Ladies and, uh, gentlemen—I guess we can still use that phrase, right? It’s not too patriarchal or, like, I don’t know, classist? All right: l’s and g’s—ha, like gangsters, or, sorry, “gangstas,” if my whiteness permits that—of the jury, my client, Mr. Gerald Rombowski, CEO of Cronotope Corp., pleads not guilty to all charges of embezzlement. Such a weird word, “embezzlement.” Say it—_em-bezz-le-ment_. It sounds like it should mean something more, sort of, romantic. Like, “I embezzle you. Do you embezzle me?”

Anyway, these charges are scurrilous. "Scurrilous"—you thought we had some fun with “embezzlement”? Don’t even get me started with “scurrilous.” By the way, can I get a cup of coffee in here? Yeah, Starbucks is fine. With soy, please? I don’t know, venti, I think? I’m always so confused when I have to order. I’m like, “Uh, a large, please?” and they’re like, “You mean venti?” or whatever it is, and I’m just like …

The allegations of embezzlement and other methods of “cooking the books” are unfounded. That should be my band’s name—"Cooking the Books." Right now we’re called “Fellini’s 8½ Weeks,” but we realized that none of us has actually seen , and I just canceled my Netflix subscription because I found out I could download movies off LimeWire, so … And plus, is that name a copyright infringement? Someone should look into it.

Did Gerald Rombowski, as the prosecution contends, abuse mark-to-market accounting techniques to cover up significant fourth-quarter losses? Better question: Does anyone here know what “mark-to-market accounting techniques” means? I got a C-plus in econ, so don’t ask me.

Oh, thanks. You didn’t happen to pick up any Splenda packets, did you? No, it’s fine, it’s just … I don’t know, I have this thing where if I don’t have exactly two packets of Splenda per cup, I kind of gag on the taste. So weird, right? It’s like I’ve stifled some traumatic java-influenced memory and it’s going all “return of the repressed” on me.

Over the next few weeks, the prosecution is going to trot out a lot of so-called “experts” and “witnesses” and “my bitter ex-girlfriends”—kidding! Except how crazy if Kelly or Jennifer actually did come in and was like, “You should totally vote guilty because his lawyer’s a douche”? Anyway, I urge you to ignore them as you would a call on your cell from your parents badgering you about getting a real job, until you finally go to law school more out of resentment and desperation than any real desire to study the justice system and make a difference, even though, sure, given the choice of making a difference or not, I’d take the former, but still …

Sorry, I didn’t get much sleep. One of the lawyers for the prosecution, the one with the kind of “early-’80s Debbie Harry meets a pantsuit and a sensible hairstyle” look, has been on the brain. I know it’s insane to be talking about this now, but sometimes, I don’t know, you feel like you just have to say what you feel, you know? Like, we’re just actors in some socially constructed arena spouting lines we’ve heard a million times from sitcoms and posing for Facebook photos and no one’s being authentic? And when I see this Debbie Harry–look-alike J.D., all of a sudden I kind of remember what it means to care about something or someone again, and nothing else matters—not Fellini’s 8½ Weeks, not the October rent I’m still late on, not this stupid case for a corporate zombie who’s in all likelihood guilty, although I strictly directed him not to admit it to me. So I guess this is all a roundabout way of saying, uh, would you at all possibly be interested in getting coffee and Splenda or something with me and exchanging dreams and fears and amusing high-school anecdotes and witness and evidence lists during the recess?

“Recess.” As if we’re in elementary school. Wow, remember, like, kickball?