St. Louis Wacky-Dispatch

January 10th, 2004

The Trial of the Century
Part 3

It’s the BIG day! The day of my trial for being a Prose Menace. Talk about a speedy trial. As I was being led from the jail, fans of my stories, the press, friends and thousands of plain folk lined the path cheering. Some had signs that read, ‘FREE KIETO!’ and ‘LET MY KIETO GO!’ and ‘Exchange Kieto for donuts!’. And I saw signs that read "World Peace, Not Just For Hippies Anymore" and "Truckers Against This Stupid War". (Don’t ask. I’m just telling the story.)

The courtroom was packed. It was to be aired on Court TV, but because of the sensationalism created by the Media, the Judge, Judge Biff Wellington, asked the cameras be removed.

I decided to wear my tuxedo. I’ve been told I look pretty sharp in my tuxedo and wanted to give a good impression to the jury. As I entered the courthouse, I saw my family and friends as well as some of the characters I’ve written about. There were cheers and some jeers. The Jury was made up of 10 women and 2 men. ‘I’m glad I wore my tuxedo,’ I thought to myself.

I had just sat down when the sheriff announced,
“OY YEA, OY YEA, OY YEA! Please stand for the Honorable Judge Biff Wellington. Good morning Judge. This is the case the State of Missouri allegedly accusing Kieto Valentino of being a Prose Menace. The court is now in session and will now come to order!” And the court fell silent.

Ziggy was right behind me and was giving me the paw up and a little wink of support.

Judge Biff Wellington welcomed the jury and read the instructions. “This law of Prose Menace has been on the books for two hundred years. If you feel that Mr. Valentino is guilty, you must return a verdict of guilty. If you believe him innocent, then return the verdict of not guilty. Do you understand?”

And they all shook their heads yes. “Then let’s begin.” he said.

Then the Prosecutor, Mr. Chris Coe, stood up and approached the Jury.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, before you is a real goofball! A real nut! He has been accused of being a Prose Menace.”

Just then, like a bolt of lightning, Ziggy leaped across the courtroom and landed on the back of Mr. Chris Coe and it took 3 Sheriff Deputies to pry her off. He was wearing a toupee and it came off during the attack.

The Judge banished her from the courtroom and she began to cry,’ MEOOOW! (Which means in cat talk, “I’ll be back Kieto!”)

The Judge then said, “Any further outbursts will not be tolerated and I will clear the courtroom! Continue Mr. Coe.”

“Thank you your Honor,” Mr. Chris Coe replied as he fixed his toupee and adjusted his tie. He then continued.

“The State will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mr. Valentino is guilty of writing bad Wacky Thursday stories. This is what the law refers to as a Prose Menace. Now, let me give you the definition of prose. Prose is the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing. And menace? Well, it’s a person who causes annoyance. Put them together and you have a person who causes an annoyance by writing stupid stories!”

Mr. Chris Coe continued. “His misspellings, lack of plots, and 'no sense' storylines has left many a reader in need of therapy. Several good people had to be hospitalized for severe headaches and their indifference to laugh at other folk’s jokes and stories were just one of the many aftereffects after reading one of his stories.”

The people in the courtroom gasped and the Judge issued another warning to the gallery.

“He has got away with being a Prose Menace for far too long and should be punished! Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen.” With that final statement, Mr. Chris Coe sat down.

How will my attorney, Chris P Bacon, address the court? It looks pretty bad at this point, but can the Jury, who all look like they've already came to a decision, be open enough to hear my side? Who will Mr. Chris Coe call for a first witness? And who and where are all these witnesses who have said they got sick after reading my stories? Click continue to find out the answers to all these questions and more!

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