Customer Saves Waitress From Getting Evicted with 7,000 Percent Tip

Customer Saves Waitress From Getting Evicted with 7,000 Percent Tip

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A restaurant regular had been looking for the right moment to pay a good deed forward

The customer left a $3,000 tip on his bill of $43.50.

A New York City resident saved a struggling waitress from eviction with a $3,000 tip for his bill of $43.50 — all because of a lovely pay-it-forward campaign started by the man’s eighth grade science teacher.

Mike, who asked to remain otherwise anonymous, described his generous impulse to ABC News.

“This woman had been serving us for almost a year now. She’s a lovely individual, and she talked about how she was served an eviction notice last month. I just had also been constantly thinking about for quite some time my teacher’s project and this foundation, and I thought it was an appropriate time.”

The foundation, ReesSpecht Life, was founded by Rich Specht after the death of his 22-month-old son.

The pay-it-forward organization is named after the boy, Richard Edwin-Ehmer Specht, who was nicknamed Rees.

Specht and his wife continue to encourage others to do good deeds for others. On the back of the receipt, the restaurant patron wrote,

“My teacher in middle school had such a difficult experience a few years ago, which sparked me [sic] to do this.

My only requirements are:

  1. Go to Reespecht.com and learn!
  2. Don’t let ‘pay it forward’ end with you.
  3. Since it is about the idea and not about you or me, if you decide to share this, please don’t use either of our names.

Thank you for being around for all of my shows off and on Broadway. I hope that one day someone gives as much love and happiness into the world as you do.”

Behold, the power of kindness combined with the spirit of a little angel <3 pic.twitter.com/iHhew8GQTk

— ReesSpecht Life (@ReesSpechtLife) April 24, 2015

99 Proven Ways: How to Make Money Online in Canada (2021)

Unhappy with your current job? Working online might be the solution for you.

In 2019 I quit the 9-5 grind to work while travelling the world. The freedom to work from anywhere has dramatically improved my life.

I&rsquove done extensive research on different career paths and how to find remote work.

Whether you want to earn $50 a month, or $100,000+ a year, this list can show you how to do it.

Here are 99 different ideas on how to make money online in Canada.

43% of employees in Canada say their company offers the option to work remotely at least part-time

Table Of Contents

Customer Saves Waitress From Getting Evicted with 7,000 Percent Tip - Recipes

Published: 08:03 BST, 29 April 2021 | Updated: 17:12 BST, 29 April 2021

The FTSE 100 index closed down 0.03 per cent or 2.19 points to 6,961.48.

NatWest Group saw its first-quarter profits jump 82 per cent to £946million as it joined rivals Lloyds and HSBC in cutting reserves for debts that may turn sour due to the pandemic.

Oil giant Shell followed BP in revealing an impressive start to the year as it recorded a massive growth in earnings from the previous quarter and shaved $4billion in debt on the back of a recovery in oil prices.

Tech behemoth Apple last night reported it made a record $90billion in revenues last quarter as demand for iPhones and iPads soared with consumers spending more time working from home. Profits also more than doubled to $23.6billion from the same period in 2020.

NatWest Group saw its first-quarter profits jump 82 per cent to £946million

  • Jane Denton

Betting firm Flutter Entertainment saw its revenues climb by about a third at the start of the year following sizeable gains in customers during the Cheltenham Festival.

They grew by 32 per cent on a year-on-year basis to just under £1.5billion from January to March, including by 16 per cent in the British Isles despite the enforced closure of betting shops obliterating its earnings from them.

Executives from the 'Big Six' English clubs who tried to break away and form the European Super League have resigned from their positions on Premier League committees.

Although the project spectacularly unravelled last week following a ferocious backlash from the wider football world, bonds of trust between the rebels and the other 14 top-flight clubs have been broken.

Just before close, the FTSE 100 was virtually flat at 6,964.02.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was down 0.23% to 22,387.27.

President Joe Biden's $6 trillion spending spree plan could risk overheating a US economy that is already rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic and send inflation spiraling out of control.

Biden has announced three major tax and spending proposals to boost the economy, including the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to give COVID-19 aid that already passed the Senate vote.

Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, comments on McDonald's first-quarter results:

McDonald&rsquos results for the first quarter were, in a word, boring. That&rsquos not a bad thing though. With the pandemic still weighing on several parts of the world, meeting expectations in the restaurant business is more than enough to keep investors happy.

The US was the standout performer for the group with comparable sales up 13.6%. Some of that growth can be attributed to Covid-related weakness in the 2020 numbers, but the division managed to do more with less as customer numbers remained depressed. That&rsquos thanks to growth in the firm&rsquos digital presence and delivery options, which contributed to the sales increase and more expensive orders.

In Europe, where drive thru&rsquos are less common, indoor dining restrictions took a bite out of sales. That weakness will likely persist on-and-off as the continent continues to battle the pandemic.

From the look of things, MCD looks to be past the worst of the pandemic and it&rsquos push to expand delivery and digital offerings should stand it in good stead well into the future. We don&rsquot see our obsession with having everything a click away changing anytime soon and McDonald&rsquos is poised to continue building on that trend.

Countries that tried to keep out Covid completely rather than controlling it survived the pandemic with fewer deaths, more money and more freedom, economists say.

In an article published in The Lancet medical journal, Oxford University researchers said countries with 'zero Covid' policies did best by their citizens.

Our 50 student money empowering tips include:

  • ​Get free money for studying
  • Get the best student bank account that doesn’t sting you
  • Make sure your student loans/allowances are set up correctly
  • Get free stuff from big companies
  • Evaluate whether you need insurance
  • Register for Student Job Search for one-off opportunities that suit your study timetable
  • Look for part-time work within your university as it pays higher
  • Book travel home in advance at the best price
  • Save 40%-60% on weekly groceries

Get free money for studying

Scholarships are commonly misunderstood. They’re not just for the smartest students in the class, but for a range of talents, academic results, ethnic backgrounds, home city and community involvement. Our Scholarship guide outlines everything that’s available to Year 13 students. If you’re in your final year of secondary school, take time working through this page as it covers every university in New Zealand. We update the scholarship guide regularly, and it is surprising what’s available.

Even if you’re not the best student, don’t be intimidated to apply - it's a fact that many niche scholarships go un-awarded every year due to lack of applicants. Our guide covers everything you need to know to give your best chance of scholarships success.

​Already at university?
If you’re already studying at university, look at the website of your department or faculty on your uni's website. There is a high probability that academic scholarships will be on offer. If you don't see any, email the administration of the office to check, and email the careers office too as they will be aware of anything available. Just mention your major and current classes and they can advise accordingly.

Scholarships very much follow the principle of 'if you don't ask, you don't get'. So ask.

Get the best student bank account that doesn’t sting you

Banks love enticing students to sign up with their student accounts offering 0% overdrafts, hoping to keep them as customers for years to come. Be wary many student bank accounts have hidden fees in the fine print. Our student bank account guide outlines the best student bank accounts on offer.

To make life easier, applying for the largest interest-free overdraft is a popular choice. It’s (effectively) free money and always good to have available should you need it. First-year students get up to $1,000, and after that, it’s around $2,000.

One golden rule – NEVER exceed your approved overdraft limit. You’ll be charged high fees, interest and penalties, and they may trap you in a debt cycle. Be smart and tell your bank that under no circumstances do you want an “un-arranged” overdraft. Get this in writing – it’s better to be declined at the pub than get a nasty surprise.
​ ​

Conserve your money - don’t hit the shops like you just got paid

Keep an eye out for student discounts, or ask

Many local eateries and shops around universities offer student discounts. Look for advertising outside the shop or in the window if you don’t see it, ask if they do it. Even a 10% discount on $10 soon adds up.

End of Day Discounts

Brew your own coffee

The markup on coffee beans to a cup is about 1000% - save hundreds of dollars a year by brewing your own and using a reusable travel coffee mug. It’s better for your bank balance and environmentally friendly.

Claire, a MoneyHub reader, explains it best:
"I can't believe how much I spent on coffee in my first year. With every purchase around $4 (or $7 if I included a cake), I worked out I spent over $1,000 which was insane. I started to make my own and have never looked back. Coffees out are only a social thing now".

Don't buy new textbooks – buy or borrow them secondhand

Every semester, your course will advise what textbooks you need. Some of them are free, but most are serious budget-busters - an eye-watering $70 to $100+ per book can be the norm. There is no reason to be sentimental about books buy them secondhand to save money outright. University bookshops stock second-hand books, as do private sellers listed on noticeboards around campuses. You may also want to ask the seller if they have their notes as well. TradeMe and local campus Facebook groups are good hunting grounds for books.

Max, a MoneyHub reader, shares his experience:
​“For some (misguided) reason I felt sentimental about my textbooks, refusing the sell them at the end of the year. When I graduated, I had a lot of useless books and no way to sell them most of the classes I took had progressed over the four years I was at uni and now used new books. That probably cost me $2,000 and I had to dump the books. Not a great moment.”

Consider asking your parents to help you

Bag Microsoft Office 365 for free, as well as 1TB of storage space

Get Dropbox for FREE

Dropbox is a very easy way to share files and backup everything on your computer. Rather than pay for cloud storage, you can sign up for Dropbox and get 2 GB free. Promotions have previously been offered by Microsoft for 100 GB of FREE storage space using their onedrive platform. Search on Google to see if any promotions are available when you need such a cloud-based service.

Sign up for university clubs

Distinguish your “wants” from your “needs”

Know the pros and cons of renting from an agent or directly through a landlord

Whatever you decide, there are pros and cons of each, described in detail below. It's important to be organised to save time and money - having the deposit ready in advance means you won't need to scramble at the last minute.

  • Professional contact, available during working hours
  • The agent will have approved contractors to fix issues quickly
  • The agent is reputation-focused, meaning they want to keep you, their customer, happy
  • The agent may run a credit check - make sure your credit history is accurate by following our credit report guide
  • Can be more expensive than a private rental, given the agent charges a fee to the landlord
  • Can be cheaper than an agent
  • Direct line of contact if and when you need something fixed
  • Sole responsibility is with the owner - if they are away or cannot be contacted, you are on your own unless there is a backup point of contact
  • Risk of unprofessional behaviour, instances of 'if you don't like it, move out' occur.
  • Recent bank statements
  • Your education enrollment documents
  • A reference from an employer if available

Be a Rental Rights Guru

Pick the cheapest power provider - many offer sign-on bonuses

​If you’re living in a flat, you’ll have to pay for your power which can cause some dramas when the bill comes. Your electricity isn’t connected to your landlord, so you’re free to choose whoever is cheapest. Flick Electric is one company offering wholesale pricing for electricity - this can save a lot of money in the summer months and, providing there are no electricity shortages, offer value for money during winter.

Power costs vary according to which energy retailer you use – use Consumer Powerswitch to compare what’s best for your flat. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has lots of useful tips on how to keep your heating costs down.

Try to avoid lending money to friends/flatmates

This isn't about being a Scrooge it's about being sensible with your money and saving friendships from tension. When it comes to loaning your friends money, many people would recommend you just don’t do it. No matter how small the loan is, it will probably annoy you to see it unpaid and/or unmentioned for some time. Lending money can also damage a friendship if the repayment drags out or they ask for more. It is usually better to say no, explaining your own financial needs, rather than say yes and run the risk of repeatedly being asked for more.

Sarah, a MoneyHub reader, shares her experience:
"I made the mistake of lending to a friend at university. It turned into a real pain – my friend wouldn’t acknowledge the loan for a while which annoyed me, then she suggested I come to the supermarket with her once there offered to pay for my groceries as a way to repay the loan. Not suitable for my timetable or own money needs. In the end, I got a bit boozed and told her I needed it now, and surprisingly I got it in full a couple of days. The situation wasn’t desirable for either party really, and it was the last time I lent anyone money".

If you’re flatting, set up a flat account

Do a proper budget

Consider a furnished flat it may work out cheaper

Look for a well-insulated flat

Having a warm house probably isn't a deal-breaker in Auckland, but it will be in Dunedin or Christchurch. With no home insulation rating standards and typically people looking at student flats in spring and summer, picking a warm house is not easy. But there is a way to make an informed choice. When you go flat hunting, ask the current tenants how much they spend a month on power (you might also notice the bill on their fridge, with is worth a quick glance). Ask them if it’s a warm flat and if it easy it is to heat.

And to save some more money and hassle, you may want to ask them what they’re doing with their furniture. Some flats graduate together and might not need the furniture so they would be looking to offload it all for a low price.

Use Less Power and Water

The further south you go in New Zealand, the more contentious heating will be. You will likely flat with people with different financial backgrounds and attitudes to heating.

  1. Turn off lights when you leave a room
  2. Use energy saving light bulbs – they last forever, so take them with you if you move flats
  3. Turn off your hot water cylinder if everyone goes away for term breaks – there’s no point heating a tank of water in an empty flat
  4. Electric blankets are cheaper to run than fan heaters because they use less megawatts per hour. Fan heaters never warm up a cold bed either, so if you’re going to heat something, consider an electric blanket.
  5. Turn TVs off, not to standby
  6. Defrost the fridge and freezer regularly – an inefficient fridge is expensive to run
  7. Get into the habit of charging your laptop and phone at university while you’re studying at the library or study areas – it also means you’ll be fully charged when you head home.

Visit Cheapies NZ

Consider getting the “Student Card” and/or a local University card

Evaluate whether you need contents insurance

  1. First of all, find out if your landlord has Landlord insurance – this will cover you if you accidentally damage the property (i.e. spill coffee on the carpet, set the kitchen on fire when cooking etc). If they do not, it may be worth getting a policy if you want to be 100% financially protected from any damage you cause.
  2. Insurers love to market 'student insurance', but don’t assume it’s cheaper than regular contents insurance which will cover you if your flat gets burgled and for any loss in your property. If you own items like an iPhone, tablet, laptop, Xbox, headphones, a bike, a musical instrument, clothes, jewellery and gym gear, you could easily have $5,000+ in assets. Make sure the policy you get covers everything you need to be insured for and that there are no nasty terms and conditions that catch you out.
  3. Remember, you can minimise the chances of theft by locking your doors. To make a claim contents insurance, there must be “theft following violent and forceful entry” or “fire, lightning or an explosion”. So if you have a flat party and some dodgy guest goes into your room and steals your laptop and iPad, you’re not covered.

NEVER leave a laptop or phone unattended

It may seem safe, the library may be quiet, but ultimately the risk is not worth it. Not for a coffee break, not for a bathroom break and not even to talk to a friend 20 metres away. Be paranoid laptop theft is rife and phones get poached regularly as well. Save money in the long run by always packing up your bag if you leave a location, or ask someone sitting beside you (who doesn’t look dodgy) to watch it. If you have contents insurance and you leave your property unattended, it won’t be covered if something happens.

Tim, a MoneyHub reader, shares his experience:
"​I was at the university library and went to the bathroom for less than two minutes. I would never usually leave my laptop unattended, but I felt safe as the place was buzzing and I recognised friends a few rows over. I got back and it was gone. Total panic followed by misery as I hadn’t synced my cloud and some key work was gone for good. The library told me thieves work the place in pairs and laptop theft is quite common. It was an expensive lesson".

Do you need a car at uni?

A car is expensive, and all our university cities have functional public transport. The costs are more than just petrol and warrant of fitness fees – and if it breaks down, you’ll need to have the money to fix it. While it may be useful for getting to and from part-time jobs, it may be more of a liability overall.

John, a MoneyHub reader, shares his experience:
"I was one of the few people at my hall of residence with a car. To be fair, I didn’t really need it. It was useful for supermarket runs, but I could have managed just fine with walking like everyone else did. It didn’t serve much of a purpose, but did make me popular! I wouldn’t recommend having a car at university in the first year or two, but everyone is different".

If you are determined to have a car, read our buying a second hand car guide.

Cut down on car insurance costs by comparing quotes

If you do own a car, it’s probably best to get car insurance – at least third party to cover any accidents you may cause. Insurance premiums for young people are high – see our guide to car insurance here which indicates the best insurance from a number of cars. Remember, don’t add a parent or older driver as the name of the main driver instead of you – this is fraudulent, and you may find any claim denied because of it.

Scrutinise your phone bill

Sell old mobiles and gadgets, don’t store them

Sell old clothes you don't wear, and consider buying 'pre-loved' clothes instead of new

You may have a wardrobe that doesn’t get a lot of your attention. Consider having a clear out. Trade Me is your friend in this case, but selling them doesn’t mean you need to buy new ones. Bank the cash in the meantime. Our Trade Me selling tips guide explains how to maximise the selling prices.

When it comes to buying used clothes, thoughts of musty second-hand shops could not be further from the truth. Trade Me is (again) a wonderland of cheap clothing and unique pieces.

Consider living at home if money is going to be an issue

Halls of residence offer a lot of study and social benefits, but they cost $10,000-$15,000 per year which is a big investment. Flatting does not work out to be too much less if you factor in 12-month rental contracts and the costs of running a flat.

If you live in the city you plan to study there, have a conversation with your parents – even paying board will be considerably cheaper than renting a flat or a hall as all your living costs are a fraction of what you’ll pay if you go it alone. ​

Free museums and art galleries

Every university city has an art gallery, museum and other attractions, but sadly very few students ever make a visit during their uni years. They make excellent entertainment and social outing destination, and you can even use them for a low-cost date. A lot of government money and private donations fund these attractions, and many like Te Papa (Wellington), Early Settlers (Dunedin) and the Auckland Art Gallery are world-class.

Don't throw away food unnecessarily

  1. Make a shopping list of items that you actually need - avoid buying things on impulse
  2. Set the temperature on the fridge and freezer to avoid food going off, and place food in dry areas inside (i.e. if your fridge condensates at the back, don't place fresh vegetables there).
  3. Understand that 'best before' does not mean 'don't eat it after this date' - many food items last a lot longer without being dangerous to eat or taste bad.
  4. Audit your freezer and pantry monthly - rearrange the items that are closest to expiry and use them up first.
  5. Learn to make a few basic recipes that can easily be altered depending on what you have at home. E.g. soup, pasta, pizza.

Student debt is different from other debt

You may have a sizeable student loan, but this doesn’t work the way other debt does. Student loans are interest-free and only repaid once you graduate and have an income. Other debt is very different. You may see your student loan and think about borrowing more as in the scheme of things it won’t make a difference, but non-student loan debt is very risky.

​The interest rates are likely to be high (15%+) and you will be hounded to repay them even if you can’t. Interest-free overdrafts offer the only non-student loan debt we recommend. We don’t believe you can avoid some form of debt in everyday life - doing so would be nearly impossible. We argue you should be wary of taking on bad debt. Personal loans, car finance and payday loans are all bad debt to a student.

Switch to unbranded products and pay less at the supermarket

Brands really don’t deliver value for money when it comes to groceries. Look for home brands and save big:
Countdown = Homebrand - loaves of bread, canned fruit and pasta packs start from $1.00
Pak'N'Save = Pams
New World = Pams, Pams Finest and Value

Comparing a few items, it’s evident you can save 40%+ by switching away from brands. On a $40 brand spend at your supermarket every week, you could save $16+ a week and over $750 a year.

Shop at Weekend farmers markets

Weekend farmers markets are a great social experience as well as being a great place for bargains and fresh food. Most university cities have local markets on a Saturday or Sunday, with good transport options available - Google your local farmers market for dates and times.

Chris, a MoneyHub reader, shares his experience:
​“When I was at Otago University, the weekly farmers market down by the railway station was brilliant. The amount of fresh vegetables and fruit you could get for $10 was unrivalled. It also wasn’t too much of a hassle if someone in the flat had a car, but the walk there and back is manageable from North Dunedin with a few items too."

Get on the net for less

Check out our Broadband comparison guide for the best deals. It’s likely you’ll need to sign a contract, so look for rolling month contracts or six months at the most as it beats paying a full 12 months when you’re unlikely to need it for that time.

You may find that connecting to your phone’s hotspot provides all the data you require for basic needs. For pros, cons and best buys, see the SIM-only mobile plan comparison guide.

Free internet is all around you - use it wisely

Put all your coins into a jar

Switch to a “Graduate Account” when you Graduate.

Flog old CDs, DVDs, Games and junk

Don’t get a store card

Store cards (such as Farmers, The Warehouse, GEM Visa, Q Card) have high interest and don’t undercut credit cards in most instances. If you’re a student, it’s safe to say a store card isn’t a priority – their high rates and fees can cause nightmares to students.

No matter what the sales pitch, be very wary of signing up for a store card.

Look for a part-time job that works to your schedule

If you need or want to get a job, look inside the university you're studying in. These may be less obvious opportunities but they can work well and pay well above the minimum wage - for example, the university library and students union venues. The benefits also include flexibility around exam time as well as a social workplace. The Student Job Search website is also an excellent place to register for opportunities.

Nick, a MoneyHub reader, shares his experience:
"In 2015 I was in Law School and my tutor told me my notes would be useful for the Disabilities Office who need them if someone is ill or away and can’t take their own notes. I was paid around $15 per class, which was great money back then (it still is!). I just sent them a sample of two lectures and I was their guy for Law101 and Law102. I didn’t have to do any extra work other than make the notes better, which helped me as well".

And Sam, a MoneyHub reader, shares his experience as an Orientation week workhorse:
"Orientation week ends up being an expensive entertainment blowout, so I thought it would be better to go to the gigs for free by working at them. I ended up working a lot of hours at our local student union, which placed me".

Of course, the more organised and early you are, the higher the chance of success you have for landing any student job.

The brassy, no-nonsense judge presides over small-claims cases in this courtroom reality series whose success led to a spate of judicial imitators.

Child Abuse by Mom's Boyfriend?! Bail Out Gone Wrong

A man files for a protective order and sues the mother of his son for legal fees after he notices bruises on the boy's body and a man accuses a good friend of reneging on a promise to pay him back for an alleged jail bailout.

Internet Obscenity Revenge?! Wild Car Crash Caught on Tape!

A man claims he was provoked by his landlord to retaliate online after she allegedly slandered a Nigerian immigrant. Also: A man speeds around a corner and slams into a utility pole causing it to topple he claims a stranger stole the car and wrecked it.

Worms Coming Up Through Drain?!

A young couple with a child saves $3000 for their first apartment but claim it was dreadful they are accused of smoking pot.

Wedding Ring Theft? Don't Kiss Your Sister's Boyfriend!

A teenager is accused of stealing his sister-in-law's wedding ring and pawning it and a woman is accused of bashing her sister's car with a rock.

Vicious Call to Ex-Lover's Boss?! Roommate Roulette

A man is suspended without pay after an ex-lover allegedly calls his boss he sues for defamation of character. Also: Cousins call it quits as roommates shortly after moving in together and fight over a security deposit, boyfriends and rent.

Felony Kickbacks?! Pomeranian Puppy Problem!

A woman claims she was fired from her job after a good friend accused her of asking for kickbacks from insurance referrals and a woman sues her ex-boyfriend for the return of a Pomeranian puppy, which he admits taking while she was in the shower.

When Miniature Pinschers Attack! If You Like Me. Take Down Your Dating Profile! Eviction Save!

A beloved pet suffers a chest laceration after allegedly being attacked by another dog while on a walk a woman is sued for an unpaid loan to fly to L.A. to aid her actress daughter and a woman spends thousands to save her neighbor from being evicted only to discover that she may not get paid back.

Last Will and Testament Surprise Silent Partner Rip-Off?!

A man who took in his sick sister is surprised when she leaves her entire estate to a cousin the cousin accuses him of theft. Also: A man admits he accepted $1800 from his good friend, but refuses to pay her back claiming their car-flipping venture went belly up.

Harlequin Great Dane Rescue?! Whatever You Do. Don't Answer the Phone!

A woman demands that her Great Dane be returned after a long absence and an allegedly unnecessary medical procedure and a woman makes a $5000 mistake when she answers a random call from a telemarketer.

Quick! Take This Homeless Baby?! Single Mother Mayhem!

All hell breaks loose when a woman asks her mother to take care of her homeless friend's child and young, single mothers move in together only to fight over who gets the master bedroom.

Heartthrob Concert Chaos!

A 9-year-old's birthday party ends in an alleged assault, bullying accusations and feuding mothers.

Drugs, Kids and Feuding Parents Childcare Drama Drug Arrests and Friendship Tests

CPS gets involved to remove children from a drug-involved household a father is sued for claiming his children as dependents. Also: a single mother gets a part-time job but allegedly neglects to pay for her children's daycare and after an arrest for selling drugs, a woman is bailed out by a friend who demands payback.

Teen Assaults Woman With Mace? When Old Cats Attack

The judge accuses a mother of covering for her mace-wielding teenager who sprayed a woman in the face at a hair salon and a woman sues her neighbor for vet bills after her cat allegedly takes a swipe at her dog causing injury

Don't Sell Dogs to Teenagers World's Worst Roommate?!

A woman admits she made a mistake when she sold a German Shephard to an 18-year-old thousands in vet bills are disputed. Also: When a man suffers a financial crisis, he spends his two roommates' money instead of paying the rent with it as promised.

Sardines and Dr. Pepper Vandal! Motorcycle T-Bone Crash!

After fighting over bad checks and missing money, an argument between ex-lovers escalates to "unique" car vandalism and an uninsured motorist is accused of turning into a cyclist at high speed causing the driver to flip over the car and onto her feet "like Spiderman."

Unwed Teen Parent Turmoil & CPS Visits

An 18-year-old sues the father of her child for return of her belongings and for filing allegedly false CPS reports.

Mermaid Mural and Assault in the Yogurt Shop?! Stylist Wars!

An artist claims a yogurt shop owner assaulted her and painted over a mural she spent over 200 hours on. Also: a salon owner sues a former stylist for unpaid booth rent and lock change fees the stylist claims she falsely advertised everything.

Got $42,000? Plane for Sale!

A landscaper is accused of trying to scam an airplane owner out of his plane he is sued for damages.

Family Business Money Triangle

A father and daughter team up on a step-mother to sue for an unpaid loan and for an allegedly false restraining order.

Childcare Payback! Expensive Phone – Throwaway Boyfriend?! Telephone Pole Crash!

A married couple is sued by a daycare provider for unpaid childcare fees for their two children a young woman sues her on-again, off-again boyfriend for a loan to buy a pricey phone and a woman sues her ex-roommate and his girlfriend for an insurance deductible and property damage after he crashed her car into a telephone pole.

Teen Joyriders Busted by Police Uninsured Boyfriend Destroys Car

A mother fights to keep her teenage son's police record clean so he can play sports and a woman sues her daughter for the cost of a hefty tow bill after her unlicensed boyfriend totals the vehicle she sold to her.

Home Profits Snafu! Can You Find the Scam?

A woman expects to see her money returned after making a down payment on a home in her cousin's name and an alleged government fraud after a bad check story about social security and a 17-year-old gambling problem.

You Can't Take the Fireplace With You Best Friend Split After Party Swipe

A woman wants her ex-fiancé to pay for a credit card bill and the fireplace they once used in their shared home and a man's best friend denies liability despite allegedly offering up his insurance info after his friend's car is sideswiped at a party.

Pekinese Chihuahua Mating Mess Camper vs. Computer

Neighbors disagree as to the terms of breeding and stud fees after their pets allegedly hook up and start a family and a man is being sued for computer claims as his ex-lover said if he paid for half of a camper, he would get the computer for free.

I Will Never Help Another Soul Again Load a Bowl of Cannabis Vendetta Oops! Lost My Checkbook

A woman is sued by a former friend for an unpaid loan and missing property two medicinal pot smokers point the finger at each other when their marijuana-growing venture falls apart and a man and his girlfriend drop the ball on paying her aunt back for a loan when he allegedly loses his checkbook.

Robbed by Lover While in Prison?!

An ex-convict claims that while he served time his girlfriend stole from his bank account she claims the money was spent on him.

Deliberate Finger Slam?! I'm Not Paying for a Dry Wig!

A man says his roommate broke the lock on his door four times she claims he assaulted her as she tried to climb in a window. Also: A stylist demands payment for the wig she created her client claims it was over processed and incomplete.

Husky Attacks Bijon Frise?! Sick Girlfriend Payback!

A dog sitter makes an ill-fated decision to visit a locale with an allegedly dangerous large dog a bruised spine and over $7000 in vet bills soon follow. Also: A divorced mother of three takes in her female lover only to sue her for rent after an illness sets her back financially.

You Get What You Paint For! Don't Fence Me In!

A woman gets a deal on a paint job then sues the contractor for an allegedly shoddy job, mental anguish and legal fees. Also: A 12-year feud between neighbors intensifies when a woman refuses to spend thousands to repair a shared fence's foundation.

Baby's Ashes Stolen?! Daughter's Bad Behavior Battle

A convict named "Famous" is the source of extreme animosity between his fiancé and the mother of his children. Also: A young woman comes between two roommates allegedly forcing one to move out the woman's mother admits her daughter was a handful.

Land Thief?! Blown Stop Sign Slam?! Fender Bender Battle!

Passionate about a land purchase, a man claims the seller profited from his labor then sold the property for a huge profit a teen claims a fellow driver slammed into him and an uninsured driver claims a race to a parking spot caused an accident.

Attack Victim Cradles Pit Bull Like a Baby?! Two Lemon Cars = Lemonade?

A man claims he was bleeding profusely after an alleged attack by a pit bull whose owner claims it would never hurt anyone. Also: A young woman's plan to combine two broke down cars into one working vehicle fails miserably.

Bullhorn Craziness Caught on Tape?! Sublet Sorrow

An elderly woman publicly berates her longtime rival throughout their neighborhood he sues her for harassment. Also: A woman sues a man for unpaid rent after he allegedly reneges on his agreement to let her out of the lease early.

Dogsitting Disaster! Surprise! We're Squatters?!

A woman claims her friend lost one of her dogs and that another pet died on her couch while she was away on vacation. Also: A woman and her roommate are surprised to find that their apartment is not owned by their landlord police escort them out.

Child Abuse Allegations and Assault?

Part 1 of 2. Custody exchange drama escalates when a woman confronts her estranged husband about scratches on their child.

Spiteful Grandpa? Timber! Healthy Tree Takedown!

A woman accuses her fiancé's father of suing her out of spite because he doesn't get to see his granddaughter as much as he'd like to. Also: The Judge reminds a property owner that he's lucky that his amateur handyman efforts didn't kill someone.

Street Cat Fight in Front of Children?! Young Waitress Dupes Older Man?

Conclusion. A mother of two allegedly suffers a broken nose at the hands of her sister-in-law during a heated fight.

Slashed Tires and Stolen iPhone? Moving Violation Bonanza!

A restraining order, slashed tires and alleged theft come into play when ex-friends call it quits. Also: A woman allegedly racks up 16 tickets on her friend's car and then has it impounded while she was renting it he sues for payback.

Biker Tackled by Raging Motorist

Part 1 of 2. A motorist is accused of tracking down a biker that annoyed him and tackling him into a moving car.

Groom Gets Cold Feet on Wedding Day! Landlord Game Changer

A man abandons his fiancée but suggests they go on their kayaking honeymoon anyway he is accused of stealing property when he doesn't get his way. Also: A landlord refuses to return a security deposit because her tenant was allegedly working out of his house he claims that was never a part of the deal.

Injured Cyclist Screaming Like a Lunatic?!

Conclusion. An alleged eyewitness to a violent road rage incident claims a cyclist was screaming obscenities at a motorist the Judge doesn't buy it.

Teen's Crash Cover-Up Story?! Baby Daddy Called Home from Callie!

A teenager is accused of drinking, driving and fleeing the scene of an accident he insists his car was stolen despite an eyewitness's damning testimony. Also: A young man claims the money given to him by the mother of his child was a gift to help him transition back to Nebraska.

Drunk Man Rages Against Neighbor?! Illegal Breeding?!

An altercation on St. Patrick's Day leads to a man allegedly spitting on a woman's car window Judge Judy tracks down his accomplices. Also: An animal control officer sues a woman for breaching their contract regarding the breeding of a standard poodle.

Make a Teenager Watch This Case! Shot in the Arm While Driving!

The Judge dispenses wise advice to a teen who is allegedly hanging out with pot-smoking, drinking friends he is sued for damages from an icy-road crash. Also: A man sues a motorist for crashing into his parked truck after he was shot the Judge takes issue with an insurance company's verdict.

When Friends Cut Friends?! Judge Judy's Big Emergency Account?!

While waiting to get a haircut, a man claims his good friend cut him with a new knife because he didn't like his jokes. Also: A college student claims she was a victim of a check cashing scam, but it's her mother who suffers a $4000 loss from her secret bank account.

Homeless Ex Assaults TV?! Massage Therapist Payback

During a heated argument, a man claims his ex-girlfriend broke his flat screen TV and stole $2,700 he suggests a substance abuse issue was the problem. Also: A woman sues her former boss for nonpayment of services rendered.

Car Sale Gets Personal! Father-to-Be Cheating on Mommy-to-Be?!

When a woman's vehicle is repossessed, she tells the car salesman's wife that he made inappropriate passes at her. Also: a man allegedly borrows money from one girlfriend while the other is pregnant.

Don't Trust Men You Meet in a Supermarket Flim Flam Car Sham Mom Bails on Bail

A woman's chance meeting turns into lawyer's fees, alleged harassment, and a man's jail time for suspected drug charges a woman sues her son's fiancée over the value of a car and a newly married homeowner finds himself stuck with his mother's bail bond for $5000.

Teenager Challenges Judge Judy! Stolen Service Dog?!

A teenager accused of keying an ex-friend's car shows no fear in the courtroom but is quickly taken down a notch when the judge responds. Also: A woman who suffers from seizures claims her father took her service dog he says she hasn't taken care of the dog in years.

It's All Very L.A.! Mother Daughter Hair Care Fiasco?!

The Judge admonishes a young woman for sizing up a mechanic based on how nice he is she sues him for allegedly substandard work, fraud and negligence. Also: A woman demands a refund for allegedly shoddy hair styling but admits she tipped the stylist $20 and allowed her to cut her daughter's hair.

Electric Scooter Pet Collision! Back and Forth Truck Fail!

While riding her scooter with a dog on either side, a woman claims the yapping of a neighbor's small shihpoo caused her to fall. Also: The sale and resale of an 18-year-old truck ends well for the salesman but not the new buyer.

Smoking, Squatting and Blaring Music?! Assault Rifle Rift?!

As a good deed, a woman takes in her nephew's homeless friend who turns out to be more than she bargained for. Also: Drug dealers are allegedly paid off with an assault rifle and handgun a father and son dispute the false pretenses under which the guns were exchanged.

Coming to America. to Sue My Daughter! Reckless Driver Wrecked Car?

An American living in Denmark sues her estranged daughter for the balance of a loan her daughter claims she was given to foster care as a child. Also: A woman takes away her daughter's car after a friend damages it on a camping trip.

Man Pays Ex-Lover to Move Out?! Wedding Venue Disaster!

After a break-up, a woman claims her ex-lover offered to pay all of her moving expenses from Texas to Minnesota. Also: A woman and her fiancée sue two women for damages resulting from the cancellation of their wedding venue.

Newlywed Yelps Against Caterer?! Bride Hates Her Wedding Photos!

A caterer says a bride tried to blackmail her by demanding money in exchange for not writing a terrible online review of her business. Also: A woman offers up several fuzzy wedding photo as proof that she shouldn't pay the wedding photographer.

Officer Byrd Settles Case! Dancing Beer Bottle to the Face!

Car values from Byrd's Blue Book seal the fate of a used car salesman who claims a buyer took advantage of him. Also: A woman sues a fellow partygoer for accidentally knocking out her tooth with a beer bottle while he was dancing.

Father Rescues Daughter From Predator Danger?!

When allegations of suspicious conduct arise, a man refuses to return his 2-year-old daughter to her mother's home.

Don't Miss Date Night!

When a man decides to hang out with friends instead of his live-in lover, their relationship comes to an abrupt end she accuses him of vandalizing her car.

Domestic Abuse or Working the System?!

A woman defends her actions after charges she filed against an ex-lover cause him to be removed from his own home.

Short Romance, Long Headache! Sparrow Breaks Lease? Amusement Park Pass Fraud?!

When a single father backs out of a family trip with his new girlfriend, she comes after him for payback. Also: A landlord claims a woman's pet sparrow was in clear violation of their lease agreement and a woman claims she was defrauded in an online purchase of four annual platinum passes to Disneyworld from an online seller.

Generous Aunt, Ungrateful Niece? Husky Attacks Yorkie?!

A married couple and their four children are accused of trashing a family member's house after an eight-year rental. Also: A Husky owner claims an unleashed Yorkie exhibited "aggressive ball possession behavior" which led to a brutal dogfight.

Give Me Back My Pomeranian! Engagement Ring at Stake! Boyfriend Embarrassment?

A woman sues her stepdaughter for the return of her Pomeranian puppy because she fears the animal is being abused. Also: A man demands that his ex-fiancée return the engagement ring he gave her and a young man says he was too embarrassed to ask his girlfriend for rent money, so he lied about needing money for a TV.

Here's $30K Go Furnish the House! Judge's Verdict on Prom Dress: Awful!

A man makes the mistake of adding his lover to the deed on his house she claims he threatened to kill her. Also: A teenager and her mother sue a seamstress for allegedly making a substandard prom dress.

Single Mother Breaks House Rules Father Steals From Incarcerated Son?!

A woman is accused of breaking into her mother's house she claims she lived there but wasn't allowed to have a key. Also: A man says his father stole his property while he was in jail and fraudulently put a lien on his car.

Commission Mission! Buddy Pass Fraud?!

When a warehouse worker asks to take a few days off, he claims his boss wrongfully terminated him. Also: A man travels the world with passes he bought from an ex-airline industry worker who sues him for allegedly stranding him in Phoenix.

Pants From Thailand for Sale! Take My Loan Out of the Tip Jar!

A woman sues her business partner for the value of her pants inventory her partner says she did all the work. Also: When a bar manager borrows money from a regular patron, she claims the payback agreement was to take money out of her tips.

Pick Axes and Sucker Punches?!

An Uber driver claims a mother/daughter duo took a pick axe to her car the daughter says she was sucker-punched by the driver.

Teen Breaks Off Ankle Monitor! Dangerous Dog Euthanized

A troubled teen is accused of stealing money from her grandmother after leaving her custody. Also: A woman voluntarily puts her 2 1/2-year-old dog down after a second attack a neighbor sues for vet bills and pain and suffering.

Knife Fight! (Part 1) Woman Stabs Herself in the Neck?!

A woman is hospitalized for a month after being repeatedly stabbed during a heated argument with her ex-girlfriend's sister. Also: In a continuation of the previous case, a woman accused of a bloody assault claims her alleged victim mutilated herself.

From Homeless to Helpless?! Hush Money?!

A young woman moves in with her employer whom she later accuses of vandalizing her car her employer says she stole from her family. Also: A man claims his ex-lover forgave a loan because he promised to stop seeing another woman.

Knife Fight! (Part 2) Food Stamp Treachery?

The Judge questions a pregnant woman's need to bring a concealed weapon to a meeting with her ex-girlfriend. Also: In a continuation of the previous case, a woman admits cancelling her ex-girlfriend's food stamps, but denies stealing her property.

Security Guards Turned Roommates Excuses Central!

A woman takes in a homeless co-worker whom she claims destroyed her home with his dogs he says it was her six cats that did the damage. Also: A woman being sued for unpaid rent and stolen appliances has a litany of reasons why she is not responsible, ranging from alleged crackhead workers to flooded property.

Man Has No Clue Why Girlfriend Is Mad! Remembrance of Trucks Past

A man accuses his ex-girlfriend of purposefully breaking his TV during an argument she says she was mad that he ate fast food that allegedly upsets his stomach. Also: A woman claims she visited a non-working Chevy truck in order to remember her recently deceased father she sues a man for disposing of the vehicle.

Snake in the Basement! Truck Driving School Payback!

When a frightened 6-year-old claims to have spotted a snake in his home, he and his mother move out and sue for damages. Also: A neurosurgery coordinator sues her truck driver ex-boyfriend for $4500 in tuition.

Bedbugs, Roaches and Mold? Hit and Run Payback

A mother and daughter fight over damages to a rental property after alleged rashes, asthma and disabilities come into play. Also: A woman must explain why the father of her child should pay for a car accident that was not his fault.

Show Me the Damage! Don't Trust 5-Star Reviews!

A man admits he is delinquent on his property taxes but claims that has nothing to do with water damage allegedly caused by his commercial neighbor. Also: When a kitchen renovation falls apart, a woman regrets trusting online reviews instead of personally vetting her contractor.

Ex-Heroin Addict Tire-Slashing Mother?! Used Car Exploitation?

After meeting in a homeless shelter, ex-roommates fight over alleged vandalism and highly suspicious CPS reports. Also: The sale of a 17-year-old car between family friends ends in a lawsuit, a missing vehicle and a court-ordered title sign-over.

German Shepherd Attacks Chihuahua?! Houston Hurricane Damage?!

A woman resorts to self-help in her efforts to financially recover from an alleged attack on her small dog. Also: A landlord claims that repairs made by her tenant caused property damage when the hurricane hit her tenant claims it was leaking before she moved in.

Divorcees Duke It Out! Muslim Mudslinging?!

A woman and her ex-husband argue over the unpaid title loan on a Chevy Impala after she turns in the car for missing payments. Also: A woman accuses her Muslim ex-boyfriend of being obsessive compulsive he says she was disrespectful and denies owing her for rent.

Bulldog Rescue Scam or Slander?

A woman claims her charity was forced to close after alleged Internet defamation which caused the loss of over 3000 donors.

New Career: Flipping Cars! Creative Judgment!

A man tries his hand at flipping cars only to end up suing the body shop owner he hired to fix an $800 non-running lemon. Also: When the Judge suspects a scam, she proposes the use of a man's appearance fee as payback to a title loan company.

When Old Friends Become New Roommates Frightened Painter Walks Off Job?!

A man claims his friend constructively evicted him when she turned off the electricity she says he acted entitled and disrespectful. Also: A painter accused of substandard work claims the man who hired him became aggressive.

Unwed Parents Feud! Twin Sisters Huge Settlement?!

Parents of two children fight over alleged vehicle vandalism, bleached clothes and a car crash. Also: When a woman passes away, her twin daughters receive over 100K each from a negligence settlement they proceed to fight over unpaid loans to pay bills.

Ambulance Ride Revisited! New 'Get Out of Jail' Clothes!

A mother sues the father of five of her children for an unpaid ambulance bill after one of their teenagers is in an accident. Also: After a man is released from prison, his girlfriend takes him on a shopping spree a year later, she wants payback.

Busting at the Seams in Hot Springs! Lawn or Love Business?!

A property owner is shocked to discover that not 12 but 24 vacationers will be taking over his rental property he cuts their trip short. Also: A woman claims unrequited love is the reason an ex-friend is coming after her for loans to start a lawn care business.

Disabled Helping the Disabled? Highway Barricade Collision!

A woman accused of racking up over $7000 in charges on her boyfriend's debit card is also accused of fraud related to her 96-year-old grandmother. Also: A young man allegedly runs into a highway barricade sending barrels flying into another vehicle his mother is accused of questionable insurance practices.

Repo Skirmish?!

A man claims he was attacked by the repo man when his car was being towed both men call the police on each other.

Car Takes a Hood Pounding "If Your Bed Is There, You Are There!"

A man says he was trying to stop a car from running him down by pounding on the hood of the oncoming vehicle. Also: Underage drinking, noise complaints and custody of a large TV come into play when ex-roommates call it quits.

Fit of Drunken Rage Social Security Theft

A woman sues her nephew for allegedly slamming a log through her bedroom window and then coming back hours later to vandalize her car. Also: A young music producer, disabled since the age of six, accuses a former family friend of stealing his government benefits.

Vindictive Tool Thief?! Teen Driver Fail!

Divorcees fight over the return of tools and the cost of their 17-year-old twins' sports activities. Also: When a 16-year-old admits to swerving into a car on the freeway, the Judge gives his parents a lesson on vigilance and worry.

Sister Love Gone Wrong! Who Stole My Clarinet?!

An ongoing feud involving bad credit and an expensive car divides sisters an unassuming friend comes along for the ride. Also: A clarinet, allegedly missing underwear and swim trunks come into play when ex-friends fight over a botched move.

Paraplegic's Dying Wishes Ignored?! Mommy Stole My School Money!

A man saves thousands in a lock box to be given to his roommate after he dies his sister's allegedly covert "opening" of the safe is called into question. Also: A mother admits that she took her 19-year-old son's financial aid check and used it to pay household expenses.

Where's My Harley Money?! Choose a Defense. Any Defense! Moped Spill!

A woman hires a friend to sell an $8000 Harley Davidson for her, but she says she never saw a penny once the deal was done. Also: After being accused of wrecking a friend's car, a young man's defense is all over the place and a man suffers scrapes and abrasions after allegedly being hit by a car.

Don't Treat Me Like the Help! Motorcycle Mystery!

An independent hair stylist accuses her landlord of treating her like an employee rather than a renter. Also: The Judge admonishes a woman for waiting nine years to sue an ex-boyfriend for leaving a motorcycle on her property.

Repo Mama! Military Man Browbeating? Truck Sale Fraud?

With her 5 year old in the car, a woman is in hot pursuit of a vehicle she's determined to repossess she winds up being arrested for breaching the peace. Also: When a man admits he's only seen his children one time in six years, the Judge has some choice words for him and a man sues his neighbor for allegedly defrauding him over the sale of a truck.

Incarcerated Mechanic Runaround?! Annoying New Girlfriend Alert! High Speed Hit and Run?!

A man denies accusations that he was in prison but confesses that he never completed repairs after receiving money to do so during a lawsuit involving unwed parents, the Judge scolds a man for bringing his new girlfriend to court for no reason. Also: a woman sues her former friend for taking her car without permission and crashing it her friend claims she was asked to run an errand.

Father Figure Accused of Evil Plot! Phantom Driver at Fault?!

When a young woman is accused of stealing money from her mother's ex-boyfriend, she throws out wild allegations against him. Also: A man is rear-ended after slamming on his brakes to avoid hitting a dog he accuses a motorist of falsifying her story to avoid liability.

Rent Control and the American Dream! Outrageous Drinking and Driving Excuse!

When a rent-control tenant goes up against a large property owner and loses, he seeks damages from his allegedly illegal tenant. Also: When a man is arrested after driving drunk at a speed of over 125mph, he blames his ex-girlfriend for asking him for a ride.

Yappie Yorkie Takes a Hit?! World's Worst Music Deal?! Security Deposit Dog Drama!

A German Shepard escapes a leash and attacks a woman and her small dog who claim they are scarred for life. Also: a teenage singer is sued for being a no-show after being offered a one-way ticket to Detroit to perform as a headliner and a woman sues her ex-landlord for the balance on her security deposit, but the landlord claims her dog's use of the lawn as a toilet cost her big time.

Parties, Police and Payback?! Burmese Mountain Dog Custody

Friends for over 20 years end their relationship when an untenable living arrangement and a car impound come to light. Also: A man confesses that he breached an agreement to allow his dog to be used as a stud and shown by his breeder the breeder fights back.

Man Endures Eight Rabies Shots After Attack! Grief and Grit

After a man is attacked by two Pit Bulls while taking a stroll around the block, he sues his neighbor for pain and suffering. Also: A woman mourning the loss of her father and income from the state for healthcare is accused of severe property damage.

Vocab Lesson for Vandalizing Teenagers?! I Wouldn't Sue My Son!

Teenagers accuse each other of infidelity amidst allegations of vehicle vandalism the Judge teaches a young man "new" words. Also: A mother and son's battle over a car loan Judge Judy makes it clear how she would have handled the dispute personally.

Evicted by Mom?! My Father Defrauded Me!

Unwed parents living with family members are accused of skipping out on rent they say they were harassed daily and had to get the police involved. Also: A young woman accuses her father of renting an apartment in her name and then skipping out on rent she says her credit is destroyed.

Screaming Dog Owner's Gruesome Discovery! Motorcyle Moocher?!

Two Chihuahuas are found dead after a neighbor's American Bullies allegedly bust through a doggie door and attack them. Also: What begins as a shared love of motorcycles ends with an alleged loan and allegations of slander and assault.

Book Proposal Bust! When Starving Retrievers Attack?!

A woman thinks her life would make a fascinating book but says the writer she hired delivered subpar material. Also: When a Bull Terrier is allegedly attacked by an off-leash Golden Retriever, animal neglect issues come into play.

No One Talks to Judge Judy Like That! Grief and Trauma Rental?

A man accused of coming into court with unclean hands regarding a botched co-op deal is put in his place by Her Honor. Also: When a woman quits her job at a trauma center to care for her grieving mother, she leaves her apartment but still wants her security deposit back.

Study Abroad Freeloader?! Road Rage With Children in the Car?!

A young man sets off to Paris with his girlfriend only to allegedly beg mom for money once he gets there she sues him for payback. Also: A woman sues a fellow motorist for car damage and pain and suffering after a "ridiculous" incident of road rage.

Sucker Punch During Family Brunch?! No Help for Scammers?!

When a young man exhibits allegedly poor restaurant manners, an outraged father takes justice into his own hands. Also: A woman demands that her brother pay for the balance on a car loan, but the Judge soon discovers that a fraud has been committed.

Hospital Cat Fight Mayhem! It's Not My Fault!

What starts as an inquiry about the health of a sick man, ends in a full-blown fist fight between relatives at the foot of his bed. Also: A woman claims she was forced to move out of her apartment and sues for the return of rent her landlord accuses her of stealing his little brother's glasses.

Don't Make Babies If You Don't Have a Job! Final Days for First Cousins Kicking Cars and Drinking!

Bricks are thrown and assault charges are filed when two women fight over the same unemployed man a broken relationship between cousins leaves apartment damages and ruined credit in its wake and s neighborhood party gets out of hand when an intoxicated man kicks a friend's car.

Short Love, Long Loan! Videographer in the Ex-Lover Hot Seat?!

A cold-press juicer and a waitress have a whirlwind romance that ends with a fight over an unpaid loan, a mattress and harassment. Also: A newly married man spends three days videotaping an ex-girlfriend she claims he never gave her the "blog" footage for her new business.

Love Triangle Double Assault

When two woman team up to surprise their cheating boyfriend, all hell breaks loose months later, the two women meet again and violence erupts.

Registered Sex Offender Fail Girl on Bike Hit by Car

A woman loses custody of her children after remaining in the same home as a sex offender family member she is sued by her sister-in-law for childcare costs. Also: A little girl limps back home after being hit by a car the Judge demands that the offending motorist show proof of insurance.

Hazmat Poisoning of Innocent Family

When a retired pest control worker sprays insect killer on a shared tree, his neighbors claim they suffered serious respiratory injury.

Give Me My Sports Car When Potted Plants Attack.

The Judge orders a woman to sign over a vehicle to her ex-boyfriend after she sues him for a loan and childcare bills for their 8 year old. Also: A woman sues her green-thumbed neighbor for damages to her car windshield after a potted plant allegedly falls from her balcony.

Unwed Parents Payback From Homeless to Houseless

A woman sues her ex-boyfriend's mother for the return of money paid for a car an alleged assault and child support come into play. Also: A couple living out of their car finally find an affordable room to rent only to be kicked out for fighting.

Stealth Assault by Neighbor

A man says his neighbor 'snuck up like a quiet rat busted his eardrum and beat him to the ground they continue their years long feud in court.

Creepy Jacuzzi Offer Pay Me for Gardening

A woman accuses her landlord of inappropriate behavior she denies owing him for rent and breaking her lease. Also: A man demands that his former landlord pay him for landscaping, window treatments and the return of his security deposit.

Writer vs. Magazine Owner Act of God Tree Fall

A writer claims she submitted articles that her editor never paid her for he says the writing was not factual, and that he wasn't paid by his clients. Also: A property owner defends against liability for a tree crashing through a fence and gazebo on his neighbor's property.

BMW Vandal Cyclist Collision Ex-Boyfriend Damage Control

A woman accuses a teenager of vandalizing her 'new' car the teen claims she was home with her mother at the time of the incident. Also: A cyclist admits that his view was obstructed when he ran into a young woman's car and a man is accused of numerous acts of vandalism against his ex-girlfriend's vehicles.

Classic Truck Feud Gambling, Tax Refunds and Murder

A woman demands thousands in payback for a valuable truck her friend says she traded an antique, hand-carved oak table for the vehicle. Also: A woman sues her ex-boyfriend for a series of unpaid loans the murder of his wife figures into his financial situation.

Teen Boys Looking for Trouble You Shouldn't Be on TV

A teenager's car is allegedly beaten with a bat when he admits to going out of his way to meet up with friends arguing over a girl. Also: A man's healthy ego and nice suit don't prevent him from looking foolish when his ex-lover comes after him for unauthorized credit card charges.

Victim Payback for Towing Scam Beach Day Turns Violent

The Judge discovers an intriguing story of alleged fraud and vandalism when an unsuspecting motorist calls for help. Also: A couple's day at the beach ends with charges of domestic battery, a wreck on the way to the police station, and a night in jail.

Homeland Security Homeschooling

Alleged abuse of the judicial system, harassment claims, and swimming privileges for homeschooled children come into play.

The Anti-Sleepover Landlord Heavily Fogged Motorist

All hell breaks loose when a woman's handyman starts dating one of her tenants she files a restraining order and sues him for alleged vandalism. Also: A woman admits to police that she didn't see a stop sign because of heavy fog and that the motorist she hit was on her cellphone.

Chihuahua Nabbed by Dog Through Fence Let Me See My Dying Father

A man claims a large Australian Shepherd pushed through a fence gap to bite his dog's paw his neighbors say it was impossible. Also: A man claims his sister restricted his access to their dying father and then stiffed him on the bill for the funeral.

Leaks, Mold and the Illegal Tenant Drunk and Racist? No Way

After a lesbian couple is asked to pay up for an unauthorized tenant, they complain about leaks, mold and sewage issues. Also: A 10-year friendship breaks down after an attempt at living together falls apart a woman's evidence of payback doesn't add up.

Attorney Pleads His Case Dad, You Drink Too Much

An attorney claims he succeeded in having a difficult tenant evicted for his landlord client he sues for the alleged remainder of his fees. Also: A man denies drinking excessively at a family gathering his daughter sues him for allegedly smashing her TV with a bottle.

Young Parents' Bitter Break-Up Judge Judy Calls a Witness

Two days after their son is born, unwed parents dissolve their shared living arrangement a restraining order and alleged harasment soon follow. Also: Motorists accuse each other of illegal activity at an intersection, so the Judge does some detective work of her own.

How to Stop Your Dog From Killing You Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

The Judge is incredulous when a man preemptively educates himself about how to prevent his Pit Bull from maiming him. Also: A teenager signs up to help a friend market her "hair sold in bundles" business when a photo shoot is cancelled for the second time, she sues for damages.

Antique Gun Heist Ungrateful Goddaughter

Smart thieves figure out how to open a locked cabinet and get away with a man's prized gun valued at $4500. Also: A woman is given a credit card to get her car repaired, but when she goes over the agreed-upon limit, her godmother puts her foot down.

Rough Playground Plight Dueling Traffic Violations

A daycare provider says her attempt to improve a playground resulted in substandard concrete work she sues for damages. Also: Former classmates come to court with unclean hands as the Judge discovers both parties have a history of breaking the law.

Illegal Eviction Vendetta Dangerous Home for Child

When a man feels stiffed after a car deal, he is accused of taking out his frustration on a tenant by illegally evicting him. Also: A mother claims she received threats on her life and was forced to live on the run she is sued by the father of her child for the return of child support.

Mother of Nine Payback Cats on the Prowl Cry Me a River

A woman sues her teenage daughter and her boyfriend for allegedly totaling a car she was allowing her to borrow a woman claims her former roommate's cats damaged her apartment to the tune of $1700 and a landlord claims he only accepted an advance rent payment because his tenant started to cry.

Vicious Pit Bull Attack Six-Year-Old Takes the Stand

Two Pit Bull Mastiffs allegedly drag their owner across the street in order to viciously attack another dog. Also: A child testifies that a 55-inch TV was damaged by friends his mother claims a mattress, carpet and pregnancy pillow were also destroyed.

House Flipping and Assault Mechanic Fraud

Friends for over 40 years end their relationship after a deal to renovate a home escalates into disorderly conduct and alleged assault and parents sue their mechanic for alleged fraud when the 20-year-old car they purchased for their son stops running.

Daddy Debt Deployed to Japan Show Me the Money

A woman sues her estranged son-in-law for money he received for housing while out of the country she believes it should go to his wife and child. Also: A man's failed attempt to show a $10K money trail of consulting fees leaves the Judge with no choice but to show him the door.

Don't Clown Around With the Judge Car Swap Fail

A father calls his daughter a thief after she allegedly reneges on a promise to pay him for a customized car and a teenager sues his former friend for crashing his 1963 Chevy Impala.

Toxic Eye Injury?! Mother Illegally Relocates Child?!

A woman claims she was shot in the eye with a liquid sprayer at a grocery store and is still suffering she sues for damages. Also: A 9-year-old boy is allegedly moved to another state without his father's permission the child's mother is sued for emotional distress.

Fed-Up Boss! Negligent Teen Fishing Captain?! Where's My $19,000 Garage Apartment?!

A generous boss loans his employees over $3,000 so they won't lose their home when they fail to pay him back, he's forced to sue them. Also: A teenager is accused of driving recklessly while operating a boat on a fishing trip and a woman and her brother claim they made an agreement to purchase an apartment, paid a large down payment and then were left empty handed.

Lying to Brooklyn Police?! Uber Relationship Fail

A woman is accused of making outrageous statements to authorities when she tries to regain access to her illegally sublet apartment. Also: An Uber driver befriends a passenger and sells him her car when he misses payments, she repossess it and comes after him for late fees.

Jail Bailout Blues Rare Disease? Financial Disaster!

After a young man is rescued by a family friend, he makes a deal to move in and pay her back she says he was like a son but sues him anyway. Also: A man falls on hard times after his wife gets sick he is sued for thousands by a former friend when he cannot repay a loan on time.

Which Driver Is Lying?! Hauling Business Fail!

When motorists offer up wildly different collision stories, the timing of their damage claims makes all the difference. Also: A man claims he grossed $200K but was still unable to pay for the truck and trailer he bought from a former friend.

Motorcycle Mayhem

A man's love/hate relationship with his 16-year-old motorcycle ends with a heated lawsuit over allegedly shoddy repairs that left him stranded.

Friends Let Friends Drive Drunk?! Wedding Band Break-Up! Prove It's My Fault!

An evening of tequila drinking devolves into a reckless car ride that ends with an alleged collision a woman sues for the missing piece of her wedding band set her ex-fiancé wants to be made whole after repairs he made to her car a young woman must convince the judge that her ex-lover is at fault in a car accident.

Murder, Prison and Conjugal Visits Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Children's visits to prison to see their convicted father are at the heart of a case between his sister and the daycare provider who escorted them. Also: Ex-friends go head to head over rent-to-own furniture an accusation that bedbugs were caused by a family member come into play.

A Woman's Dying Wishes Subwoofer Custody Battle!

A woman is accused of stealing money from her deceased mother's savings account her stepfather sues her for payback. Also: After a bitter break-up, ex-lovers fight over the value of a van, iPhones and stereo equipment.

And the Most Apathetic Landlord Award Goes to. The Cadillac and the Ex-Con Mom!

Squirrels in an attic, trash in the basement and tenant identity confusion come into play when a woman sues her landlord. Also: After getting out of prison, a woman borrows a friend's Cadillac to visit her children the police are called when she fails to return it.

I'm Glad Your Cat Is Dead!

Sisters accuse their mother of abuse after she sues them for allegedly destroying their bedrooms new boyfriends allegedly break the family apart.

Bleached Lawn Outrage! Unwed Parents Feud Time for Adult Child to Step Up!

A landscaper is accused of vandalizing a woman's yard after a dispute over finances and a former couple fight over a failed living situation. Also: A woman goes after her ex-lover for a broken lease the Judge points out that the woman's own child could make up for her roommate loss.

Gruesome Pet Discovery! Single Mom Mayhem

A man returns home to find his beloved Daschund maimed and bleeding in a neighbor's backyard. Also: A single mother of two pleads her case against a landlord she claims illegally evicted her.

Head-Butting Tenant?! Irresponsible Health Care Worker?!

A landlord accuses his teen tenant's boyfriend of head-butting him during an altercation when he pushes back, the police are called. Also: A seasoned health aide chooses to care for her own mother over a new patient, and suffers a damaging online review she sues for defamation.

Neuter the Puppy or Lose the Puppy! Hog Hunting, Deer Shooting and Frog Leg Fighting!

Concerned about a Pomeranian puppy, a breeder drives six hours to rescue the animal from an allegedly negligent pet owner. Also: A married couple hunting for food on leased pastures are accused of failing to report the number of animals they killed.

Homeless and Helpless?! Deceased Father's Debt Drama!

A woman being sued by her ex-lover for the return of his belongings claims she had to sell them to survive. Also: A man sues his niece for unpaid loans to pay off her deceased father's property taxes she insists that all of his debts have been paid.

Help! I've Fallen Through a Hole! Code Enforcement Fail? Concrete Wall Collapse!

A woman sues an alleged slumlord for injuries she received while on his property a man moves into a friend's house only to accuse him of providing an unsafe living environment and a couple say their property was damaged when a shared wall collapsed.

Gestapo Mom Moves in With UC Berkeley Son The Writing on the 8-Year-Old's Wall

A landlord claims a woman unexpectedly moved in with her son and set up a "gestapo desk" from which she spied on his home's residents. Also: A landlord presents evidence of a child's mischievous artwork she also claims there was an infestation of bedbugs, roaches and mice.

Fighting After Father Dies Lame Limo Business

A woman is forced to evict her brother in order to sell her deceased father's home he takes issue with the lawyer he hired to help him. Also: A 70-year-old man's attempt to start a new business ends when his ex-girlfriend sues for a loan to build his credit he admits he never gave her a penny in profits.

Deal With the Devil Suspicious Nicaragua Trip Expert Breakdown Witness

A barter agreement to purchase a motorcycle ends with an unhappy seller who claims he received stolen merchandise and four flat tires the Judge thinks a man protests too much when she says she's skeptical about his case, but he insists that a deadbeat ex-friend owes him money and a mechanic calls out a fellow mechanic, accusing him of putting the wrong transmission in a woman's car.

Turtle Custody, Police and Power High Heels on Disability

A boy's pet turtle, calls to the police and a controversial electric bill come into play when ex-fiancée's call it quits. Also: the Judge questions a woman's decision to wear high heels to court when she is disabled she sues her ex-lover for changing the locks on her.

One Sick Puppy Abuse of the Court System Deceased Man's Golf Cart Giveaway

A woman claims she was forced to euthanize her 7-week-old German Shepard puppy she sues the man who sold the animal to her. Also: the Judge admonishes ex-lovers for using the judicial system to settle their financial iPhone battle and, after a beloved uncle passes away, family members fight over custody of his golf cart.

Judy Bets on Officer Byrd's Life! Guilty Tenant?!

After a mother witnesses her son's violent death, she and her husband struggle to payback alleged loans to a family member. Also: A young man confesses that he felt responsible for thousands in damages but that his landlord didn't give him time to make repairs and that she gave away his property.

Get Divorced Faster! He Had a Gun! Read the Constitution?!

After a woman accuses her estranged husband of using corporal punishment on their children, he turns to a new "girlfriend" for help with a divorce attorney. Also: An alleged firearm threat and freedom of speech come into play when mechanic brothers are sued for emotional distress by dissatisfied customers.

Sobriety, Cheap Housing and Dangerous Heating?! Sneakiest Insurance Scam Ever?!

A man claims he was attacked in a sober-living facility his housemate says he was leaving the stove on overnight to heat the place. Also: After backing into a parked car, a woman is accused of quickly calling to get car insurance in the hope that she will not have to pay for damages.

Drive AWAY from the Hurricane! Friends DO Let Friends Drive Drunk!

A single father claims he had no choice but to take heroic efforts to protect his home from Hurricane Irma and used public property to do so. Also: Best friends each partake of one beer and a shot of tequila before getting behind the wheel they fight over who is responsible for the ensuing crash.

Sexting Gone Terribly Wrong!

An expecting mother allows her boyfriend to send risqué photos of them together to his ex-girlfriend who allegedly punches her in the head.

The $9,000 Favor! Boyfriends' Trip to Spain Fail!

A woman sues her ex-fiancé for an alleged loan to pay off his debt he claims he spent plenty of money on her when they were together. Also: A friend's wedding in Europe, allegations of cheating, and a home invasion as retaliation come into play when ex-lovers call it quits.

Restraining Order Riot Pit Bull Has a Bad Day!

The Judge reads a woman the riot act when she allegedly uses the family court system to evict a tenant by means of a questionable restraining order. Also: When a man animatedly raises his hands to lecture friends about a BBQ fire, "Ice" the Pit Bull takes him down the man spends four days in the hospital.

Intimate or Not Intimate? Process Server Payback!

A man denies having intimate relations with a woman she claims he lived with her for two months and assaulted her daughter. Also: A freelance process server defends her hard work her former boss begs to differ and openly admits that he paid her nothing for her time on the job.

Dog Loses Eye at Photo Shoot! Judge Catches Bad Driver in a Lie?

A model's emotional-support French Bulldog is allegedly attacked by a German Shepard Husky at a fashion shoot. Also: In a quick exchange with Judge Judy, a man misspeaks and accidentally admits that he rammed into a parked car on his way out of a barbershop.

What If the Child Had Died? The Judge Asks a Woman-to-Woman Question!

A girl suffers a fractured clavicle after colliding with a moving vehicle the driver sues for damages to her car and refuses to answer the Judge's pointed question. Also: After a two-timing man pleads guilty to domestic violence charges, the woman who bailed him out faces some tough love from the Judge.

Gun Custody Stand-Off?

Police buddies at the shooting range, alleged stalking and slashed tire threats come into play when feuding co-workers fight in the workplace.

The Stabbed Mattress, Mini Bull Terrier Battle? Possession of Heroin Bail Payback?

After allegedly destroying property in a fit of rage, a woman breaks back into her former home her ex-boyfriend wants his dog back. Also: A man with multiple arrests and many years served in prison is sued by his ex-lover for an unpaid loan for bail.

I Wanted to See My Grandfather's Fake Eyeball!

A teenager is accused of stealing thousands from his grandmother's safety deposit box he says his grandfather gave him the lock combination.

Video of Assault While Holding a Baby!

A woman charges at the allegedly drunk father of her child, jumps on his back and beats him on the head she sues him for a false arrest.

Transgender Art Drama? You Sold Me an Injured Horse?

Ex-girlfriends fight over the alleged commercialization of personal artwork intended to demonstrate acceptance and love during a major life transition. Also: A woman makes a huge mistake when she forgoes a vet inspection of a horse she is buying for her teenage daughter.

Cheerleading Nanny Time! Puppies Eat Poisonous Elephant Ears!

A woman asks her nanny for thousands of dollars in order to send her 8-year-old daughter to cheerleading camp her nanny wants payback. Also: A woman accuses a dog breeder of selling her a sick puppy he admits that they chewed on a dangerous plant in his yard.

Yes, I Attacked Him Yes, I Choked Her!

Two women with children by the same man go after each other in a fight over defamation and loss of income a third potential baby mama comes into play.

Smashed and Bashed Love! Landscaper Laziness?

A man accuses his ex-girlfriend of smashing out his car windows she claims it was his new girlfriend who did the deed. Also: A woman sues her ex-landscapers for neglecting to complete work on her home the landscapers demand payment for what they did complete.

Shih Tzu Comes Between Lesbian Ex-Lovers! Lesson in Respect Man Won't Forget!

Alleged drunk driving, a puppy custody battle and a hysterical fight to get out of a car come into play. Also: The Judge dresses down a young man who delays court proceedings with an alleged family emergency.

Guess What a Pit Bull Did?! You're Not Gonna Believe This One!

An American Bully dog allegedly comes flying out of his home and attacks a man and his toy poodle multiple deep arm bites and vet billscome into play. Also: A teenager claims he was practicing parallel parking at five in the morning instead of joy riding a friend's car without permission.

Mother Teresa Tesla Driver?! Baby Daddy Ex-Lovers' Fight!

A woman claims she never hit a fellow motorist's vehicle but offered to get out of her Tesla and personally microfiber any scratches from it. Also: A woman demands payment from her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend for unpaid babysitting fees to watch his two children.

I'm Glad I Had My Mom Arrested! Gift Giving 101

When a woman sells her daughter a used car for a 25-percent profit and then repossesses it, her daughter reports it stolen and gets the police involved. Also: A woman reaches out for financial help from a co-worker and begins to pay him back later she claims it was a gift because she gave him product discounts.

Marital Debt Drama! Teenager Hit at School Child's Bike/Car Collision Caught on Tape!

A woman goes after her estranged daughter-in-law for thousands in unpaid loans a young woman claims a fellow motorist backed into her car outside of an elementary school and a woman sues her neighbor for car damage.

When the Aggressor Becomes the Victim?! Pit Bull Takes a Bite Out of a Man's Ear?

An allegedly less than desirable tenant accuses her landlord of ignoring a rat infestation and stopping her mail. Also: Only after a bitter break-up does a young man step forward with charges that his ex-lover's pit bull took a liking to his ear, causing him to receive cosmetic repair surgery.

Gorgeous Engagement Ring Setback! Conspiracy Theory Flight Plan?!

When the price of a ring to be designed with a family heirloom goes up by thousands, a woman sues a jeweler for the return of her deposit. Also: When tickets to Miami turn out to be bogus, a woman blames a mysterious third party who is nowhere to be found.

Rumors of Arson?! Struggling Father's Uphill Battle!

The day after disgruntled tenants move out, their previous home goes up in smoke. Also: When a man sues his live-in nephew for damages to his home, he must also prove that his own son had nothing to do with the vandalism.

Drive to Church Gone Bad! Whiplash? I Doubt That!

A simple carpool to worship services ends in an auto accident and a hefty insurance settlement debate. Also: When an uninsured motorist is accused of rear-ending a fellow driver, she claims any on-the-scene injuries were fabricated.

Dreaded Secret of the VW Rabbit?! You ARE Your Furniture!

An unsuspecting man buying a car for his son never imagined that the car he was purchasing had a 3K title loan on it. Also: The Judge explains that if a tenant's furniture is still in an apartment then the tenant is still in the apartment and must accept responsibility for inhabitancy.

Brandishing a Gun, Neglecting a Cat?! Who Left the Diapers Out?!

Ex-roommates admit guns were in play during the difficult time they tried to live together a purebred cat is allegedly left to fend for itself. Also: A massive pile of garbage remains after a woman moves out, but she claims only a small portion was hers her landlord begs to differ.

Open Relationship Shocker! Chicken Slaughter!

A man pays up-front to house his two girlfriends in one bedroom then sues one of them for a security deposit payback and an allegedly false arrest. Also: The death of 50 chickens by two dogs is disputed by neighbors an animal control investigation discovers a possible cover-up.

I Was in Rehab for Everything!

A determined mother is outraged that her ex-friend demands the return of her beloved dog, Molly he claims she tried to mace him during a fight.

Karma and the Camera! Teen Failure Blamed on Tutor?!

The Judge warns a young man that he'll never take a happy picture if he keeps the camera his ex-lover allegedly gifted to him. Also: After a young man fails his midterms, a private tutor sues for her fees claiming the teenager did not prepare ahead of time for the tests.

Frightened Mother's Telling Texts?!

A woman claims she was frightened for her and her children's lives by an ex-boyfriend he presents texts that tell a different story.

Girlfriend's Hissy Fit Damage?!

Wine stains cover a wall after a fight gets physical between lovers a roommate sues for damages.

Man With 12 Sisters Denies Assaulting a Woman Trim My Tree. or Else! Judge Judy Challenges a Teenager!

Nine police officers allegedly come to the rescue of women who accuse their roommate of assault he is horrified by their claim. Also: A woman gets it all wrong when she sues her neighbors for the cost to trim a tree Judge Judy explains that she doesn't own "air rights" around trees. Plus: When an unlicensed teenager drives a friend's car because she told him to and slams into a pole, the Judge tests his bad judgment in a unique way.

Puppy Death Drama Lightning Strike Strife!

When a German Shepard puppy dies, pet owners blame the breeder the Judge investigates allegations of parvo running rampant in the litter. Also: In the June heat of Atlanta, lightning strikes a woman's air-conditioning unit she is sued for thousands by the repairman who cooled things down.

Bed Rest Made Me Do It! Worst Teen Driver Award!

A woman claims poor health forced her to miss car payments to her aunt, who is $9000 in the hole because of her good deed. Also: A teen denies being at fault for ramming into another motorist and allegedly giving false info at the scene, but admits he failed his driver's test and has no license.

Irresponsible Child or Greedy Parents?! Hazmat Clean-Up, Drug Use and the Police?!

A woman fights with her mother and stepfather over the payback of household expenses. Also: A landlord submits video evidence of a disgusting display of drug paraphernalia and filth his tenants say it was planted.

$8,000 Designer Sneaker Fight! Sister Mustang Feud

A woman claims she paid thousands for sneakers but demands a refund when the shoebox that arrives is allegedly empty. Also: The Judge "creatively" settles a family dispute over a $4000 car down payment and an unlicensed teenager's Mustang.

Human Trafficking?!

A woman claims she discovered that her daughter was part of an alleged criminal ring she is charged with filing false statements and sues over attorney fees.

Falsely Imprisoned Bad Driver?! What Does Judge Judy Hate?!

An uninsured motorist claims she was held by another driver until police arrived after she allegedly hit his car video of the collision is revealed. Also: The Judge does not hide her disdain for a dispute between ex-best friends fighting over an alleged loan.

Cute Yorkie Makes Court Debut! Amusement Park Not So Amusing!

A woman sues a man for vet bills after his larger dog allegedly attacked her Yorkie he claims she is lying about witnessing the attack. Also: Cousins fight over tickets and food passes to an amusement park allegedly damaged credit comes into play.

Alabama Section 8 Payback!

A realtor suggests a profit-making plan to a homeowner, which he claims ended in harassment and thousands in debt.

Shocking Tree Trimming! Ex-Lover Slashing?!

An elderly woman's backyard landscape is allegedly ruined when a neighbor's brother takes a whack at her trees he is sued for trespassing and vandalism. Also: A man denies slashing the tires of his ex-girlfriend's truck she says he heard a male voice inside her house, got angry and took it out on her vehicle.

Deal with Your Child in Foster Care! Mom's Burial Policy Defective Sports Apparel Drama!

The Judge advises a mother to spend more time on a custody battle than a fight over an alleged small loan to the grandmother of her children. Also: Family members fight over their mother's funeral expenses and a men's softball manager says that his team had to go without hats because of allegedly sloppy workmanship by a manufacturer.

Witness to Vandalism! Domestic Dispute Ejection?! Courts Are For Married Folks!

A woman sues her adoptive mother for alleged damages to her home and claims she vandalized her car as well a neighbor steps up to testify. Also: After a family fight, a woman demands mortgage payment payback from her mother's ex-boyfriend who was allegedly forced to leave his own home and a man sues his former longtime girlfriend for a house full of furniture.

Redneck With a Laser Pointer?! Engine Blew? It's Up to You!

A young man's defense for allegedly damaging a teenager's phone with a laser beam is that he's a redneck and that's what he does for fun. Also: When a car stops running after three months, a woman mistakenly believes that the previous owner should help her fix it.

Halfway House Flood! Painter Misses the Obvious?!

A woman claims mold took over her home and she lost nine women's tenancies her landlord insists there was no water damage. Also: A painter raises her original estimate and asks for more money on top of that after discovering wallpaper that had to be removed.

Widow's Cadillac Woes! Anxious Dog Bites Pet Sitter!

A man's death, a valuable witness and a car allegedly sold on consignment come into play when a Cadillac sale goes bad. Also: While trying to harness a dog, a woman is bitten and sues for damages she claims the owner tried to swoop in from behind the animal.

Here's the Real Reason We're Not Married! Jail Time Buick Bummer! Home Sale Fail!

A man implies that his ex-fiancée didn't want to lose her disability benefits by marrying him they fight over livestock and property. Also: After a man is released from jail following an altercation with his ex-lover, he claims he never saw the car he is being sued for and a real estate agent accuses a former client of brokering deals behind his back.

Kindergarten Teacher Abuse?! Horse Grazing Ignorance?! Fiancé in Legal Trouble!

A teacher claims she was assaulted by her ex-boyfriend after he came home drunk and allegedly tried to force himself on her a woman claims her neighbors are ignorant about horse feeding and damaged her fence and a woman sues her former friend for an unpaid loan to hire a lawyer for her fiancé.

College Teacher's DUI Drama! Haunted Police Payday?

A college teacher is sued by her ex-lover for thousands of dollars in alleged loans she claims he lived with her and broke her door down. Also: Extra security is needed when an escape room is turned into a haunted house a business owner claims the security company offered their services for free.

The Service Dog Started It! Roommate Forced Out and Robbed?!

A woman says she'll never forget the sound of her service dog screaming while allegedly being mauled by a friend's pet. Also: A teenager claims her ex-roommate kicked her out of her own apartment and would not let her retrieve her belongings.

Endangered Children or Jealous Ex-Husband?! Stormy Fence Fight!

A man working as an Uber driver full-time is accused of not paying a dime of child support for over a year. Also: A rotting 25-year-old fence is damaged in a storm neighbors fight over allegedly shoddy repairs. An audio recording of a promise to pay seals one man's fate.

Overcrowding Chaos! Bleeding Head Intro?! Teen Vandal in the Hot Seat?!

When a young man's living room space is invaded by a roommate's relatives, the police get involved a woman claims her first introduction to an unexpected new roommate was a picture of injuries she allegedly inflicted on her estranged husband and a teenager is accused of damaging property she shared with her ex-lover and not cleaning up until after the police allegedly told her to.

I'm Moving Back in Dad! Snowy Spinout! Sister Slam! Father Figure Fail?

A man accuses his tenants of damaging the property a preemie baby, an unlicensed driver and a scary car accident come into play when motorists fight over who's to blame a woman tries to collect on alleged loans, but her sister claims it was just payback from when she bailed her out of gambling debt years earlier and an older man sues a younger friend over an unpaid loan.

Grandmother Raises Ungrateful Brat?! He Treated Me Like a Queen!

A woman denies owing her grandmother money for extravagant Christmas shopping she claims she played nursemaid for her family instead. Also: A 911 operator says she was showered with gifts by her ex-lover but that everything turned into a loan when she started dating someone else.

Service Dog Attack?! Unbelievable Tree Chopper Trauma

A young girl is dragged to the ground after her leashed dog takes off and allegedly attacks a neighbor's pet she maintains that she only lost control for a moment. Also: When a Florida hurricane threatens a man's home, he cuts down three of his neighbor's mature trees to the stump.

Baby Formula for Disaster! Police Fight Aromatherapy Crime!

A woman accuses her ex-friend of posting nude photos of her daughter on Facebook her ex-friend says she's just mad she didn't get invited to a party. Also: A woman calls the police when her aromatherapy diffuser goes missing she points the finger at her landlord and claims she feared for her safety.

Pre-Valentine's Day Surprise Break-Up! Quickest Way to End a Friendship!

A young man claims his ex-girlfriend was cheating on him she says he threatened to post photos of her online. Also: After a nasty fight over utilities and cleaning fees, former co-workers and friends warn others to never live together.

Machine Operator Mom vs. Entitled Daughter? Generation Z Start Up Fail!

While visiting her grandkids, a woman says she was hit up for loans by her daughter who doesn't seem to care about payback. Also: When a business venture starts to lose money, young entrepreneurs lock themselves in their office in an attempt to save their company.

Woman Takes Tumble Down Unsafe Stairs?! Show Car Not Go Car!

A woman says she was injured when steps gave way on her property because of an allegedly criminal contractor's shoddy work. Also: A man is livid when he discovers that the class 83 Buick Regal he purchased was never intended to be driven.

The Ultimate Neighbor Fence Dispute! I Want a 25K Video for Free!

A woman claims that her next door neighbors tore her fence down in the middle of the night police are called when their feud gets physical. Also: A woman attempts to produce a marketing video to advocate for cancer patients she sues a filmmaker who allegedly gave her a great deal.

Death at the Cat Lady's Doorstep! Only in America!

A woman with 14 feral cats in her backyard sues her neighbor for the death of three of them by his large dogs. Also: The Judge is outraged by the logic of a man who refuses to pay back a loan because he says his friend works two jobs and lives with his parents so he doesn't need the money.

Mystery of the Missing Altima! Ex-Lover Check Fraud Injustice?

A woman gets emotionally overwrought when the Judge asks her to produce evidence to back up her shaky claims that a mechanic stole her car. Also: A woman allegedly finds little sympathy from the local police when she claims that her boyfriend allegedly ripped her off for thousands of dollars.

Daycare Assault?! Landlord Lodging Drama Child Support Squandered by Mother?! Plastic Surgery Purge

When a daycare owner wedges herself in a doorway to collect on a client debt, the police come to the rescue as an alleged assault ensues. Also: A property owner claims he lowered a tenant's fees in exchange for being able to sleep over at the property whenever he wanted a woman accuses her ex-sister-in law of spending over $2K in child support on herself and Judge Judy follows the money trail to discover the improbability of a woman making minimum wage loaning $6K to a friend for a face lift.

Motorcycle Racing Family Drama! Single Old Lady Scam?!

A father fighting colon cancer accuses his son of motorcycle theft and a false arrest his son claims he took his father in when he needed help. Also: A senior citizen claims she was the victim of a scam by an unlicensed contractor he says hernia surgery delayed his efforts and denies any foul play.

Mom's Million Dollar Settlement! Stucco Job from Hell!

When a woman comes into money, she offers to help her truck-driving daughter with her bills but still expects to be paid back. Also: A dissatisfied customer offers up three videos as evidence that his contractor did a lousy job.

Teens Terrorize Neighborhood?! How Many Times Have YOU Been Arrested?!

Teenagers rumored to have a history with the police are accused of damaging their own apartment their mother is sued for repairs. Also: A simple question leads to surprising answers when a teenager is accused of stealing a motorcycle.

Depression, Drinking and a Deceased Baby Real Estate Nightmare

An emotional discussion about death turns into an alleged choke hold by a family member and a lawsuit over an arrest. Also: A married couple buy a new home only to have the previous owner allegedly damage the property on the way out.

Poorly Performing Parents?! Teacup Yorkie Fall! Truck Driver Ripped Off?!

Unwed parents of a 6-year-old girl fight over a tax refund after alleged jail time, job loss and drug possession a tiny Yorkie with a broken leg makes an appearance in court, while a young man admits the dog jumped out of his arms but doesn't accept responsibility for damages and a driver accuses her ex-boyfriend of causing a car in her name to be impounded and sold while she was travelling the country.

Pit Bull Mating Mayhem! Slashed Tires and Loan Lies?! Tijuana Stray Rescue Regret?

A woman sues her former friend for profits from a litter of pit bulls and for allegedly making a false arrest the Judge is not buying the stories of ex-lovers fighting over thousands in damages. Also: a repeat-attack rescue dog is accused of biting a man the dog's owner claims this was the first incident he could recall.

Bully or Best Friend? Gather 'Round for Judge Judy's Driving Class!

A mother explains her teen son's inability to understand how a 'friend' could steal from him after a terrible accident that totals two cars, Judge Judy shares a little instruction on how to deal with rush hour traffic.

Mothers to the Rescue of Adult Children! Traffic Circle Mishap!

Two young men get into trouble with the law for drug possession an uninsured motorist tries to pin the accident blame on a fellow driver.

Retaliatory Tenant Rant?!

A tenant is accused of ratting his landlord out to the city after departure from an apartment doesn't work out according to his plan.

Moving Company Disaster?! Roommates-R-Not-Us!

A woman's prized lamp from Paris is allegedly damaged by a moving company movers claim she misrepresent the size of the job. Also: A man lets his male and female ex-roommates know that it was not okay for them to become romantically involved after they all moved in together.

Crying Jag Over Family Money Surgery Craziness?! Ghost Dating Heartache!

A woman breaks down describing how her niece allegedly takes advantage of her elderly mother. Also: A man expects the Judge to believe that his insurance company advised him to pay for knee surgery in cash that he allegedly borrowed from his ex and a woman explains the details of a non-exclusive relationship which ends in her admitting she was saved from eviction by her ex-boyfriend.

The Diamond Quiz Show?! Basketball Team Hotel Rip-Off?! High-End Shoes or Stinky Sneakers?

The Judge grills a diamond expert about the quality of diamonds he and his ex are fighting over a female basketball player steps up to pay thousands in hotel charges for her teammates only to find out that she must recoup the money herself and a man sues a business associate for breach of contract regarding a sneaker deal.

Pool Blowout! Abusive Dad Incarcerated?!

A pool service provider accuses a woman of being difficult and drastically changing the job parameters a year after his initial work she says he tore up her pool. Also: A mother relocates to ensure the safety of her children but is sued by the children's grandmother for travel expenses.

Designer Breed or Straight-Up Mutt?! Settlement Vulture Swoops In?!

When a miniature Maltese poodle grows to be larger than expected, the dog's owners sue the pet store owner for a refund. Also: When a young woman comes into a $15,000 settlement, her friend's father asks to borrow 3K neither of them bring enough evidence to satisfy the Judge.

Eight Kids is Enough! Bleeding Puppy Neglect?! Wheelchair-Bound Honeymoon Cruiser!

A mother of five is left stranded with three additional children when her friend heads to the Dominican Republic on vacation and does not return on time a puppy broker claims he accidentally refunded a client thousands of dollars after the sale of a French Bulldog and, after a honeymoon cruise, a woman is accused of neglecting to pay her caregiver.

'Cute Way to Sell Alcohol' Rules the Judge! Google the People You Date!

The sale of alcohol, a pay-to-play talent show and alleged Facebook slander come into play when a dance studio owner is sued. Also: A woman hands out dating advice after allegedly being threatened by a former friend who is suing her for car rental fees and gas money.

Bad Boy Fixation?! Give Me Back My Father's Ashes!

A man claims his married ex-lover wanted to be with a bad boy and came between him and his new girlfriend she demands payback for bailing him out of jail. Also: A woman sues the father of her children for the return of her belongings and her father's remains.

Ex-Girlfriends' Bulldog Custody Battle! Are You Buzzed?!

An angry ex-girlfriend shows up at midnight to retrieve "her" dog from her ex-lover an alleged assault and arrest soon follow. Also: the Judge questions a woman's sobriety when her actions in court seem confused she denies any drug use and any liability for her brother-in-law's car.

Parents Fight Over Imprisoned Daughter

Divorcees lay out 10K to hire the best possible lawyer for their child then dispute who owes for that costly decision.

Widower with Special Needs Child I Only Smoke Pot Now!

A father hires a woman to care for his child while he is away for business then accuses her of maxing out the credit card he co-signed for her. Also: the Judge warns a young man with previous drug problems about the slippery slope of recreational drug use.

Assault Rifle Misfire?! Incarcerated Baby Daddy's Big Decision!

After a woman suffers a catastrophic stroke, her son sues her caregiver for damages from the "accidental" discharge of one of his guns. Also: Dueling mothers allegedly bail out the father of their children in order to see whom he will choose to live with.

Buyer's Remorse! Don't Embarrass Yourself!

A woman sues her former friends for slander after they allegedly refuse to return an $800 iPhone. Also: the Judge warns a young woman to think before she speaks after being accused of hitting a fellow motorist in a parking lot.

Jet Ski Fiasco! Hostile Landlord or Squatting Tenants?

Two jet skis are allegedly rented out in perfect condition but their owners say they were returned with an array of damages. Also: Three women sue their former landlord for the cost to install locks, moving costs and harassment.

Dog Blinded at Kennel! Car Beaten with Golf Club?!

A dog loses an eye while in kennel care because the animal was allegedly fed out of the same bowl as another pet and a dogfight ensued. Also: A woman accused of betraying a friend claims she witnessed her angry, allegedly drunk friend vandalizing her car with a golf club.

Brother from Another Planet?! World's Worst First Date?!

A man's demeanor in court leads the Judge to rule that she wouldn't let him drive a tricycle let alone a car which he is accused of wrecking. Also: A woman sues a man after he allegedly totals her car on their first and only date he pleads guilty to inattentive driving.

Dog Trainer Travesty Personalized Engagement Ring Payback?

When a large dog tears up a backyard, the pet's owner hires a dog trainer but then refuses to pay because she wasn't happy with the lesson. Also: A woman sues her ex-fiancé for half the cost of their alleged engagement rings and for car repair charges.

I Want My Mongrel Puppy! How NOT to Write a Contract

When pet owners neglect to neuter their dogs, they end up with a litter of Husky/Pit Bull puppies and a fight over who gets to keep them. Also: A veteran handyman's contract leaves out any and all details about the scope of work he is sued by an unsatisfied customer.

Black Mold Mess! Grocery Store Romance Sours

A woman and her girlfriend claim ex-roommates backed out of their lease after an air quality issue that sent them all to a hotel. Also: Female co-workers, who became romantically involved, fight over an unpaid loan to buy a car.

Crazy Reminder from Landlord?! Judge Judy Learns What a Slim Jim Is

A landlord signals that money is owed by turning his tenant's power on and off he claims his efforts resulted in $50 placed on his car under a rock. Also: In a feud over $700 in frozen meat, the Judge gets a primer on beef sticks.

When Pink Floyd Albums Attack?!

Roommates are at odds after one sells an LP belonging to the other at a garage sale.

Marijuana House Rules Obnoxious Witness Thrown Out of Court?!

A woman says she asked her pot-smoking roommate to take a break when her father was visiting but was allegedly met with nothing but disrespect. Also: Officer Byrd is asked to step in when a witness to a car accident insists that a driver was going 30 miles over the speed limit.

Vandal Carves His Own Initials on Car?! Storming the Minibar?!

A man hires detectives to find a handyman that he alleges owes him money and vandalized his property. Also: A woman rents a hotel room to celebrate her birthday but winds up suing a former friend for alleged smoking and minibar thieving.

Snowmobile Rooftop Whammy! $5,000 for a $10 Haircut?!

A young vacationer seals his fate when he offers video evidence showing himself sailing over a man's roof on his snowmobile. Also: A Texas lawyer accuses a hairstylist of cutting his hair too short the Judge suggests he show more respect for the court system.

Childhood Friend Feud! Gun Pawning Dilemma!

A woman neglects to tell her friend that the car she's making payments on is to be repossessed. Also: A woman admits to pawning guns owned by her teenage daughter's boyfriend he demands that he be compensated.


H e doesn’t love me. He never loved me. And he isn’t looking for me — so I damn well better survive the night on my own. No food, no tent, no map. No one to blame but myself. Too bad burning hot shame isn’t a heat source.

Moonlight traces a craggy ridgeline up around me in a massive arc. The sparse lodgepole pines give way to barren rock, which means 12,000-foot elevation. Thin air breeds spartan creatures — mountain lions, king snakes, bighorn sheep. Not soft-fingered writers.

My body curls into the fetal position inside the soggy sleeping bag as my teeth chatter with percussive violence. No comfort for animals that don’t belong. The hard earth refuses to yield an inch to the curve of my hip.

I lay my spine flat and look up — I haven’t seen a star in nine years. Even through my panicked fog, the glory catches me. The sky glitters and winks like a showgirl. The Perseid Meteor Shower should peak tonight. Hey if I don’t make it, at least I’ll get a good show, right? But nothing falls.

“W e tell ourselves stories in order to live,” writes Joan Didion. “We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.”

My compulsion started around the time my father surprised everyone by dying. I’d just been dumped by the first person I’d ever kissed (and asked to keep it a secret). Then I’d blown out my knee in a basketball game and torpedoed my collegiate career. I craved control over an uncontrollable world.

So I began to write. When I’m overwhelmed, I imagine I’m inside a movie of my own design. Nothing can hurt the omniscient narrator.

This is a love story. More specifically, it’s a story about how I froze the phantasmagoria into a false map and got terribly lost. Sure, emotionally lost, but also get-me-the-fuck-off-this-mountain lost. We tell ourselves stories in order to live, unless they end up killing us.

I met Mountain Man at a boarding school in Ojai, California — my first job out of college. As an expression of its “ranch values,” the school assigned each kid a horse to ride and shovel shit for. The faculty led mandatory backpacking trips twice per year, often to a camp under Mount Langley in the Sierras.

I was eager to create new memories in the wild after my last experience: a college trip in New Hampshire where we went off course. Administrators spent three days searching the White Mountains to tell me that my father had died. Others might hold a grudge against Nature for this affront, but not me.

My dad, a second-generation Finn, respected Nature’s brutal majesty. I’d seen the photographs of him in pre-suburban life — paddling on wooded lakes and tromping across snowy bluffs. Two summers earlier, I’d completed an Outward Bound leadership training course. I’d spelled out sisu in my head over and over when the trail got tough. He beamed when I told him this. Sisu means “guts” in Finnish.

At 6-foot-4, I’ve inherited my dad’s frame. I’m the tallest woman most people have ever seen. Strangers tell me so on sidewalks, at cash registers, and in public bathrooms. A hipster once asked, “Do you secretly hate yourself?” No. I was just bone-crushingly lonely. I was a 24-year-old Harvard-educated virgin with a signed copy of The Elements of Style. I’d never had a boyfriend. Given Ojai’s microscopic dating pool and my waning confidence in the allure of late bloomers, perhaps I never would.

Mountain Man arrived my second year at the school — the hirsute love child of Ryan Gosling and Bear Grylls. His eyes were the blue of alpine lakes, and although only 5-foot-11 he swaggered like an NBA champ. He took jobs when he felt like it and lived off the grid when he didn’t. Before this gig he’d led scared-straight wilderness treks in Idaho — like the one he’d been sent to as a teenager. He brewed his own kombucha, caught trout with his bare hands, and had once lived in the Sierras for 40 days and nights alone. How Biblical.

I saw him for the first time at an outdoor school assembly. I’d spent the morning asking 12-year-olds, “What three adjectives would you use to describe yourself?” and proffering gingersnaps to their anxious mothers. I stepped out of the air-conditioned Admission Office wearing a Laura Ashley knockoff from The Tall Girl Shop. Mountain Man strode in from the Horse Department — sweat-stained in jeans and leather. Blades of grass leaned toward him, hoping for the crush of his boot.

I’d heard about him. News travels fast at small schools in small towns. He’d taken his freshman boy advisees out for pizza that week and a minx had dropped her number on his plate — solidifying his godlike status among the prepubescents faster than you can say arrabbiata.

Mountain Man introduced himself to the student body and began a tutorial on how to light a fire by rubbing sticks together and blowing on them —

[A film producer interrupts from behind her posh desk.]

Without a match? You’re shitting me!

This is exactly how it happened.

Love it! Add a kitten rescue in the rewrite.
(picks up phone)
Gina, is Chris Hemsworth available? …
How about Liam? …

I looked across the faces in the crowd — there was a blaze all right. Even the aged school nurse and her hound had heart-eye emojis. My married colleague, heavily pregnant with her second child, leaned over and whispered, “Damn.”

This guy is such a cliché, I thought. Hard eye roll — chased by self-loathing.

I, too, was charmed by Handsome McMuscleface, which made me a worse cliché — Girl Who Didn’t Stand a Chance. I hadn’t successfully dated anyone, let alone Field & Stream’s cover boy. Plus the height difference? My desire was humiliating.

Yet still! My storytelling brain sensed an opportunity of Hughesian proportions. Sexiest guy in school falls for intriguing, overlooked assistant admission officer.

The secret to elevating my dating game lay in the heart of my favorite teen rom-coms: Don’t be yourself. I pictured him with a SoCal Lara Croft — half assassin, half sun-bunny. You know, a cool girl.

Adorkable overachiever was my brand. Cool was not. My mother once punished me in high school by forbidding me to study on a Friday night.

Another time, I accidentally outed my 14-year-old sister, Sarah, for taking the family car on a joyride. I was 16 and hadn’t bothered with the car yet — the library was within walking distance. When Sarah wasn’t in bed after midnight, I’d assumed she’d been kidnapped.

“I’m so sorry,” I told her when she was grounded into oblivion. “I never considered the possibility of something fun.”

“It’s OK,” Sarah’s braces gleamed beneath headgear. “I know.”

Nonetheless, I had minor superpowers. I understood narrative. I knew how to play a part. See: Lady Macbeth, third runner-up, Central New York’s Teen Shakespeare Monologue Competition.

How hard could it be to write myself into this story?

C ool Girl made no effort to meet Mountain Man for weeks. I watched from afar in the cafeteria. He’d clomp over to the soft serve station in his big boots after lunch.

[Re-creation of the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.]

Mountain Man (Juliet) swirls up a vanilla ice cream cone and takes a sensuous bite as Cool Girl (Romeo) watches below, unseen.

(Elizabethan accent)
O, that I were sprinkles upon that
cream, That I might touch that lip!

I forced my eyes away as he passed. Let him come to me. Cool Girl 101.

The Spanish teacher at my lunch table said, “I’m a happily married woman — but for a chance with him … ?” She whistled through her teeth. “You should go for it.”

“He’s not really my type,” I said, channeling my best James Dean lean.

“That man is everyone’s type,” she hissed. I smiled and shrugged.

B asketball season rolled around in November. As head coach, I mentioned I could use an extra practice player. He offered with a grin. I put on my best game face, but my players, teenage girls fluent in body language, tittered on the sidelines.

As Mountain Man and I drove the team in two passenger vans to an away game one sunny afternoon, my van started to giggle. I turned to look at his, the next lane over on the highway. One of the darlings pressed a handmade sign to the window: Ms. Johnson, he’s too short for you!

Both vans shrieked with laughter. He couldn’t see the sign. I prayed they didn’t tell him what was so funny.

Kill me now. Just end it.
I smiled at my girls and shrugged again.

I was assigned to chaperone a holiday school dance. I’d seen Mountain Man’s name on the list too. However, it was midnight and all of the students had left, with no sign of him. He was probably out birthing a foal or eating a volcano. The school webmaster-cum-DJ cranked up ’90s jams and we chaperones took over. Nothing like earnest high school teachers getting stanky to “Big Pimpin’.”

I danced, sweated and didn’t care how I looked. A tap on my shoulder — I turned. It was him. His cerulean eyes locked with mine. “Trust me,” he said, and put his forearm against the small of my back. Cool Girl was ready to rob a bank.

I leapt up and back as he flipped all 76 inches of me, 360 degrees, head over heels. Adrenaline surged through my veins as I stuck the landing. Cheering friends circled around. He flipped me again. I was giddy, dizzy, unable to comprehend the physics of such a move — but when the ground looks like the sky it’s no time for thinking.

The lights came up and the music stopped. I gave him an awkward high-five and bolted for home, like a Cinderella who knew tonight’s ration of magic was up.

I laid awake in bed. After the school year, I’d be moving to New York City to accept a fellowship in public affairs. Time was running out.

The following week, my basketball team, perennial underdogs, won a big game on a heart-stopping buzzer beater. Mountain Man and I celebrated by playing pool in the back room of a local dive bar. It was the first time we’d been alone together. I matched him point for point until his final turn. I swigged my beer like Angelina Jolie — if Angelina Jolie drank Miller High Life.

I perched against the table, blocking his approach and said, “Take your best shot.” He stepped between my legs, took my face in his hands and kissed me hard.

All the fireworks fired. Holy shit I’m a natural!

Some minutes later we were still atop the pool table when a guy opened the door.

“Are you guys still playing or … can I have a round?”

The darkness enveloped my flush. “Sorry man, all yours,” Mountain Man said with a wink. “She’ll do anything to win.”

We drove to my little house where he strummed his guitar and sang a song by U2. His eyes were closed and his voice was deep.

In a little while
This hurt will hurt no more
I’ll be home, love …

I held myself, fingers digging into flesh — tight, lest I burst into flames.

The sex was great, but what really blew my mind was the story. To be desired by the Most Desirable, I must be fucking exceptional.

As our romance progressed, he confided that he was drawn to a solitary life in nature. “I’m bad at relationships,” he said. Again, with those eyes.

I’ve never been in one.
“Me too,” I answered.

He liked independent women with their own passions — but so often they changed, lost themselves. Like one college girlfriend who started showing up to watch his lacrosse practices.

Pathetic, I thought. I wouldn’t do that in a billion years.

I doubled down on Cool Girl. I served up the fun, wild parts of myself and kept the wobbly bits hidden. A nasty blister stained the inside of my boot blood red on one of our treks, but I didn’t let on. I drank whiskey without flinching, hustled darts with my opposite hand, and wore low-cut tops with black bras when we played pool. Oh, if the Teen Shakespearians could see me now!

I listened for cues to up my game. “Don’t ask for what you kind of want,” he said after hearing me on the phone with a customer service representative. “Ask for exactly what you want.”

I didn’t just love him I wanted to be him.

He suggested we try dating long-distance. I was elated. Coup of the century!

M y sister Sarah, now a design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, moved in with me in the Big Apple. We caught five mice in our decrepit apartment in the first week. Yet as long as Sarah was there, I was home. I wrote her résumés. She framed fashion feedback in a way I could understand: “Your outfit,” she’d say with the forbearance of a monk, “is not telling a consistent story.” She threw herself into the maelstrom of New York dating as I happily abstained.

Mountain Man sent me handwritten missives and pencil sketches of my face. He highlighted words in a pocket Spanish dictionary — amante, beso, toque. In between pages, he pressed columbine and Indian paintbrush. He included a little satchel of rocks — limestone, hornfels, mica — tiny treasures from his rambles in the high places. His letter read, “My longing, in a pocket for you.” New York City was kicking my ass, but my belief in our epic love story buoyed me.

He even came to visit me in Babylon, as he called it, for New Year’s. It was the first time I saw him away from his other woman, the wild. He strained to put on a good face despite obvious irritation with the concrete canyons, $14 gin and tonics, and affected hipsters. I joked about the local wildlife (pigeons, rats in the subway, my asshole mice roommates), but it was plain that he was lost without his true love. I could never compete.

“So great to see you killing it out here,” he said.

This city is crushing my soul.
“You know me,” I said.

Cool Girl was wearing me out. I’d pulled off the heist but now had to live with the con.

When it was time for Mountain Man to fly back home, I watched him in the ticket agent line, certain he wouldn’t be let on the plane. He’d lost his license. This was post 9/11 LaGuardia — no chance. Sure, he knew how to survive in the wilderness with nothing but a pen and ball of twine, but I knew how this city worked. He waited, beaming at the agent, wafting manbrosia from 20 feet away.

“Driver’s license?” She called him forward. I shook my head. I’d tried to warn him.

“I don’t have a driver’s license,” he replied, “but I do have a diver’s license.”

He slapped a scuba certification ID onto the desk. In it his hair stuck out in all directions, his expression adorable. She laughed and waved him through. What?! Manic Pixie Dream Boy strikes again. He gave me a winning smile and headed toward the gate, back to his mistress.

I took a taxi home, depleted and confused. Was he even a real person?

Life got harder in New York. My mother, living alone in Syracuse, was hospitalized with a perforated bowel. I had just worked up my courage on a phone call to tell him how scared I was to lose her, when his surf buddy knocked on his door.

Please don’t go. Choose me.
“Of course,” I said. “Have fun!”

I craved his support but wouldn’t break out of my role. Needs? Cool Girl didn’t have needs. Gross.

He called once a week from a landline. He didn’t believe in cell phones. I held my cell all February 14th, certain he’d call any minute. He didn’t. Later he remarked, “Hallmark holidays are such bullshit, right?”

But you’re my first Valentine.
“Total bullshit,” Cool Girl agreed.

Sarah saw through my story. “You’re not happy with him,” she said. “Stop being an idiot.”

[Sarah addresses camera.]

More like, “Stop being a fucking

I couldn’t explain how being his girlfriend made me exceptional. It sounded pathetic. There but for the grace of God, go I to the lacrosse practice.

A year into dating, I visited him in Ojai. We returned to the dive bar where we’d had our first kiss. He loaded up “Sweet Melissa” on the jukebox but was out back having a cigarette with strangers when it came on. I felt like a hollowed-out piñata.

A woman at the bar advertised palm readings for five dollars. I didn’t hesitate.

“Let’s see what we can see,” she said.

I placed my clammy, open-faced hand into hers.

“Hmm.” Her brows knit together as she traced a ridgeline.

“You’ve got the Jupiter Mate Selector,” she whispered, like it was a tumor.

“You know, Jupiter, Roman god of the sky. Zeus to the Greeks.”

“You fall for powerful men. You put them up on a pedestal and keep yourself down low.”

Stone-faced, she folded my sweaty hand and gave it back to me.

“If you don’t believe that you’re just as powerful as the man you’re with, then you’ll be alone forever.”

My Cool Girl act proved that I didn’t feel like his equal. So I could either get real quick or break up with him. I chose the latter. Maybe I didn’t think he’d like my true neurotic self. Or I valued the preservation of my fairy tale over the actual relationship. Or I was just damn exhausted.

We went on one last backpacking trip in the Sierras. Distance was a perfect excuse. Nobody’s fault. “A good run.” I exited the union the way I’d entered, by suppressing my emotions and calling it strength. He told me how amazing I was, but I knew the truth. I didn’t cry until I was alone. What a fraud.

I consoled myself by expanding the story. I wasn’t another notch on his lipstick case — he was in pain too. No girl had broken up with him before! He’d start calling me The One That Got Away and flirt with me into our 80s. I’d smile and shrug — cool till the end.

He started dating someone a nanosecond later.

“I’m sure she’s great,” I told our mutual math teacher friend through a stiff smile.

Yet, his claim of wanting to stay friends seemed genuine. He set up times to talk on the phone during his brief interludes down from the Sierras that summer. Then he flaked every time. WTF? The dull ache in my chest tightened into something sharp.

Autumn came, still I waited, hating myself for it. I worked insane hours for low wages at an environmental nonprofit run by a sociopath. I hadn’t had sex in four months and all my first dates had flopped.

One afternoon I got a voicemail from him. Finally! But it was a pocket dial. (Now he gets a cell phone?!) A week later I rode the tide of commuters up from the Union Square subway station, buoyed and beaming. He’d left another message, surely a real one this time.

Nope. Another pocket dial. In it I heard Mountain Man coaching his lacrosse team. He sounded so happy and I was so miserable. The final indignity.

The dam that had held back my messy self for so long burst. I’m getting tossed out like yesterday’s trash? Hell no. NOBODY DOES COOL GIRL LIKE THIS!!

I scream-shouted my own voicemail, “Learn to use a fucking phone and delete my number!!” I hung up and put a hand over my mouth to block the sobs. The gray-black river of indistinguishable New Yorkers streamed past me on the sidewalk. I wasn’t exceptional anymore.

N ine years passed in New York. I wrote stories for money. Got rejected. Wrote more. My mom’s health worsened. Then improved. Then worsened again. I dated a police officer, a tech entrepreneur, a newspaper man. Sarah and I upgraded to a “garden-level” apartment. I had pigeons in an air shaft outside my bedroom and Sarah had a dumpster full of mice outside hers. At least the vermin were outside now.

Sometimes, especially in summer, I’d squint my eyes and see Mountain Man on the poster of Mount Langley above my bed, climbing the ridgeline. So small, only I could see him. While I never opened his box of letters and pressed flowers under my bed, I didn’t throw it away either. My longing, in a pocket for you.

I spent my life’s savings to create a film that sold to Showtime. For once I hadn’t sought anyone else’s permission. I’d leaned back, jumped into a flip, and stuck the landing on my own. I decided to move to Los Angeles, though leaving Sarah was like leaving behind a limb.

I hadn’t spoken to Mountain Man in almost a decade. Missing him and missing the mountains felt the same — a tug to abandon acceptable society and get dirty. I considered reaching out to him. I’d done hard things. I was stronger now — his equal, right? Maybe it could work?

I’ll be my 100 percent true self this time.

[Orchestral music swells. A narrator speaks.]

The lovers reunite in the wilderness.
Older. Wiser. Only now can they truly —

“Aren’t there like, other mountains in California?” Sarah interrupted my reverie, eating peanut butter out of the jar. She’d never bought into Mountain Man’s charms.

Mountain Man answered my email with a warmth that made my entire body blush. He welcomed me for a weekend at the school’s camp in the Sierras. I knew the location under Mount Langley well I’d led student trips there. We’d rendezvous at the parking lot trailhead in three weeks. I’d join a group of alumni who were vacationing at the school’s camp. Their burro train would be easy to spot with Mountain Man at the helm.

I let Sarah keep all of our furniture, and she helped me pack my books and wardrobe into Goldmember, my secondhand Subaru. “If I catch you wearing Birks,” she warned, “I’m bringing you back.”

I drove alone from New York to Los Angeles in a daze of possibility. I was about to start telling stories for a living in the City of Angels. Who knew what might spark between Mountain Man and me under the stars? I wandered through story castles in my mind as miles of Midwestern corn flew past my window.

I awoke on a bright August morning in Silver Lake. My friend Adam was letting me crash in his converted garage until I found my new home in L.A. Today was the day. Butterflies danced up my thighs but Cool Girl was back and took charge. I pulled on new Patagonia shorts I couldn’t afford, laid down in the garden and rolled around in the dirt.

“Whatcha doing?” Adam asked from the kitchen window, bleary-eyed in boxers, coffee in hand.

“Gotta rough ’em up,” I explained. “Can’t look too new.”

I debated the merits of cowboy hat versus baseball cap in the bathroom mirror for 20 minutes. Then I painstakingly applied no-makeup makeup: professional grade mascara, concealer, tinted SPF and bronzer — camouflage to the untrained male eye. Why, Cool Girl hadn’t aged a day.

I hit the road late. No matter, I could make up the time on the five-hour drive. Goldmember bombed through the scorching Mojave Desert, past Joshua trees, Death Valley, and the dried-up salt of Owen’s Lake — grim tribute to the unnatural thirst of Los Angeles — into the Inyo National Forest. I climbed the precarious switchbacks, well-known to wilderness junkies and location scouts, into the mighty Sierras, youngest mountain range in the United States. Impossibly young, like me.

View of the Sierras from the Sequoia National Park, adjacent to Inyo National Forest.

I shout-sang to the radio until it fuzzed out. My ears popped as I dodged fallen rocks with one hand and called Mountain Man with the other. There were no guardrails and the road narrowed to a blind turn, above a thousand-foot drop-off.

It went to voicemail. “It’s me,” I said, buzzing with adrenaline, “I’m a little late. No need to wait — I’ll walk myself into camp!” Cool Girl knew the way.

I arrived at the sprawling parking area, dotted with dozens of trailheads. Goldmember quickly found the right one. Mountain Man and the alumni had departed. Fresh burro tracks crowded the trail. Fair enough, I was 20 minutes late.

The midafternoon sky was hard and bright as a marble. I reapplied no-makeup mascara and started down the trail, recognizing trees and streams as I passed. Cocky about my sense of direction, I stopped to meditate on a felled trunk, freebasing sunshine and alpine air.

I’ll catch up to them in 30 minutes, tops.

H ours later, I climbed a grueling series of switchbacks as sunlight narrowed to a thin ribbon over the saddle. My mascara had fallen into racoon eyes. I distracted myself from my gnawing hunger by rehearsing my opening line to Mountain Man.

[Cool Girl, dressed in trench coat and fedora, addresses camera.]

Cool Girl
(as Humphrey Bogart)
Say, what’s a girl gotta do to
get a drink around here?

I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. No problem, I’d see Mount Langley from the top of the pass and the camp beneath it. There’d be a full spread waiting.

Landscape of the Sierras viewed from the Sequoia National Park.

S-I-S-U, S-I-S-U … I repeated the old mantra on a loop in my head.

Sweat-drenched and huffing, I made it to the saddle and looked out upon the long-shadowed wilderness. No Langley.

The trusty burro tracks were still there. I scurried down the opposite slope into the gloaming. Raindrops pinged my bare arms but there was a lake up ahead that I recognized. Just a little farther.

Night ambushed me. Total blackness. My instinct was to yell, “Not funny, guys!” as if that might bring up the house lights. I balanced my pack on a rock, hands trembling as I fumbled with an ancient headlamp mummified by duct tape. I didn’t notice that the sleeping bag at the bottom of my pack was getting soused in a puddle. Was I shaking because of the cold or my nerves? The rain intensified. Just a little farther.

Tharump-tharump-tharump! A mountain lion pounded down the ridgeline behind me, jumped with jaws wide, ready to rip into my flesh — I whipped around, hiking poles braced. Nothing. It was only the sound of my own heart, trying to beat its way out of my ears.

Nausea washed over me. I knew the hypothermia risk of sleeping out in precipitation. I was at the tree line, 12,000-foot elevation, which meant near freezing temperatures, even in August.

Is this a joke? Donner, party of one? I wandered aimlessly now. Just a little farther.

My story mind grew emboldened. A voice spoke up like my personal HAL 9000, “DON’T PANIC … DON’T PANIC … PANIC … PANIC … ”

“Stop that!” I hissed, sounding like the homeless man who used to wander around my block.

Maybe Mountain Man can hear me from here. I released a high-pitched cry into the wild dark.

Up and down the ridgeline I paced, redoubling my ragged cries.

Then I heard it — a faint, deep voice across the lake. I shouted Mountain Man’s name from the deepest place inside me.

“HEY!” the voice rang back. Relief, pure and sweet, dropped through me. I was already in that warm cabin, laughing it off—

“SHUT UP!” the voice said. Not. Mountain. Man.

Should I shout again? What if he’s a serial mountain rapist ready to cast me in a gritty reboot of Deliverance?

Weary, I hunkered down with my wet sleeping bag and used my dirty sneaker as a pillow. Dankness soaked into my bones. My knee throbbed. I couldn’t stop shaking. I began sit-ups to generate body heat as hail pummeled my face.

If I die, I’m gonna haunt Serial Mountain Rapist’s ass for eternity.

[A movie trailer voice-over interjects.]

(deep, authoritative)
She’s a vigilante specter with nothing
to lose. He’s the dick across the lake
who couldn’t be bothered. GHOST JUSTICE,
coming to CBS this fall.

I closed my eyes for short, drowsy intervals, and opened them mechanically, as if triggered by the slow, audible click of a lever behind my ear. The view changed a little bit each time. Hazy, no stars. Then a low, drippy moon. Then faint white pinpricks everywhere.

View of the Sierras from Sequoia National Park with the moon high in the sky.

Click. I opened my eyes again to find a clear-eyed moon bearing down on me like an interrogation lamp. I threw myself upon its mercy.

I confess. I’m here because I took too long putting on my Cool Girl bullshit costume. I was trying to impress an asshole who couldn’t wait 20 fucking minutes after TEN YEARS. I understand the story now. It’s a cautionary tale. Let me survive this and I’ll drop Cool Girl forever. Please.

Click. I opened my eyes wide to take in thousands of stars, a dusting of cosmic sugar that extended beyond my periphery, brilliant and twinkling.

There was something new — bright white lines drawn around constellations, like the poster on my sister’s childhood bedroom door. HAL narrated, “ANDROMEDA, THE BEAR, CASSIOPEIA … ”

I didn’t know that I knew the names of these constellations — sweet!

HAL continued, “PEGASUS, SAGITTARIUS … ” It was a movie screen in the sky.

Revelation punctured my woozy delight. What I was seeing wasn’t real. I shook myself upright and pinched my arm. Snap out of it, Johnson! But the shapes didn’t go anywhere.

I squeezed my eyes shut and laid back down.

It’s OK — just a little stress hallucination. Deep cleansing breath. I’ll open my eyes and the shapes will be gone.

I reopened one millimeter at a time.

I locked my eyes shut. A frantic sparrow was trapped inside my head, flying room to room, bloodying itself against every window — looking for the way out.

I t was a long sleepless wait before I dared to open my eyes again. The stars were gone now, and I watched the sky change from black to indigo to pink, like a bruise healing. I rose, quaking as a colt. Everything hurt. The muscles around my knee spasmed. My lungs worked for every breath in the oxygen-depleted air.

On the far side of the lake I spied campers packing for departure. I shuffle-ran toward them, legs screaming, desperate to make it before they left. They were just below me when I realized this must be Serial Mountain Rapist and friends.

Just be as polite as possible.

“Beg your pardon!” It came out in a British accent. That’s weird. My survival instincts had turned thespian. Six grave, bearded mugs turned to face me in unison. Bloody ’ell.

“I appear to be in a bit of a pickle. Might you have a map?”

They were a group of fathers and sons from San Diego and were horrified to hear that I’d spent the night exposed to the hail and rain. I inhaled three bags of their M&Ms and two Nature Valley bars. They were hiking out today and encouraged me to join them.

Their map showed that I was nine miles and 2,000 feet up in the wrong direction. I’d confused the Cottonwood Pass Trail with the Cottonwood Lakes Trail and recognized landmarks because I’d taken trips of students out on this route. I’d been wrong from the first step.

Me at Cottonwood Lakes in Inyo National Forest, with the Sierras and Mount Langley peeking out in the back. Photos courtesy author.

I toed the back of the line with the eldest father. We settled into a meditative cadence. The others got farther ahead.

“You know that camp I was headed to?”

“It’s run by my ex-boyfriend. Haven’t seen him in 10 years.”

“Yeah.” I paused. “The good part is, bet he hasn’t noticed that I haven’t arrived yet. Or he thinks I’m coming tomorrow, or whatever.” I forced a laugh.

“Maybe,” the father said, “or maybe he’s really worried about you.”

Fathers aren’t big on tears in my experience. I’d never seen my dad cry. Misty-eyed once, when his sister died. But never cry. He’d requested two things for his eulogy, which we both knew I’d be writing. First say, “Not bad for a poor Finnish boy from Quincy, Mass.,” and second, “Don’t go crying and carrying on.” He was the original Jupiter. While Sarah and my older sister, Toby, fell apart next to me at the lectern, and my mom sobbed in her pew, I held steady. My tribute. Don’t show your feelings. Be cool.

I was glad to be ahead of this father, single-file, so he couldn’t see my wet face.

T he day was late back at the trailhead parking lot. I slumped in Goldmember’s hatchback, sorting through wet clothes. Hair ratty, makeup frightful, I was downwind from the public toilets and too spent to move. Portrait of The Uncool.

A school van rolled towards me.

“Melissa Johnson,” a serious voice said, “everyone is looking for you.”

Bearded, older, but those unmistakable eyes. Mountain Man.

He sounded pissed — his voice, low and even. I’d never seen him like this. Then I realized — I’d scared him. The unflappable guy, flapped.

“I got lost,” I said in a soft voice. He got out of the van. We embraced.

He had waited for me at the correct trailhead, five minutes away, until nightfall. Then he’d sent out the call. State troopers were looking for me on the highways park rangers were searching in the mountains student workers from the camp were scouring the trails — a full-scale search-and-rescue operation. His backpack held an emergency oxygen tank.

He’d used his satellite phone to track down our math teacher friend who had, in turn, called the headmaster on vacation in Wyoming, my friend Adam in Silver Lake, my former boss in Oakland — and Sarah.

We drove to a nearby vista so I could call Sarah. She screamed to the point of squeaking.

“You are an ASSHOLE! I thought you were DEAD!”

My tongue was thick with shame. This was the worst thing I’d ever done, to the person who loved me the most. She’d been on her way to tell Mom that there had been no sign of me for 24 hours. It was worse than the search for me in the White Mountains, because she knew I was alone.


To this day when this story comes up, Sarah leaves the room.

M ountain Man and I walked to the camp from the correct trailhead. It took 45 minutes. I looked up at Mount Langley — eternal and unchangeable to a small human.

We sipped tequila that night in his cabin.

“After we broke up, I missed you so bad. Thought we’d be friends. All this hard stuff was happening. I couldn’t understand why you just … dropped me. You were a real shit.”

My body trembled. I’d never been so forthright.

“What?” His face fell. “You told me to delete your number. You didn’t want to have anything to do with me. Why didn’t you tell me?!”

Turns out, I’m the hero of this story and also the villain. In my search for a romantic lead, I’d replaced him with a totem. Mountain Man neither possessed nor could tolerate weakness. But his real name was Gabe. He wasn’t a god out of Roman mythology. He was born in Reno with a clubfoot to parents who got divorced. He’d failed to graduate college and went back years later. He was self-conscious about his hairy back. Clean arcs resist messy details.

At a grassy alpine meadow in the Sierras, two days after reuniting with Mountain Man.

“The way you live your life apart, I realized you don’t need people,” I insisted.

“That’s not true. I absolutely need people.”

No, he didn’t need people! It was a pillar of my story. But then he opened up about his own bone-crushing loneliness after his last breakup. It had been drawn out, ugly, emotional — an altogether human affair. I felt the hurt radiating off his body. I couldn’t hide from the deeper, more painful truth —

The words sat heavy in my mouth. I ached to say them, to drop the Cool Girl mask for good. Vulnerability is death. Yet lack of vulnerability is also death. What a rotten trap! I wanted to shout back at the voice in the wilderness that had told me to shut up. I wanted to sob at the lectern. I wanted to be messy and real and loved for it all.

But I choked. I filled my mouth with tequila instead.

“I would have gone up every trail,” he said, “followed the road all the way back to Los Angeles to find you.” My heart split in two and fell to the ground.

All my stories had been wrong.

I’d picked the wrong map, gone down the wrong trail and reassured myself with misinterpreted data points that I was going the right way. I’d been wrong from the first step.

L ater that evening, I lay snug in the open meadow under bountiful stars. No white lines tonight, only Gabe’s red laser pointer naming constellations. Middle-aged alums had returned to see the stars they’d known as kids, to feel young again in the seeing.

Andromeda was about to be eaten by a sea monster. Callisto was transformed into The Bear so Zeus could hide her from his wife. Virgo, daughter of Demeter, was stolen by Hades. Ancient poets and wandering minstrels flung these stories about women upon flaming balls of hydrogen and helium — so they could feel less alone in the dark night.

We hope our stories will protect us from sailing off the edge of the earth, or the unpredictability of the harvest, or loving someone who doesn’t love us back. Our toy swords against the dragon.

T he rest of the weekend was full of hikes, hammocks, and music around the campfire. I reminded Gabe of that first fire he’d made at the school assembly.

“God, that was so embarrassing,” he confessed, “when I couldn’t get it to light.”

What? I stared at him. Exactly how different had our stories been over the years?

What if neither of us was right? What if both of us were right? What if all the stories were true and untrue? What if we could experience the multitude of competing narratives at once — and enter the Spider-verse like a god, like Jupiter?

[Characters address camera in montage format.]

It was like watching two superheroes

He was a garden-variety dilettante with
an REI card. And his beard was gross.

Have you seen him play lacrosse?

I mean, I’m a happily married woman —
but for a chance with her … ?
(whistles through teeth)

I never met a mouth I liked more.

I predicted the whole thing.

I’m the one who insisted that he start
the search party.

She came back to see the mountains.
She didn’t come back to see me.

W hen the time came for me to return to L.A., Gabe invited me to join a river rafting trip with him and two ranger buddies deeper into the wild. They were bringing homebrew and a yeti costume.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.

Indeed, it was. Manbrosia flooded my senses.

“So?” he shrugged with a devilish smile. All creatures in his gravitational orbit bent toward him. I felt the pull and leaned away.

He is the guy. He’s not the guy. He’ll always be the guy. He never was the guy.

I could hold all of the stories at once, devour them in a mouthful. They swirled together in my magnificent round belly. There was no past and no future here. Nowhere else to be. I felt my life force expanding in a primordial storm. I was the descendant of supernovas.

“What’s it gonna be?” he asked.

I had thought that becoming his equal would mean that we’d be together. I was wrong.

I have a life to go build.
“I have a life to go build.”


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Restaurant Server Secretly Gives Pregnant Woman Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Faces Backlash Online

Jonas Grinevičius and
Denis Tymulis

The 2.4-million-strong &lsquoAITA&rsquo subreddit is a place for weird stories where people ask whether or not they were being jerks. And it proves that reality can sometimes be stranger than fiction. One post that got redditors&rsquo and the media&rsquos attention involved a server at a restaurant, an allegedly pregnant woman, and deception.

The server secretly served the woman &lsquovirgin&rsquo (aka non-alcoholic) cocktails but got found out and suffered the consequences. Meanwhile, the &lsquoAITA&rsquo crowd overwhelmingly called the Reddit user a jerk for what they did. However, we&rsquod love to know what you think of the situation, dear Pandas. Have a read and let us know if what the author of the story did was justified or not. What would you have done in this situation?

We wanted to get more context about alcohol consumption during pregnancy, so we reached out to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. A BPAS spokesperson told Bored Panda that &ldquothere is no compelling evidence of harm at lower levels of alcohol consumption. General precautionary advice to abstain is not based on evidence of harm caused by consumption, but rather, on the inability to rule out the risk.&rdquo Read on for more of their insights.

Image credits: Ruth Hartnup (not the actual photo)

&ldquoWhile the available evidence points to a causal relationship between extremely high levels of drinking and harm, this evidence is predicated on an inability to rule out potential confounders (e.g. nutrition, other substance use, more general socio-economic factors) which could be at play. However, as the British Medical Association (BMA) notes, &lsquoOnly four to five percent of children born to women who consumed large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy are affected by the full syndrome presentation,'&rdquo a BPAS representative told Bored Panda.

They highlighted that women are &ldquoentitled to make their own decisions regarding alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and the majority of women do abstain.&rdquo

The spokesperson continued: &ldquoPregnant women &lsquoregulate&rsquo their own consumption during pregnancy. Data shows that only a very small minority (2.9 percent) of women drinking more than one unit of alcohol per week during pregnancy.&rdquo

According to the BPAS spokesperson, the risks from consuming small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy might be overstated. &ldquoAt BPAS, we see women who are so concerned about their alcohol consumption&mdashoften before they even realized they were pregnant&mdashthat they are considering ending an otherwise wanted pregnancy. The majority of pregnancies in the UK are not formally planned, and it may be several weeks before a woman suspects she is pregnant,&rdquo they said.

&ldquoAlcohol is enjoyed by many women of reproductive age and inevitably this means significant numbers of women will have drunk fairly heavily before finding out they were pregnant. These women need reassurance and accurate information,&rdquo the spokesperson pointed out.

&ldquoWithin the UK, there is guidance directed to (potentially) pregnant women concerning alcohol consumption. The UK Chief Medical Officer&rsquos &lsquoLow Risk Drinking Guidelines&rsquo (2016) recommends &lsquothe safest level of alcohol consumption is no consumption at all.&rsquo This recommendation was not given in light of any emerging evidence of harm, but rather due to the notion that women needed &lsquosimplicity&rsquo in messaging. It adopts a purely precautionary stance (&lsquoWhy risk it?&rsquo), which is not reflective of the paucity of evidence regarding low-level consumption and harm.&rdquo

Most redditors thought that the server was in the wrong and explained exactly why they thought so

The redditors who branded the original poster a jerk had a lot of different arguments why the server might have been in the wrong. For instance, they had no surefire way of knowing that the woman was, in fact, pregnant.

What&rsquos more, some pointed out that non-alcoholic beverages can be cheaper than alcoholic ones in some places. So the bit of trickery the server did could be interpreted as stealing. However, keep in mind that the cost of virgin and &lsquoreal&rsquo drinks doesn&rsquot differ at all in some restaurants, so this argument is on thin ice. We simply don&rsquot have enough info about this.

Overall, most redditors sided with the ideals of free will and non-intervention: you don&rsquot mess with somebody else&rsquos food without their knowledge, even if you have good intentions. There were those who jumped to the OP&rsquos defense, though, and praised them for following through with their principles even if there was deception involved.

According to the CDC, mothers drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (or FASDs) in their children.

&ldquoThese effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning,&rdquo the CDC explains. &ldquoThere is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause problems for a developing baby throughout pregnancy, including before a woman knows she&rsquos pregnant. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer.&rdquo

Meanwhile, the NHS points out that the Chief Medical Officers for the United Kingdom recommend that pregnant women don&rsquot drink alcohol to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

&ldquoDrinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk.&rdquo

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Limiting entry to popular Central Oregon trails could ease the harmful effects of overcrowding, but exclusivity — real or perceived — may only make these natural wonders more desirable.

Malik Muhammed is charged with 26 felonies, including attempted aggravated murder. He was released on a $2.125 million bail on Wednesday. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said in court documents on Friday he's not releasable from pre-trial custody.

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Watch the video: Εργαζόμενος ταβέρνας έσωσε πελάτη που πνίγηκε με το φαγητό (May 2022).