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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: The Complaintiff
By Ann Renae Hair


“Your honor, I have come to file a complaint,” the plaintiff announced boldly as she smoothed her skirt and clasped her hands.

“So you have. Where is the defendant?”

“Well, she wasn’t invited, sir. I mean to have you solve this problem for me, um…without her.”

“That hardly seems fair.” The judge raised his brows and leaned forward on his bench.

“Sir, if you don’t mind? I can explain.”

“Very well; proceed.” He rubbed his beard and sat back to listen.

“Okay, your honor. You see; it’s my mother-in-law,” the plaintiff stated with a deep sigh.

“What is your offense against her?” His eyes sparkled and the corner of his mouth twitched slightly.

“Well, she’s really getting on my nerves. She shows up early when she comes over to babysit our son-“

“She comes to your house to baby-sit?”

“Yes, sir, that’s correct.”

The judge jotted a few notes. “Continue.”

“Yes, as I was saying, she always folds my laundry differently than I do. And when she takes our son outside, she insists he always wear a hat. And when she washes the dishes, she puts them away in the wrong places. And when she vacuums, she moves stuff around and doesn’t put it back where it belongs. And when she makes supper, she uses too much salt. Oh, that’s just the beginning. I just don’t know how much more I can take.”

“Yes, I see what you mean.”

Again, the judge wrote on his note pad before asking, “What do you desire to change?”

“Well, sir, I’m considering firing her and hiring a different sitter, but I know she’ll put up a fight. So, I need your support.”

“Let’s just be sure we’re on the same page here. She comes early, does your laundry, cleans your house and fixes your supper, and you don’t like it,” asked the judge, reading from his notes. He looked at her over the top of his glasses, suppressing the smile that was tugging at his lips.

“You make it sound different than it really is.”

Patiently he asked, “What do you expect to solve by firing her? Have you considered the cost?”

“No, sir, I’m just upset about her not respecting me and the way I do things.”

“What would you do with your son when you go to work?”

She took a deep breath. Now we’re getting somewhere. “Well, there’s a daycare between my home and work. I could look into that.”

“When would you do your dishes and vacuum?”

“Maybe my husband would help,” she responded hopefully. I’m sure he’d be happy to.

“Will it work for you to eat supper later, since it won’t be ready when you get home?”

“I could just pick up something on the way home. It’s only two days a week.” That would work.

“Two days a week your mother-in-law comes early so you can get ready for work while she plays with your son. She does your laundry and cleaning while you’re gone and has supper ready when you get home. How much does she charge you for her service?”

“Charge? Oh, she doesn’t charge me anything. She says it’s pure joy for her --- um, Sir, I’m suddenly feeling very uncomfortable with my case. May we take a short break, while I think this through?”

“Excellent idea.”


Dear Lord, thank you for hearing me today. I’m so glad I can come before you with every ‘trouble’ and you will help me see the truth. Forgive me, Lord, for my selfish ways. Thank you for my wonderful mother-in-law. I’m so grateful for your provision through her. Thank you for guiding me in your way before my thoughts came out in my actions. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere!* Amen.

*Psalm 84:10 NIV

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This article has been read 675 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart02/21/08
Oh, how ungrateful MC was! A great reminder that we are not always thankful as we should be.
Beth LaBuff 02/22/08
Yes, yes... someone needed a short break to reconsider. The judge was a wise man and I smiled at your mention of his eyes twinkle and his mouth twitch while your MC was talking to him. Your title is very clever. I like your light-hearted approach to the topic. Very good work on this!
Joanne Sher 02/23/08
Absolutely clever and fun and DELIGHTFUL. I just love this. Gave me a chuckle, and a look at my own selfishness.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08

When I saw your title, I was all ready to "red ink" you, but now I realize that it was a clever, clever pun, and I LOVE it!
Seema Bagai 02/25/08
Funny story. You have a great sense of humor.
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
You have such a sweet way of making a very good point. Well done my friend.
Debbie Wistrom02/26/08
YEAH!!! LOVED this and the judge, how simple if we can step outside and take another look. I feel that we have a placer here!
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC!!!! Marvelous piece!
Sara Harricharan 02/28/08
Glad I didn't miss this one! Ouch. I liked the prayer at the end, and I'm glad that she was able to 'think it over' and not do something she'd regret later. Nice job and Congrats with your EC. ^_^
Sheri Gordon02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is very clever, and probably hits home for way too many people. Great illustration of the topic.
Catrina Bradley 02/28/08
Oh, Ann, this is SO good! I was wondering who the "judge" was in this story. Congratulations on your EC!!!!