupts) What did I tell you about interrupting?

Lawyer: Your Honor, Mr. Stone is a rock!

Judge: I'm well aware of that, Mr. Edgeworth. But it is imperative that this court hear first-hand evidence concerning this matter. (giggles) Straight from the horse's mouth, you could say.

Lawyer: Your Honor-

Judge: Horse's mouth! Do you get it?!

Lawyer: (sighs) Yes, Your Honor, I'm afraid I do.

Judge: Do you get it?! Do you get it?! Well, lemme tell you anyway! See, you were talking about how Mr. Stone doesn't have a mouth and I said-

Lawyer: (interrupts) Yes, Your Honor, very clever, but by not allowing Mr. Stone the right to counsel, you're infringing on the rights granted him by the Judicial Rights Act of-

Judge: (interrupts) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Next you're gonna be telling me people still care about that Bill of Rights thingie...

Lawyer: Your Honor, I insist that Mr. Stone be allowed counsel!

Judge: Fine, you can talk for him! Sheesh! You're such a bully!

Lawyer: Thank you, Your Honor.

Judge: (mimics condescendingly) Thank you, Your Honor. What a pansy!

Lawyer: As I was saying, under California law, my client is legally entitled to half of Miss Hughes's estate.

Judge: On what grounds? I love saying that! Makes me sound so important.

Lawyer: Mr. Stone supported Miss Hughes faithfully throughout their marriage.

Judge: Miss Hughes, is this true?

Hughes: He was very supportive. (begins to cry) He held up my coffee table...(sobs)...he was always there for me...never cheated...he was the best paperweight I've ever had. (totally breaks down. I'm talking a snotty-nosed, drooling, saccharine-fest breakdown. The kind your sister had when I dumped her. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Mann rushes up to comfort her.)

Judge: Boooooring. Hey, let's try to wrap this up, people. I've got important business to attend to. (Grins knowingly at Pimp in gallery. Pimp smiles widely, revealing about ten grand in gold-plating.)

Lawyer: Thank you, Your Honor.

Judge: Wait, who made you counsel to the Plaintiff anyway?

Lawyer: He did.

Judge: (laughs) Oh really? I'd like to see that in writing.

Lawyer: My client doesn't have any hands, Your Honor.

Judge: So you don't have any proof that the plaintiff advocates your representation?

Lawyer: Actually, I do, Your Honor. I have this man, Ingfreid Johanensonenson, renowned geo-empathic psionicist.

Judge: (no clue what that means) Oh...a geo-empathic psionicist...of course...yeah...I have one of those.

Lawyer: He can communicate with rocks.

Judge: Ooooooooooh - I mean, (clears throat) of course...I knew that. Mr. Johanensonenson, would you like to speak?

Empath: It is not I who speaks, but the earth who speaks through me. I am merely the vessel, a conduit for earth-born sentience. The dirt, the caverns, the rocks speak to me. This rock speaks to me. It says, 'Ingfreid...I am a rock, and I have no lips...be my lips, Ingfreid Johanensonenson.' And I say, 'Yes, yes, I will be your voice, Steve!"

Lawyer: (whispers to Empath) His name is Rocky.

Empath: I mean, 'Rocky'...wait, this isn't Steve! (looks around frantically) Where are you, Steve? Re you in pain? Are you lodged in someone's shoe? (refocuses) I must find Steve! (runs out)

Lawyer: There you have it, Your Honor.

(Judge is asleep)

Lawyer: Your Honor?

Judge: (jerks awake) Oh yes, yes, uh...let's move on...uh, Mr. Edgeworth, please present your argument to the court in full.

Lawyer: (tired of repeating the same legal crap) The law states that my client is entitled to half of the estate. That's the crux of our case, Your Honor.

Judge: So you expect me to rule in your favor just because the law dictates that I do so?

Lawyer: Yes, Your Honor.

Judge: Now, you realize that I'm not one to set precedents...but let's say I decide to be nice and grant you half of Miss Hughes's estate. What do you get out of it?

Lawyer: Well, technically, I would receive fifty percent of that half, that is to say one quarter of Miss Hughes 's estate.

Judge: Uh-hoh! The plot thickens!

Lawyer: Those are my standard rates.

Judge: Riiiiight. And what do I get out of all this?

Lawyer: (horrified) Are you asking for a kickback?

Judge: (offended): No! Absolutely not! (pause) But, you know, I could use a new car.

Lawyer: This is outrageous!

Judge: Mr. Edgeworth, approach the bench. (Lawyer begins to move forward) Idiot! SIT DOWN!

(Lawyer, bewildered, returns to his seat)

Judge: Miss Hughes, would you please approach the bench.

Hughes: Mother may I?

Judge: (pleased) Yes you may.

(Hughes approaches)

Judge: (whispers) This Edgeworth guy is obviously inept. Did you see the way he just started to march up here with absolute disregard for Mother's wishes? Anyway, I'm gonna give you the case, but just so nobody gets suspicious, I'm gonna pretend like I'm listening for a little while longer, just to seem fair.

Hughes: Thank you, Your Honor.

Judge: (slips Hughes a slip of paper) My private chambers, twenty minutes. (winks)

(Hughes returns to her podium)

Judge: Please continue, Mr. Edgeworth.

Lawyer: As I was saying, the-

Judge: (overly casual) Uh-huh.

Lawyer: (continues) The defense has presented no evidence that Mr. Stone was undutiful or unfaithful-

Judge: (uninterested) Mm-hmm.

Lawyer: That said, according to California law, my client is entitled to half of Miss Hughes's estate.

Judge: Yeah, okay, I think I've heard enough. This court rules in favor of the Plaintiff.

Lawyer: Thank you, Your Honor.

Hughes: Hey, what the-

Judge: (annoyed, to Hughes) Will you shut up? I just ruled in your favor!

Hughes: No you didn't!

Judge: (sighs, rolls his eyes. Patronizing, to Hughes) Women - think they know everything. I just said 'Judgement in favor of the Plaintiff'. That's y-...oh shit. I'm gonna have to take that back.

Lawyer: (looks up from packing his briefcase) No take-backs!

(Pimp catches Judge's eye by pointing to his watch.)

Judge: Yeah, I guess you're right. Court is adjourned.

(Lawyer turns on his heel, ready to make a crisp, professional exit; his briefcase clips the rock and knocks it from the podium. Rock falls in slow-motion and shatters [a la Usual Suspects] on the courtroom floor.)

Hughes: Noooo! (falls on her knees and scoops the shattered remnants of Rocky into her hands and holds them against her chest. Once again she does the whole snotty/tears/choking thing except worse than before...kinda like when your sister found out I told the whole school she was the worst kisser in the fourth grade. Hehe, yeah that was me. Anyway, now that I've gotten way off track, Hughes says...) Why? Why? (turns to Lawyer) Murderer!

Empath: (barges in) A voice, calling out to me in pain and suddenly...silence. (spots the shattered remains of Rocky Stone) Rocky! Oh Rocky, no! You were so young, so gentle.

Hughes: Why did I ever leave you, why?

Judge: Bailiff, arrest that man!

(Bailiff handcuffs Lawyer)

Lawyer: It was an accident! I didn't mean to! It's just a freaking rock! What's your problem? Let me go! (as Bailiff hauls him, kicking and fighting, out of the courtroom) It's just a roooooooooooock! (exit)

[Fade Out]

Scene II

[Fade In]

Setting: Graveyard

Hughes and Empath stand at a headstone that reads "Rocky Stone. World's best paperweight. Rest in pieces". Hughes holds a bouquet of roses.

Hughes: It's so peaceful.

Empath: yes, he would have like it here...so many voices.

Hughes: Does he still speak to you?

Empath: Sometimes. He says (opens his mouth to speak, eyes glaze over)

(Hughes waits for him to say something, then smiles sadly, places the bouquet on the grave, and stands.)

Hughes: Come along dear.

(Empath doesn't move, only stands there, mouth partly open, looking like an idiot. Hughes moves away slowly.)

[Fade Out]