Judging Amy
Culture Clash

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Culture Clash

Halls of Justice. Amy has been asked to substitute for an ill judge on the judicial conduct council. They're seeing a case regarding a judge who has allegedly made sexual overtures to a prostitute in his chambers. Bruce tells Amy that when said Judge, MacNeil, arrived in Hartford, there was gossip that he had undergone some sex scandal at his previous appointment, but that he had been cleared of wrong-doing, and the matter had been dismissed, the record sealed. Amy exposits that as a member of the judicial conduct committee, she'll have access to those files. Bruce says that she will, indeed. And then he leaves. And we will never see him again.

Back at the Ranch, Gillian is looking at Vincent's book. She remarks vacuously that she likes the cover. Peter snits that he "can't believe [Vincent's] book just showed up like that," as though the book dropped in without calling first. He wonders where "the fanfare" was. Vincent, squirting cheese from a can onto a bunch of chips (my kind of a man. But you knew that), explains that only "big books" get any fanfare in the fiction world. Gillian tells Vincent he ought to get the book on Oprah. Vincent and I both snort, and my husband explains that first fiction rarely gets that kind of attention, so he's just hoping for good reviews and word of mouth. Peter glares at him and says "the title's confusing. What does it mean?" Vincent explains that it's from a poem by Rumi. Peter stares and says, "yeah, but what does it mean?" Vincent sighs and says "it's about moral relativism." Gillian trills that it "sounds good." Vincent takes his Cheez Wiz and goes out into the backyard, where he bangs his head against a brick wall and asks God why his relatives are so stupid. Amy enters, in an orange windbreaker and army-green stocking cap. She looks like those guys who have to pick up trash by the side of the highway. She wonders "what's up?" Yo, yo, Gillian waves Vincent's book in the air, as Peter bitterly explains that they're getting "a lesson in literature from Herman Melville." He glares at Vincent and stomps off, Gillian scampering behind him. Okay, Peter: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? Vincent returns for more CheezWiz and remarks sarcastically that "there's nothing like the swell of familial pride." Amy reminds Vincent that Peter is an insurance salesman, and asks if Vincent understands Peter's work. Okay, Amy: HOW HARD IS IT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN ONE'S BROTHER PUBLISHES A BOOK, ONE ACTS ENTHUSIASTIC, EVEN IF ONE IS TOO STUPID TO GET WHAT, EXACTLY, THE BOOK IS ABOUT, BECAUSE GETTING A BOOK PUBLISHED IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN SELLING INSURANCE! Amy snips that Vincent "enjoys being misunderstood." Vincent says he'll keep that in mind when the New York Times reviews his book, "any day now." Amy reassures him the review will be good. Vincent takes a swig of Guinness and moans that he could be "humiliated in the best paper in the country. In the world." He puts his head in his hands and wonders why he ever wanted to do this whole thing in the first place. Oh, Vincent, sweetheart, come home! We'll get a fire going in the fireplace, and I'll massage your feet. We'll have some wine, listen to some music, look at my etchings, and you'll forget all about this "book review" thing. Come on, honey, why are you freezing me out like this? Is it because I said those things about your sister? You know they're true.

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Judging Amy

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