Tag Archives: Your Honor

Tom the Tiger

Sometimes I think I want to invent my own breakfast cereal, like it doesn’t matter what it’s called, or even what it tastes like. The only thing that I have planned out is that the mascot is going to be this giant humanoid tiger, and he’s going to go, “Theyyyyyy’re terrific!” just exactly the same way that Tony the Tiger does his slogan.

Tony the Tiger

And then I’m going to sit there by the phone and wait for Kellogg to give me a call. “Hello, we’re calling about Tom the Tiger,” because that’s what I’m going to name my Tiger mascot, Tom, and he’s going to have the same broad shoulders, the same red neckerchief, Tom’s obviously labeled “Tom” instead of “Tony,” the same shit-eating grin and index finger pointed high in the sky, “We’re issuing a cease-and-desist.”

And I’ll be like, fuck that man, I’m no lawyer, you can’t kill Tom the Tiger just because you don’t like what he has to say. He’s not saying “They’re great!” he’s saying, terrific, “And besides,” I’ll tell them, “This is actually Tony the Tiger’s older brother, Tom,” and they’ll be like, “All right, you want to do this the hard way? Let’s do this the hard way.” And I’ll be like, “Fine, if you guys want to do it the hard way, let’s go.”

That might unnerve them a little, because here’s the thing, you get some company pissed off about a cartoon tiger, fine, they send you a letter, it’s some lawyer, sure, terrific, let me ask you, what are you going to do, you’re going to come over my cereal factory and physically stop me from making Tom the Tiger boxes? No, you’re going to have to start a whole legal proceeding, and I’ll make sure that takes time.

And I never understood the legalities, say some judge tells you to knock it off. Say you don’t want to, what, do the cops eventually get involved? Do they storm the cereal factory, start ripping up boxes? Or would they just like block out the part of the box with the mascot? I’m just saying, I think this whole system is a huge power trip, scare tactics, intimidation, big cereal.

And besides, Tom the Tiger really is Tony the Tiger’s older brother. Who do you think taught Tony how to stand upright like a human being, how to make a red embroidered neckerchief with “Tony” on the bottom? Because it is embroidered, even though by the illustration it only looks like it’s maybe screen-printed. And he talks. Tigers don’t talk. They certainly don’t teach themselves how to talk.

Who taught Tony? Tom. But who taught Tom? Ah, that’s the question. Tom’s actually pretty hush-hush about the whole “Who taught you how to walk and talk like a human” business, and don’t even bother asking him as to how he got his start in the whole cereal business.

And so, your honor, I’d like to continue to point out that, where exactly in the Constitution does it grant Kellogg the right to deny me the use of my imagination to expand upon the Tony the Tiger biography? What has Kellogg done new with character in, what, twenty, thirty years? He’s been around forever. I think the guy that does his voice died like ten years ago. That’s why I’m careful not to too strongly link Tom with any sort of specific voice or inflection or intonation.

Your honor, another thing, how long – no I object! – how long exactly must these cartoon cereal character characters remain slaves of their prepackaged dry-goods? Why just Frosted Flakes? Maybe Tony wants to move on. Maybe Tom’s here to rescue him. Kids love Tony, and Tony loves kids. But maybe Tony doesn’t want to peddle around sugar-coated cereals anymore. What about diabetes? Did you know that tigers can get diabetes also?

Show me the statistics of tiger diabetes, Kellogg. Well, you’re the cartoon tiger experts, aren’t you? No, you’re not. I am. Here are the statistics. You see what they say? That one hundred percent of cartoon tigers suffer from type one adult onset diabetes. And that’s just tigers. You should see the kinds of fucked up shit Chester Cheeto has to deal with.

I will not be held in contempt. Tom has a right to exist! Frosted Flakes is trying to take away our freedom! Your honor, I – get your hands off of me! Theyyyy’re terrific! Terrific! Theyyyyy’re grrrrreat!

All rise

I’ve always thought that I’d make an excellent judge. I’m constantly judging everything and everyone else. The government should just make it official and appoint me to the bench. Having everyone call me “your honor,” constantly, day after day, I’m sure it would go to my head eventually, but not for a while. I’m confident that I could make it through ten to fifteen solid years of judging before I would become totally corrupted by my own absolute power. But that’s a long way off. History can be a judge’s only judge, and I think it’s going to judge me by my judicial accomplishments, not by my consolidation of authority or long, rambling speeches that I’ll often make, totally unprompted, right towards the end of an oral argument, just as everyone thinks they’re about to go home, but then I’ll start talking, and I’ll demand everyone’s attention. No bathroom breaks.

I’ll start off probably as a local judge. Every judge has to start somewhere. But I’ll start radically interpreting even the most minor municipal laws in such ways that make it impossible for anyone to ignore my ambition. And I’ll make it to the top. Can judges run for office while they’re sitting on the bench? I think I’d be able to do that. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to run two branches of government at the same time. I could check and balance myself. I’m a fair guy.

But what about the robes? It would probably be a little hasty to just get rid of them all at once, so right before each case, I’d make a slight alteration on my outfit, an almost imperceptible shift in style. But eventually the judge’s robe would wind up completely reimagined. It would be all leather. Leather pants. Leather jacket. Sunglasses. It would be great. We’d all look like a bunch of Terminators. I’d keep the hammer though, or gavel, whatever you want to call it, it’s still basically a hammer. But I’d replace the regular boring hammers with replicas of Thor’s hammer. And I’d rig the court so that whenever I banged it down, the lights would flicker and go out, but just for a second, before coming back on. And I’d never address it. People would just be left to wonder what the hell was behind the mystery of my hammer and the lights.

Most judges tend to stay out of the public eye, not bothering to involve themselves in the national discourse. I would do the opposite. I’d go on elaborate bus tours throwing my judicial weight wherever I’d feel it to be needed.

Judging by my complete inability to keep up this pace of writing, I think I may have misjudged my topic today. I just thought, OK, I’ll sit down and write something funny. And I thought, OK, I’ll write about being a judge. But after like first paragraph I could tell that it wasn’t working out. Maybe it’s because I’ve already exhausted for the time being these themes about power and what I’d do if I had any real authority. I’ve written about being Mayor. I’ve written about running for City Council. And now judge? If I’m going to keep writing about imaginary positions of power, I should at least space them out a little bit.

I’m rereading what I’ve written so far, and I’d like to apologize. The thing about the robes is clearly not funny. And the hammer? I mean, I don’t get what inspired me to put that down in the first place. I just thought, if I can somehow fit the word judge into every sentence, then this thing would basically write itself. But even that idea doesn’t strike me as funny anymore. I feel like I started this piece off as a completely different person, and somewhere through the middle, something just switched, and I’ve realized that everything that I’ve written so far has been a terrible, terrible mistake.

So then I was like, well, I better just start over. But starting over? Man, what a waste of time. I said to myself, Rob, all you have to do here is just keep going, but talk about how bad the writing was. That’s interesting, right? But even that just isn’t doing it for whatever reason. So then I thought I’d write about my decision to keep going, in spite of my acknowledging my disappointment with what I’ve produced so far, and that’s the paragraph that I’m currently writing, so I’ve basically caught up to myself, and the only thing that I have left to write about is the sentence that I’m currently in the middle of writing, and once it’s done, it’s done, and I’m afraid I won’t have anything left to say until tomorrow.