Please forgive delays in posting your contest entries. His Moiness (that would be me) has been busy increasing his carbon footprint, and it’s a lotta work! Flying from Prague to San Diego, and then to Moscow, where I now find myself. I will sell no whine, before it’s time. And the time is now! e have a few nonths to accept and plst yoour (hiccup) entries in Something to Wine About. Tell us any story at all, but tie it back to that fevered fermentation, as Michael Dilts has done here.
This accompanied his entry:
Your heart-felt pleas and atrocious puns moved me to put together a submission to the latest competition…
The attached was inspired by the interrogation of Dionysos, son of Zeus, by Pentheus of Thebes in Euripides’ “The Bacchae.” That dialog, by the way, is suspiciously similar to the account of the trial of the son of another god in Roman-occupied Palestine. Since “The Bacchae” was first performed 475 to 495 years before the accounts of that trial were written, it is obvious who was plagiarizing whom. (For further reading, see “The Dionysian Gospel” by Dennis MacDonald.)
Trials and Bibulation
by Michael Dilts
Judge Sparagmos: Allow the defendant to approach the bench.
[Bailiff leads defendant to bench.]
Judge Sparagmos: Please state your name for the court.
Defendant: For the court my name is no different from what it is elsewhere.
Judge Sparagmos: I do not advise trying to be clever, sir. What is your name?
Defendant: Dennis in your tongue.
Judge Sparagmos: Last name?
Defendant: I have many names, but that is the name you use.
Judge Sparagmos: Perhaps you didn’t understand, at least I hope for your sake that is the case. What is your family name?
Defendant: My ethnonym is Zagreus.
Judge Sparagmos: Zagrouse? With a Z? Please spell it for the court reporter.
Defendant: Zeta, alpha, gamma…
Judge Sparagmos: In English, please.
[Defendant spells name.]
Judge Sparagmos: Thank you for your co-operation, Mr. Zagrouse. Now, do you know why you are here? Do you understand the charges against you?
Defendant: Your lordship, I do not.
Judge Sparagmos: It’s ‘Your Honor.’
Defendant: My honor is in question?
Judge Sparagmos: Don’t try to be clever, Mr. Zagrouse. This is your last warning. The correct way to address me as a judge is to call me ‘Your Honor.’ Do you understand?
Defendant: Yes, My Lo… My Honor.
Judge Sparagmos: Close enough. Now the charges against you are the following. Disturbing the peace. Providing alcoholic beverages to minors. Distributing alcoholic beverages without a license. Disorderly conduct. Do you understand those charges?
Defendant: Your Honorability, I disagree. These are not criminal actions.
Judge Sparagmos: Mr. Zagrouse, it is not your place to question the ordinances of this country, city or county. Your presence here places you under the authority of the laws of this land.
Defendant: Again I disagree. There are higher laws than those of which you appear to be aware.
Judge Sparagmos: This is not the time or place to start a discussion of religious privilege, although that may be part of your defense. Right now, Mr. Zagrouse, I need to know how you are going to plead.
Defendant: Your Honorarity, I plead with you most piteously.
Judge Sparagmos: Mr. Zagrouse, do you have a lawyer or will you be representing yourself? The court can assign a lawyer to help you understand your situation and options at this time.
Defendant: Your Rarity of Honor, I have done nothing to justify the undignified way in which I have been…
Judge Sparagmos: Alright, so you plead not guilty.
Defendant: Mr. Honorableness, I still wish to understand the charges as you stated earlier. I do not disturb Peace under any circumstances. She has quite a wicked temper.
My only goal is to bring release from the oppression of pain and sorrow and the hardships of mortal life.
Judge Sparagmos: Mr. Zagrouse…
Defendant: And the gift of the vine is the natural cure for human misery. It should never be withheld because one is small in size or young in years.
Judge Sparagmos: So, Mr. Zagrouse, you are now admitting that you knowingly provided alcohol to under-aged individuals. As for disturbing the peace, there were multiple complaints about the noise and commotion coming from the house where you were arrested, In addition, young women were roaming the street indecently exposed and were forcing themselves on innocent passers-by, which brings us to the additional charge of sexual trafficking…
Defendant: The other gift of the vine is Freedom! I am called the Liberator.
Judge Sparagmos: Well, Mr. “Liberator,” at this rate you are going to spend a long time unliberated.
Where did you procure the wine which you were distributing so freely at this celebration?
Defendant: I do not “procure” wine, for it is the remedy and needs no healing. It pours forth from me like blood.
Judge Sparagmos: So, what? You have wine flowing in your veins?
Defendant: Wine flows wherever I order it to flow.
Judge Sparagmos: Good. You ordered the wine to be delivered to the house where the celebration took place. The other defendants have stated that they thought they were drinking from jugs of water.
Judge Sparagmos: Yes, what? Where did you get the wine that was in those jugs and how did you place it there?
Defendant: It began as water and became wine.
Judge Sparagmos: Are you seriously telling me that you changed water into wine?
Defendant: All wine begins as water.
Judge Sparagmos: Yes, but usually there is the little matter of grapes and fermentation. What did you do, wave your arms and work a miracle?
Defendant: Water has a deep desire to become wine, and I freed it to do so.
Judge Sparagmos: OK, so Mr. Zagrouse, you ARE telling me you…
Defendant: All life is a miracle. This world is a miracle for those who are not blind.
Judge Sparagmos: Mr. Zagrouse, this is a court of law and not a church…
Defendant: Laws made by the godless have no power.
Judge Sparagmos: You are about to discover what kind of power our laws have…
Defendant: As are you, Honorable One. Is that a glass of water on your high bench?
Judge Sparagmos: What business is it of yours?
Defendant: I urge you to drink.
Judge Sparagmos: You are ordering me to drink from my own glass of water?
Defendant: I do not order, I do not prescribe, I only offer encouragement and opportunity for Knowledge. Sip from your glass, and words will be unnecessary.
Judge Sparagmos: Is that a threat of some kind?
Defendant: Hear me! Listen to the wind rustling through the leaves on the hillside! Open your heart to the Miracle!
Judge Sparagmos: Bailiff! Conduct the defendant…
Defendant: Your tongue thirsts for it, Honorific One! Your heart cries out for Mystery! Your Mind has wandered long enough on its useless quest. Drink and be liberated!
Judge Sparagmos: My mouth is very dry…
Defendant: There is enough for everyone! Drink deep, all of you! Taste Ecstasy and leave these sterile and barren pursuits behind. In Wine there is Truth!
The value of the prize we are offering for the winner would get you 73 glasses of wine at my favorite Vinoteka in Prague. Trust this man (his moiness) with your entry; https://awordwithyoupress.com/contest/something-to-wine-about/
© 2020 Michael R Dilts
One thought on “Disorder in the Court! Michael Dilts enters a plea and our contest!”
Aha! This is a wonderful, and playful read. The characters are so well thought out and the pacing is fast and wonderful. Great write!