Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Little Bit Of Everything

Geez. How's this for the first sentence is an article that was in yesterday's SF Chronicle: "Hans Reiser's father testified at his son's murder trial Wednesday that he warned his son that the Russian mafia or people associated with sadomasochism might follow the computer programmer if he upset anyone over his relationship with his estranged wife." Holy crap, there's enough right there to save the entire TV season if there's ever another writer's strike.

Here's the scoop: Hans Reiser is on trial for killing his estranged wife, Nina. Ol' Hans there is a little odd and, judging from the above example, I'd have to say the apple doesn't fall far from the ol' tree. BUT, "the defense has maintained that while Hans Reiser may come across as strange and socially inept, that doesn't mean that he killed his estranged wife, Nina." That's correct. It's doesn't necessarily mean that. But it is likely. I'm just sayin'.

The defense (Hans) has suggested that Nina is alive but, see, she's hiding in Russia because her family has had ties to the former KGB. (Now, isn't the KGB IN Russia? But she went there to hide? Well, isn't she just a tricky little wench.) They appear to have nothing to back that up and would appreciate it if everyone would just take their word for it.

But let's talk about the Dad for a second , since he was testifying. The Dad is a Vietnam Vet, a mathematician and capable of doing several one-armed push-ups in the courtroom when the jury wasn't there. As he did. Hmmm. Dad testified that he had warned his son that "if he antagonized anyone over his relationship with his wife (I really have NO idea what that means), he might be surveilled by people associated with the (pay attention here, it gets good) former KGB, "Russian mafia groups in California" - or, more likely, "the techno-geek S&M crowd."

OK, there are a lot of things going on in Silicon Valley. A "techno-geek S&M crowd" is not of them. And it certainly isn't the "most likely" explanation. For ANYTHING. And I was not the only one (for once) who thought this was a strange answer. That was demonstrated by the attorney's response.


(See, not only was the attorney thinking along the same lines as I was, he almost phrased it the same way I did. Only he left off the T and the F.) But that just made the guy think that he wasn't clear or that the attorney hadn't heard him, so he kept trying to explain. (This just goes to show why the T and the F are important. With those included, they know you heard 'em.)

He tried to continue with, "Those who are highly sophisticated in technology who are into S&M, part of Nina's...." And that's where he was mercifully cut off by someone yelling, "Objection!" I don't even think the judge cared who objected at that point, even if it was the bailiff. ("Sustained!") So, he then apologized for his meandering responses, saying he had been hit by a bus 10 years ago. (The T and the F! Someone get the T and the F!)

The prosecution is saying that Hans used his Mom's car to move his wife's body and had removed the front passenger seat. The defense is saying that Hans was sleeping in the car and threw the seat away to make it more comfortable. Uh-huh. Would you care to back that up some how? Oh, of course you would.

The defense attorney asked the Dad if he had ever driven a car without a seat and of course he had. Many times. In a variety of different vehicles. Shocker. "We do it in our family routinely," he said. "We don't repair old cars. We drive it until they fall apart. We do not put new seats in it." He described the many cars he has had and driven - including a 1956 Volkswagen Beetle and a Rambler - with seats that were missing or broken. Good Lord.

Don't worry! The trial isn't over yet! There's more to come from the computer programming, sadomasochistic Russian mafia. Or something like that. Stay tuned, won't ye?

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