(Scene: A courtroom, which would look like most typical courtrooms, except for the fact that the two defendants are wearing palm fronds. The prosecutor is dressed in his typical suit and has that determined to convict look that most prosecutors have. The defense attorney appears rather harried. The judge, wearing a long black robe, enters and calls the court to order.)
Bailiff: All rise!
Bailiff: Docket number seven, case 565 in the matter of the people Vs Adam and Eve. The charge, trespassing and misuse of private property. How do the defendants plead?
Defense Attorney: Not guilty by reason of coercion.
Judge: Accepted. Prosecution, please call your first witness.
Prosecutor: We call Adam and Eve to the witness stand.
Judge: Couldn’t both of them be questioned separately?
Defense Attorney: Sorry your honor. The official word on them is that they were told to always be together and so they will be cross-examined together.
Judge: Who ruled that?
Prosecutor: You did your Honor.
Judge: So I did. Anyway, you may proceed.
Prosecutor: Adam and Eve. You are hereby charged with defacing sacred property.
Adam: Your honor. I want to plead innocent in all this. She told me it was okay to do that.
Eve: Shut up Adam. Your honor…
Judge: Silence. Answer the question.
Prosecutor: There was no actual question your honor.
Judge: Very well.
Prosecutor: Adam and Eve. You are accused of having removed a piece of sacred property from a tree in a private garden. And then, having removed said piece of sacred property, eaten part of said property, thus rendering said property un-sacred, if un-sacred is even a word.
Adam: Yes we did so. Because she said it would be okay.
Eve: (Slaps him) I did not!
Prosecutor: Now in your original affidavit Ms. Eve, you said that a serpent had in fact told you that it would be okay to remove the piece of sacred fruit from the tree.
Eve: Yes he did. He came up to me and told me that he had received a supreme order to tell me that the apple was to be picked and eaten.
Prosecutor: Is the serpent present?
Prosecutor’s Assistant: I subpoenaed the serpent like you ordered. However, it will take him a few days before he is able to get here.
Prosecutor: A few days?
Assistant: Yes. He has to crawl on his belly to get here and that can take a while.
Prosecutor: I see. Okay, let the record show that not all witnesses for the prosecution are present today. But that the one missing witness should be here at an unspecified time.
(Prosecutor turns his attention back to Adam and Eve)
Prosecutor: Now Adam. I am speaking directly to Adam here so Eve shut up. You said that Eve told you it would be okay to remove the fruit from the tree.
Adam: Yes she did.
Prosecutor: But at the time you were uncertain about that and you did in fact say to her “I don’t think this is a good idea”.
Adam: Yes I did say that.
Eve: Liar! Your honor, Adam did want to take the fruit down so he could eat it.
Adam: It wasn’t about the fruit Eve. It was about the fact that you are always going out to party with your friends and leaving me with the responsibility of taking care of the kids. They’re getting sick of Chef Boyardee. You’re a good cook Evie. So why must I content myself with Hungry Man TV dinners.
Eve: It’s not my choice to have a demanding job.
Adam: Demanding? What is so demanding about serving as a professional model? All you do is stand around in those palm fronds all day while artists sketch you!
Eve: YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW HARD MY JOB IS MISTER!!!!!
Adam: Okay, okay. Calm down Evie!
Eve: You want to talk about easy jobs! Look at yours. Gardener. All you got to do is plant stuff and water it. Or actually, most of the stuff was already planted.
Judge: Order in the court! Now. If we have one more outburst like that, I shall find both of you in contempt of court. Now, you may continue with questioning.
Prosecutor: Thank you. Now Eve. Can you tell us what the serpents exact words to you were when he instructed you to climb the tree in the Garden at Eden Park and remove the apple?
Eve: Sure. He said he had been given an order by a higher power and felt compelled to pass the information on to me.
Adam: You lie! You told me that someone in charge gave him an order.
Eve: So I did. I still meant the same thing!
Prosecutor: Quit squabbling! Now, upon removing the apple from the tree, you said that Adam used a Swiss Army Knife to slice it and then you ate half and he ate most of the rest it. The serpent had the seeds. Is that correct?
Adam: Actually you got half and the serpent got half. I only got a crumb!
Eve: He wasn’t talking to you!
Prosecutor: Quiet! Now Eve. What did the serpent sound like when he spoke?
Eve: He sounded like one of those preacher guys. You know, that one who does that 700 show. He sounded just like him!
Adam: Actually I thought…
Eve: Shut up Adam!
Adam: No I’ve listened to you tell me shut up enough!! Now it’s my turn. As soon as we get out of here, I’m filing for an annulment. And I’m taking the kids and headed for a better place.
Eve: A better place where.
Adam: Anywhere would be better than with you!
Judge: That’s it! Adam and Eve. I find you in contempt of court and I hereby sentence you both to be exiled permanently as punishment for messing up the great institution of marriage and opening the door for puritans and certain social conservatives! Court is adjourned.
Jeff Wilder is a writer-filmmaker-philosopher who lives south of the south.
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