Judging Amy
Culture Clash

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Culture Clash

And...we have credits, people. Good work.

Halls of Justice. Mom and Dad are separated. Dad secretly bought several open-ended airline tickets to Germany. Mom thinks Dad is planning to abduct the kids; Dad swears he's just taking them to visit family. Oh, yeah, Mom also thinks Dad is a Nazi. Dad's counsel argues the Mom is a bigot. Mom swears she isn't a bigot; Dad actually is a Nazi. A real, full-on, Heil Hitler, master race, "ve haf ways of making you talk," Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List Nazi Nazi. The problem is, though, that the Nazi isn't even in court to speak for himself. Amy asks that the Nazi's lawyer produce his client. Then, she says, they can talk turkey. Er, custody. Whatever.

Maxine sails into Hartford General Hospital. She's there to see "Ayesha al Jamal," a young...Yemenese? Yemenite? person from Yemen, who has been stabbed. Ayesha is being fussed over by her mother, a woman in full, er, Yemen-y ensemble, the name of which I know, but have unfortunately forgotten ["hijab" -- Wing Chun], an older sister, and a doctor who is fervently trying to convince Mrs. al Jamal to allow him to examine her daughter. Ayesha wonders why she has to talk to anyone else, since she's already spoken to the police. Maxine explains the entire children and family services dealio, the concept of which offends Ayesha, who whines that she is not a child, she's fifteen. And I am starting third grade in the fall. Ayesha's mother keens and strokes her daughter's hair. The doctor bitches because no one is letting him examine the patient, but Maxine smiles and asks him to let her take a stab -- oh, bad choice of words -- at talking to the family. Ayesha explains that her mother doesn't speak much English, but that she understands. Maxine informs Mrs. al Jamal that she's there to help Ayesha, which calms the wailing woman. Wow, why didn't the doctor say that? Anyway, Maxine asks Ayesha what happened. The girl rolls her eyes and says it was "stupid." I'd like to take this moment to comment that Ayesha is really, really pretty, and looks rather like my friend Joanna. Anyway, she tells Maxine that she tried to stab herself because people had been teasing her at school. Maxine is doubtful that Ayesha actually stabbed herself in the chest and arm, and gently tells the weepy girl that she can tell Maxine, if someone did this to her. Mrs. and Sister al Jamal weep. Ayesha reiterates sobbily that she "did it to herself."

Maxine is walking toward her car, when she is approached by Sister al Jamal. Sis wonders what Maxine plans to do about Ayesha. Maxine tells her that she knows Ayesha didn't stab herself, and that she plans to place her in temporary custody in order to protect her from further attacks. Sis non-sequiturs that Ayesha is no longer in danger, because "it has been proven she is a virgin." Maxine turns around and asks for clarification. Sis explains that "somehow word got around the Yemenite community that [her sister] had been with a man." However, she explains, that very morning, Ayesha was "examined by clerical authorities," who established that she was, in fact, still a virgin. Wow, that's not an embarassing examination for a fifteen-year-old or anything. Maxine looks stunned that Ayesha would have attacked herself, simply because other people thought she was a big old ho. Sis calmly explains that Ayesha believed she had brought dishonor upon the family, became hysterical and stabbed herself, needlessly. Maxine says she has to speak to the parents al Jamal. Sis wails that "it's best for [Maxine] to leave us all alone!" Maxine says she can't do that. Yeah, no kidding.

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Judging Amy

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