It was the 80’s. Every pre-pubescent, pubescent and teenage girl was a die-hard fan of either Duran Duran or Wham, Simon Le Bon or George Michael. You had to pick your side and you had to show your loyalty. Tattered photo collages in lockers, bedrooms smeared in posters and perfectly cut snapshots from Teen Beat magazine, memorized song lyrics, tacky t-shirts with “Choose life” in massive block letters, feathered hair and blaring ballads whining about how they will never dance again.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I didn’t participate in this display of irrational affection for an 80’s boy band. I was a Whammy, as was my best friend, Sarah, my older sister and her best friend. We were about 9 and they were about 16 at the time of the “incident.”

It was my birthday. I got some rad haul, including a giant poster of George Michael and Andrew Ridgley singing their hearts out live at a concert somewhere. Going to a Wham concert was my most precious dream so this poster meant the world to me. I loved it. Sarah, who slept over that night, asked me where I would hang it. We talked for hours debating the perfect spot in my bedroom until we fell fast asleep.

A week went by. My coveted Wham poster was nowhere to be found. Nowhere. I searched high and low. Sarah came over to help me search it out. We looked everywhere, but no luck. Then Sarah suggested we check my sister’s bedroom. Yes, we should check, we should definitely check. It wouldn’t be beyond my sneaky and greedy sister who I loved to hate.

A-ha! Not the all-male Norwegian pop group, the poster! Under my sister’s bed. “Caught red-handed.” That’s what Sarah said. This was the first time I heard the saying, but it felt appropriate. “What do we do?” I asked Sarah. “We have a trial,” she responded.

It was the 80’s. The People’s Court was a popular TV show and Judge Wapner was a celebrity known and respected by all for his fairness. Sarah and I knew of the show, so we also knew how to run a fair trial. I took Sarah’s guidance because she seemed to believe that justice would prevail. We prepared on the weekend. We had little red bar tickets that we planned to give our families to attend the trial. We practiced with my dog watching us. We found the perfect location for the courtroom. My mom was selected as the judge. After preparing our speeches, we were ready. The only problem was that my sister didn’t come home in time for the hearing. We fell asleep and then in the morning, Sarah had to go home.

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