Judging Amy
Witch Hunt

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Jessica: D | Grade It Now!
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Witch Hunt

That is a lot of action before the credits even roll.

Lauren, the World's Cutest Child, is wearing this crazy patchwork sweater which I think was stolen from Alyson Hannigan's trailer over on the Buffy set. She's at school, in what appears to be the world's largest indoor playground. Is it recess? Why aren't they outside? Do kids her age still have big old playrooms in their classrooms? Whatever. Lauren clambers inside this nifty playhouse thing, climbing down into a carpeted cavern-type space. How big is this playroom? My God. Anyway, inside the cavern, a little coven of slightly older boys sit in a circle. One, who has "bully" written all over him already, is talking about ghosts. Gee -- witches, ghosts, carpeted caverns, could this possibly be the Halloween episode? I wonder. "I don't mean dumb fake ghosts," the bully says, "I mean real dead people." I'd like to take this moment to please, please, please ask that the writers not turn this into some kind of The Sixth Sense Revisited. If the bully says he sees dead people, I'm leaving. The Bully sees Lauren lurking behind his posse and tells her to get lost. She wants to know what they're talking about, but the Bully tells her she's too young to listen. She contradicts this by bringing up the irrefutable fact that she's in the first grade, and she stays up until 9 PM. OK, can I just say that when I was in the first grade, my parents made me go to bed at 8:30, right after The Cosby Show? I used to have to sneak out of bed and lay on the floor outside the den to listen to Family Ties. Lauren is so lucky. Sorry. Anyway, the Bully tells Lauren that if she really must know, he's talking about "the Ghost of the Red Coat." A much scarier story, I personally think, is the Ghost of the Ugly Patchwork Sweater. But that's just me. Inching closer to the boys, Lauren warily opines that there's no such thing as ghosts. The Bully ignores her and spins a tale about a soldier in the Revolution who was captured by the "Blue Coats" (I know the Red Coats are the British, but I've never heard the Americans called the Blue Coats. I guess it's too much to expect historical accuracy from a third grader). This Red Coat guy was then thrown into a dungeon and only given one tiny, bug-filled bowl of porridge a day. Lauren is more upset by the idea of eating bugs than she is by the thought of being chained in a dank cell. The Bully elaborates by telling the group that, eventually, the Red Coat was eaten by rats, "first his eyes, then his tongue," (ew!) and that now, every year around Halloween, "the ghost of Red Coat comes back, and goes by every house, looking in the windows, looking for kids to get, especially little girls with long hair [Lauren protectively clutches her own hair], and if he catches you looking at him, he steals your voice [wow, the Judging Amy writers really have been watching Buffy!] and throws you in a dungeon for the rest of your life." Lauren looks totally stricken.

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Judging Amy

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