Prosecutor: Ms. Buller, can you tell us what woke you in the early morning hours of September 16, 2010?
Ms. Buller: Why yes.
Prosecutor: You don’t have to do your little money-maker Jackie O impression for us Ms. Buller. Just tell us what woke you.
Ms. Buller: Well, at first I just knew it was a squeaking sound. A loud, close squeaking sound, like someone was rubbing rubber clown shoes on a car window.
Prosecutor: Is that what you thought Ms. Buller? That someone was rubbing clown shoes on a car window inside your room?
Ms. Buller: No. I just said it sound—
Prosecutor: Ms. Buller, can you tell me WHY someone would put clown shoes on a car window that had been placed inside your room?
Ms. Buller: You are bad at your job.
Prosecutor: Well you are bad at your job. Did you do anything to investigate the sound?
Ms. Buller: No. I was terrified. I wanted it to be squeaky clown party shoes worn by my roommate or a radiator hissing, but we don’t have radiant heat..so
Prosecutor: Do you even know what kind of heat you do have Ms. Buller?
Ms. Buller: You’re just like attacking me for random things and not even forwarding a specific line of questioning.
Prosecutor: “You’re just like attacking me for random things and not even forwarding a specific line of questioning.” Gettin’ all fancy pants I see. Think your 1.5 years at a flagship university entitles you to smarty pants aggressive language like that. But you had to struggle to arrive at that particular word string didn’t you?
Ms. Buller: What are you like, the evil voices in my head?
Prosecutor: Well, yes. That’s exactly who I am. Your negative self inner-talk.
Ms. Buller: And you are putting me on trial for what happened on the night of September 16, 2010?
Prosecutor: You got it! Ms. Buller, can you tell us what’s under your bed right now?
Ms. Buller: Well…currently, just glue traps, and some strips of carpet tape, and well now, something else.
Prosecutor: Why don’t you tell the jury what that something else is.
Ms. Buller: (long pause, looks down) A live mouse.
Prosecutor: A live mouse!
Ms. Buller: Yes.
Prosecutor: And what is the mouse doing?
Ms. Buller: well, I don’t know right now because I’m on brain trial here and not in my room, but I can tell you that it is, well, affixed to a glue trap and….
Prosecutor: Crying. Isn’t that right Ms. Buller? It’s most likely glued to a trap, it’s cute little paws outstretched, outstretched in glue, as it cries and writhes for freedom, the freedom which you snatched away from him on the night of September 16, 2010, when he scurried INNOCENTLY and cute-like along, onto one of your heinous glue traps. Ms. Buller, why do you even have glue traps in your room?
Ms. Buller: Well, first off, “objection!” all over the place on your last couple sentences. “Leading the witness!” That’s something, right? Anyway, I have glue traps because my landlord told me to put them down to catch the bed bugs.
Prosecutor: Bed Bugs! So you have bed bugs on top of mice! You must be a pretty disgusting person Ms. Buller.
Ms. Buller: Okay, that is exactly the kind of harsh language our therapist warned us about. I’m not disgusting or bad or gross I just happen to have traps all over my room to catch live animals. Oh god.
Prosecutor: Ms. Buller, I’m going to let you have your moment of shame there for like 3 (looks at watch) seconds, before I ask you this: glue traps for bed bugs? Nowhere on the bedbugger.com website--pretty much the web-based authority on bedbugs and I think you know that because you were on that site in a pretty much addictive way for two weeks in August. August.—anywho, on this bedbugger website does it say “put down glue traps and just kinda see what you catch?”
Ms. Buller: No. I agree. Nowhere on there does it say glue traps. My landlord told me to put them down.
Prosecutor: Ahhhh. Your landlord. Now if your landlord told you to jump off a short pier, would you do it?
Ms. Buller: Umm…that’s not really how that phrase goes but no, I would not jump off a short pier. I was thinking I should do everything my landlord tells me to do as far as bed bug remediation or elimination, so that if it goes to trial I would be able to say, “I did everything that was suggested.”
Prosecutor: Ms. Buller, are you insane?
Ms. Buller: Generally, no.
Prosecutor: Preparing for mock landlord trial? What sort of trial was this Ms. Buller? Some sort of bed bug court? The Brooklyn Court of Bed Bugs?
Ms. Buller: I’m sure it won’t be long...
Prosecutor: Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with mice?
Ms. Buller: Well, I harbor no ill will. I think they are actually sort of cute. There’s that children’s book A Mouse in the House—well I think. I loved Ratatouille. Of course, that was a rat, but…I generally don’t freak out about little creatures like other people do. I like that Jeremy Benthem quote “The question is not do they think but can they feel.”
Prosecutor: Ehh…according to the internet the quote is “The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
Ms. Buller: I stand correctable.
Prosecutor: What did you do when you heard the mouse’s cries for help?
Ms. Buller: well, first I want to say that there’s a bit of anthropomorphizing going on here—and that’s going to be inevitable. Cries for help? Okay, fine... That’s what they were. They probably weren’t mating calls. It was a call so that it could be saved and live and go on to mouse school and have mouse children and have a mouse midlife crisis and buy a mouse convertible. Have a mouse affair. Comb his hair over to one side at the mouse high school reunions. Go fuck yourself. It’s just a mouse.
Prosecutor: Are you aware that the Human Society has labeled glue traps as inhumane? And yet you had one under your bed.
Ms. Buller: FOR BED BUGS.
Prosecutor: ANSWER MY QUESTION.
Ms. Buller: Which one.
Prosecutor: The one where I really stick it to you and ask you what you did once you heard the cries for help.
Ms. Buller: Well, it was agonizing. I felt—
Prosecutor: Not looking for feelings, looking for actions.
Ms. Buller: I put my earplugs back in. They had fallen out.
Prosecutor: You put your earplugs back in so you wouldn’t have to hear the cries from a terrified and emperilled creature.
Ms. Buller: Yes. There was nothing I could do!
Prosecutor: Maybe take a shovel and put it out of its misery maybe!
Ms. Buller: Okay, right, with the shovel I keep in my closet right next to my Proactiv kits and vintage skirts.
Prosecutor: Do you own a hammer?
Ms. Buller: Oh God. I do.
Prosecutor: Well, tonight, instead of working out, I want you to go home, get some newspapers, lay them down, get the trap, then get the hammer and put that living, suffering thing out of its misery.
Ms. Buller: Oh Lord. For being the evil voices in my head you’re actually thinking quite…bravely and ethically. Can’t I do this with poison? Maybe some mouse euthanasia?
Prosecutor: Let’s research this together on the internet. Me, the part that always criticized you but helped you get pretty much straight A’s through college and you, the “true self” of consciousness or whatever Oprah bullshit you call you.
Ms. Buller: Again, kinda sounding pretty much on target here, Evil Voice. Let’s go.