Wednesday, October 8, 2014

BB Wolff: Little Red Closing Arguments (video and transcript)



This was the best footage from a program I tried on May 14, 2014. I was the featured teller at the monthly gathering of the South Sound Story Guild.

I was working on a new program called "Who Am I?" I began with some words about identity and how the answer to "who am I?" is always a different story. I then told the standard Red Riding Hood story, a version from the grandmother's perspective, followed by this piece. I ended with a favorite of mine, The Golden Paintbrush. Though I tried recording the entire program, this ended up being the only complete story without any technical issues.

I really enjoy this type of premise: where there could actually be some reasonable explanation for why a "bad guy" acts the way he does. I was also encouraged and inspired by my friend Ingrid Nixon who tells an outstanding version of Hansel and Gretel from the perspective of the (now dead) witch.

As far as this performance went, I'd started writing just the beginning to remind myself of some of the legal jargon in the premise. The majority of the story I made up on the spot. I can see that clearly, now. It's really a wonderful story, though, and will clean up nicely. Look for another attempt in August 2015 as I'm thinking I'll tell this story at Stories in the Park in Olympia this year.

BB Wolff: Little Red Closing Arguments (transcript)
So our last version of the story is actually going to be the closing statement of Mr. B.B. Wolff's lawyer at the trial. Criminal trespassing was the charge, and attempted murder. Very serious charges.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I would now like to present to you Mr. B.B. Wolff's version of this story. Because though the prosecutor seems to have made a fairly certain case before you and I can see that you have been moved by his great words, I need to point out some facts-- Lay out some facts before you to let you know that-- to help you realize that much of the prosecutor's case was circumstantial in nature. Much of his evidence was circumstantial.

So I'd like to start first, with my client's name, B.B. Wolff. B.B. does, indeed, stand for Big Bad, and that, my friends, that my friends, was his mother's doing. His mother thought that any good, nay, any wolf would be proud to be called Big Bad.

Big Bad. Well, let me tell you that was no, NO, picnic for Mr. B.B. Wolff. Mr. Wolff had troubles all through school trying to live up to that name. Every, every wolf came up to him and said,

"Mister Big Bad, huh? You wanna fight? Let's see how big and bad you are. Come on!"

Well, Mr. Big Bad Wolff had some troubles. He was always getting into trouble, always getting into fights trying to defend himself against all the people that wanted to fight him and show off how cool they were. How strong and how big and bad they were. Well, it wasn't his fault. The problems. So that's the beginning.

Eventually, Mr. B.B. Wolff actually took over the forest around this neighborhood. And kind of took it over as his own. He thought,

"You know, these big bad wolves have been bothering me... these other wolves have been bothering me so much, that I'm going to get rid of them all. and I'm going to protect the people and creatures in this forest as if they were my own brothers and family. And sisters. Family. That's my family."

Including the people and the villagers.

So! On this day, on THIS day, Mr B.B. Wolff indeed did stop Little Red Riding Hood, and she actually could understand Wolf. But I would like to point out, that, Mr. B.B. Wolff did not speak and does not speak very good English at all. So what most people hear is (growling), a series of growls.

So Miss Riding Hood's version was correct. Mr. Wolff did come and say,

"Where are you going?"

and... he did indeed follow her. But that was because he had heard there was another of his big bad wolves had come back into the neighborhood and he wanted to make sure that she was there safe-- got all-- made it all the way to grandmother's house safely.

So... the next step he did was follow the entire trail to grandmother's house. He went quickly and he looked and he scoured and he sniffed and he smelled everywhere and... he indeed did find the other wolf hiding in one of the corners of the forest. He chased that wolf off, then went to grandmother's to make sure that everything was well.

Well, again, B.B. knocked on the door, and tried his best to speak English, but it came out mostly in Wolf (growling), and poor grandmother probably was indeed scared, as I believe she, unlike her granddaughter, did not learn Wolf in school. Well, it is a different generation.

So Mr. Wolff, then thought to himself,

"Well, I would like to make sure that grandmother, when she does come around-- maybe when Little Red Riding Hood gets here, she could clear up the story."

So he said, "Maybe I'll just take a nap."

Well, Miss Riding Hood's grandmother had been doing laundry that day. And so, when he lay down on her bed, and was awakened by Little Red knocking on the door, he was, a little nervous and, you know, distracted. He was in the wrong place for a big bad wolf, and he wanted to make his best presentation, but he was distracted, and did not realize that he had rolled around in the laundry and had, what appeared to be, put on some of grandmother's pajamas. Now, this was not the case. The wolf was not specifically putting them on, they just happened to cling to his fur after he had awakened from a nap.

So, finally, finally, I would like to point out that, as soon as the woodcutter came, the big bad wolf had to put-- being the almost ruler of the forest, had seen the woodcutter many times and knew that all was well, that the moth-- the grandmother and the daughter-- the granddaughter were safe and so he made his exit.

He said goodbye, in Wolf, (growling), and off he went out to the forest to try and find some food.

I'd like to also point out that the woodcutter, who has not made it to court yet,but we believe that the woodcutter does understand and believe this version of the story. And it is my understanding that the wolf and woodcutter are in fact good friends at this point in time.

Thank you, and please... please find Mr. B.B. Wolff innocent.

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