Rudy, of RUDY’S PLACE, returns to Judge John Hodgman’s court and brings his wife, Mary, with him! Rudy can’t stand glitter. He says that Mary keeps bringing it into the house and would like her to stop. Mary says that Rudy needs to find a better way to cope. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? With Guest Bailiff Jean Grae!
The Rudy’s Place theme song: Lyrics written by Judge Hodgman, performed by Jonathan Coulton.
EVIDENCE AFTER THE JUMP! AFFIDAVITS ARE JUST TOO LONG!
LETTER FROM MARK, HUSBAND TO MARY’S FIRST COUSIN KATHLEEN:
Dear Judge Hodgman,
I listened with great interest to your podcast #518, There’s an APPelate Court For That. I write in response to your solicitation for ideas for Rudy’s Place, which in my opinion is a wonderful idea, and like many great ideas, has been misunderstood. I believe I am in a unique position to offer my thoughts to the court.
First, full disclosure is in order. I personally know the litigants Rudy and Patrick and indeed are related to them by marriage as Rudy’s wife Mary and my wife Kathleen are first cousins. We are all very close so while not technically true, we consider Patrick and Brigid to be our nephew and niece, and we are Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Mark. (This becomes important later). However, I believe that any prejudice possibly caused by my close relationship with the litigants is far outweighed by the probative value of the testimony I can offer.
As a further preliminary matter, you should know that I have been to Big Toad Road on many occasions. I can assure you that whatever mental images you, Jesse, and your listeners have conjured up are absolutely accurate. I can also assure you that it is a wonderful and comforting place to be. It is also a stimulating and interesting place. Just like Rudy’s Place will be.
I feel I am also uniquely qualified to comment on Rudy’s Place as I was present for many of Rudy’s pitches for the idea down at the shore. Furthermore, the first time the idea was explained to me I was an immediate supporter. Admittedly, part of my support was reflexive in nature in response to the overwhelming opposition it faced. Rudy and I often find ourselves in the same foxhole and I am always prepared to take a bullet for my Brother in Arms.
There may be some who are thinking that I am trying to claim credit for support after the fact, only after this idea was introduced to the world by you, Judge John Hodgman. For those I would direct your attention to the transcript of Podcast number 518, specifically those portions indicating a distinct lack of support for the idea from “Patrick and Brigid and the cousins and the Aunts”. I would ask, Does that list include “Uncles”? It does not.
I would also direct you to Rudy himself who could corroborate this fact as well. Perhaps even my children Caroline or Christopher, two of the “cousins” would also be able to corroborate.
One also may ask why this evidence of my support was not elicited at trial. I have never spoken to Rudy about this, but I wish he had called me as a witness as I believe it would have helped his case. I don’t know why he made that decision; however, my guess is that he wanted to protect me from the collateral damage of the internecine Greek tragedy litigation between him and his children. That’s the kind of person he is.
In addition to my automatic support of Rudy’s Place I also genuinely endorse it as a legitimate, worthwhile idea, one that merits further study. You’ve asked for ideas on how this idea can work and my suggestion is this: Rudy himself. Allow me to explain.
In a short period of time you, Judge Hodgman, did a remarkable job of understanding Rudy and realizing that he is a unique and interesting person. You wisely remarked to Patrick that “you have an interesting Dad.” Truer words were never spoken. And I know that Patrick and Brigid agree with you and feel lucky to have him for a father (at least most of the time). I know I feel lucky to have him as a friend. I have spent hundreds, nay thousands, of hours with him over the years. He is unique. He is thoughtful and funny. He is super smart. He’s a wonderful husband and father. He is a loyal friend. And, most importantly for the purposes of this discussion, is really interesting to talk to. When you’ve had a conversation with Rudy, you know it.
It’s not your run of the mill stuff. You experienced just a sliver of it on your podcast with his takes on technology and boats and sharks and the Minnesota Vikings. There is so much more. He is an expert kayaker, an accomplished poker player, an attorney, an expert on energy policy. He is getting his PhD in philosophy. He is extremely well read. He has excellent trivia knowledge. He is a Jeopardy champion. He is a published author. He drinks Absinthe (yes, Absinthe). He can source the lyrics to the 70’s dance classic Disco Inferno to an obscure English philosopher. I could go on and on and on. You can have an interesting discussion with him about virtually anything. And that’s the idea:
A virtual chat room where Rudy appears on a semi regular basis. Engage in fascinating conversations with him about any subject. He is bound to have an interesting take. Spark further conversations among the entire group of Rudy’s Place visitors. Buy each other drinks. Come away from it with a unique perspective or knowledge of something new.
Rudy’s Place. For those who have grown weary of talking about the weather.
Now you may ask, is this guaranteed to be a billion dollar idea? Of course not.
But is it an idea worth further study. I say yes. How am I qualified to pitch this. I am not. I’m not a Luddite but I am certainly not any sort of technology expert nor am I up to date on all the lingo. I know what trolling is but I don’t know what lulz is. But I submit this for consideration. Why was Edison successful and Tesla not? Why VCR and not Beta. Why Facebook and not My Space. Why Instagram and not Snapchat. Is Rudy’s Place derivative as pointed out on Podcast number 518? Perhaps. Is that the proper question to ask? Perhaps not.
Patrick and Brigid are fantastic as are my kids Caroline and Chris, as well as Molly and Eilish and Paul and Ryan and Mariah and Andrew and all the cousins. They are smart. I love them all. They are great people. I trust their opinions. They are undoubtedly more qualified to pass judgment on this idea than me. I’ve spent a lot of time with these young adults and when I look at them, I feel great about the future of our society. And I do not seek to cancel Patrick and Brigid’s take on Rudy’s Place. Those feelings are completely valid. I would go so far as to say that if I were them, I would probably feel exactly the same way as they do now. I simply offer my thoughts from a different perspective.
Why did Rudy repeatedly urge his children to invent this App? Was he trolling them? Did he, either consciously or unconsciously derive some sort of perverse pleasure from it? I have to say, that’s not the Rudy I know. The Rudy I know has a pure heart.
But he admitted it with his own words, you might say. Yes. But I don’t believe it to be true. What I believe is that immediately upon hearing that there was even a possibility that he was trolling his own children, an idea so abhorrent, especially to Rudy, he immediately accepted fault so as not to cause them any further pain. Instead of looking deeper into his motives, he fell on his sword to spare his children and to allow for the healing to begin. That’s Rudy.
You see, I have a different interpretation. Like Rudy, I am a father. And isn’t it a father’s job to not only care for and protect his children, but also to give guidance, to inspire, to urge his children to reach for the stars, get out of their comfort zone and strive for greatness?
Is the App bound to be successful? Of course not. Is there value in creating it and seeing what happens? I believe so.
So, the next time we’re all sitting on the beach and Rudy raises his eyebrow, I for one will not be thinking that he’s looking for some sort of trolling dopamine hit. I believe he is really saying to his children and indeed, to us all, “Be the best you can be” or perhaps best put another way “I love you”.
Thank you for your consideration.
Rudy’s Place Supporter
LETTER FROM KATHLEEN:
Dear Judge Hodgman,
I have been advised that you are currently considering the case of Rudy vs. Mary and that the conduct at issue involves the introduction of glitter into the household shared by both parties.
I must first disclose that I am related to Mary as a cousin-not only on one side of the family but on both sides. Fear not!! There is nothing illegal involved in that relationship but I will leave it to the parties to explain it to you. I also believe my husband Mark has been a witness on behalf of Rudy (his co-author-and that’s another story) in the other litigation before you. I think we both feel like we know Mary and Rudy well enough to understand that their relationship is generally quite good -despite their litigious natures -and that we can be fair and helpful witnesses.
My position is that I think Rudy places an unrealistic and insurmountable burden on Mary when he expects her to prevent glitter from entering their home. Even if Mary wanted to prevent it, it would simply be impossible. Glitter is everywhere. It’s on packages, cards, ribbons, hair jewelry, shoes, clothes, and in body washes, soaps, lotions, lipstick, nail polish and makeup. Does Rudy expect Mary to inspect and police every article, gift, item that enters their home? Does he expect her to set up some kind of inspection apparatus? If so, who will monitor it? Does he wants her to hire a TSA-like procedure to insure that not one single speck of glitter finds its way into their home? We all know that the house has been invaded by squirrels on occasion and that Rudy has been unable to keep them out (think Bill Murray and gophers in Caddyshack)? Certainly they are larger and, one would think, easier to block, than glitter but apparently Rudy has not been successful despite his best efforts. So how does he expect Mary to prevent a speck of glitter from entering the house? I think it’s simply unrealistic.
By the way, Mary is a very loving generous person who often gives thoughtful gifts and cards to people for celebrations and in times of sorrow. So many people have-and will continue to-reciprocate her generosity and love…and sometimes with glitter laden gifts. Also-Brigid, their wonderful daughter loved sparkly things as a child and teenager. Some of the glitter may have been present for years. I am curious to know why Rudy is just discovering it now. Pandemic?
And-glitter can be fun. It conveys celebration, joy, happiness, light-heartedness, color, and imagination.
In fact, I noticed a parked car yesterday that had a pink glitter steering wheel cover and thought that it would be a perfect gift for Mary!!!!!
If I may, I would also like to comment on some of the other things raised in the ongoing litigation between these parties so you can rest assured that I am trying to be fair.
1. I thought Rudy’s app idea had merit.
2. I think his proposed Austen spin-off Mr. Bingley novel does not (and Mary is correct about the weariness factor)
3. In general, I feel that we do listen to Rudy when he advises us that we may be risking some environmental hazards. For example, based on his advice, Brigid and my daughter Caroline were relegated to sleep in a hot attic for 2 weeks after we had a new carpet installed in Caroline’s room right before Brigid came for a visit to attend summer theater camp here in Buffalo. Rudy advised us that the carpet would give off toxic fumes so we hauled some fans up to the 3rd floor. The girls survived it. I also made sure to buy non-toxic nail polish for them upon his advice.
4. I am not sure this was in the actual complaint but I agree with Rudy- I am not a fan of mayo.
We all have to make sacrifices for those we love. I think-especially given all the other challenges that Mary has boldly and courageously faced as a Bronx-born woman living in nature-that Rudy can live with a bit of glitter. Who knows? It may even make him more Tigger-like!
LETTER FROM ANGELA:
Having been to Mary’s treehouse in the woods, I can attest to squirrels, the occasional critter and insect. Maybe a bird or 2. In the hand, in the bush and maybe on a wire….not glitter laden. I can attest without any doubt…though, I have a suspicion she may have an inner Liberace trying to get out. There is no glitter in that house! The lack of mayo or any other squishy condiment is just, with all due respect, Rudy, insane. Bring back the condiments and stop the insanity!
Angela “the sauce” LAST NAME REDACTED
LETTER FROM JUDITH:
I understand that when my friends and neighbors, Rudy and Mary will be on your show soon debating the merits of glitter. I think you should know that environmentalists like me advise against using glitter because it is made from plastic. In fact it’s a microplastic. It does not (yet) have the status of no plastic straws due to them being lodged in the nostrils of sea turtles, but in time it will get there. Put me in the camp of no glitter, no straws and no fun.
President, Beyond Plastics. Really. See beyondplastics.org
LINKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Maximum Fun’s I, Podius with John Hodgman, Elliott Kalan, and Jordan Kauwling
- Elizabeth Glibert’s Pilgrims and Stern Men
- Jean on Instagram! Follow her @jeanniegrigio
- Blue Man Group
- Adam Savage at tested.com
Thank you to Tony Montabon for naming this week’s case! To suggest a title for a future episode, follow Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put out a call for submissions there.
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