Someone, no one knows who, or where, or when, said, “If something bad is going to happen, it will happen first in Maple Valley.”
I take exception to that notion. There are lots of things that happen in other places first. What generally follows is that the good folks in Maple Valley claim they were the first to experience whatever it was that happened somewhere else. It’s a way of getting more attention for our great community.
This one, however, is a first that the good folks in Maple Valley can own without any competition. I will do my best to relay the information to you without adding anything. The bottom line is this: Ver and Vee Burthrap are being sued for plagiarism, theft of copyrighted material, punitive damages, and creating bad feelings.
Last Thursday, Ver and Vee were shopping in Maple Valley, anticipating the wonderful celebration of Christmas. They first stopped at the Ya’ll Sit Cafe for cup of Hannah Cloverton’s special hot chocolate. Nothing prepares one for a great day of shopping like that! After hot chocolate, they walked over to the bank to withdraw enough money for the gifts they planned to purchase. Clampelman’s Boutique was to be their next stop, but they didn’t make it.
Ver and Vee were just about to open the door to Clampelman’s when a woman approached them and started talking.
“Hello, ladies,” the woman said politely. “Isn’t it a wonderful day for shopping?”
“Yes! Yes! That’s exactly what we’re doing. Are you going into Clampelman’s?” Ver asked, reaching to open the door.
“No, I’ve already been,” she answered.
“Are you new to Maple Valley? I don’t think we’ve met before. I’m Vee Burthrap, and this is my sister, Ver. We’re twins, we grew up in Maple Valley. We just love it here. Don’t you love it here? Christmas is such a beautiful time in Maple Valley. Did you come over on the train? Isn’t it fun? We like to ride the train over to Newtown and back even though we live in Maple Valley. It’s just so fun to ride the train, don’t you agree?” Vee Burthrap said without taking a breath, as her sister stared at her.
“You are Veronia and Vernita Burthrap?” the lady said without introducing herself.
“Yes, we are, and what is your name?” Ver asked.
“My name is server,” she said, handing Vee and large envelope. “You have been served,” the lady said as she turned away.
“Served what?” Ver asked, “Is this something to eat? What is it?” Ver called to the woman, now half a block away.
“Just read it!” she called back over her shoulder.
Ver and Vee Burthrap stood on the steps of Clampelman’s Boutique staring at each other in confusion. “Open it!” Ver said.
Vee tore open the large envelope and pulled out a neatly clipped stack of papers. The front page was fancy stationary with the letterhead: Shiftzen, Shiftzen, Pallermick, Dabwin, & Meeve, Attorneys at Law, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles.
She began to read:
“Dear Veronia and Vernita Burthrap,
You are hereby given notice that Dortsin W. Glimblemack, intends to bring a lawsuit against you for the amount of seven-hundred-fifty thousand (750,000) dollars, for plagiarism and punitive damages for the theft of copyrighted material, “Christmas Binzelphrast,” a recipe wholly owned by Dortsin W. Glimblemack.
You are required to file a response with the Circuit Court of Mellafern County, Missouri, by Tuesday, January 15. If you do not respond, judgement will be passed in favor of the plaintiff, and you will pay the entire amount forthwith.
Hampton W. Shiftzen, esq.
Shiftzen, Shiftzen, Pallermick, Dabwin, & Meeve”
Ver and Vee stared at each other so long, Sheriff Pete Terkinberry, who happened to be driving by, stopped his patrol car and got out.
“Ver and Vee, what’s the matter?” the sheriff asked.
The twins turned as if in rehearsed choreography and together said, “We’re being sued,” and Ver started to cry.
“Sued for what?! What are you talking about?” Pete asked.
Vee handed the papers to the sheriff, and he quickly read the letter. “You’re being sued over a recipe for binzelphrast? First, what is binzelphrast, and second, did you steal the recipe?” he asked.
Through tears, Ver described the dish and said, “We won a baking competition and were given a membership in the Recipe Creator Hall of Fame! We were even on TV!”
“Where did you get the recipe?” the sheriff asked.
“I made it up,” Ver said.
“How can someone sue you for stealing a copyrighted recipe if you made it up?” Pete asked.
“Well, we saw the ingredients and we doubled them to make it bigger,” Vee said.
“What do you mean you saw the recipe?” Terkinberry said, scratching his forehead.
“We were looking through a magazine, and we saw the ingredients and doubled them to make it ours,” Ver said.
“Let me make sure I understand. You found a recipe for something, you doubled the ingredients, and you said you made it up. Is that what happened?” the sheriff asked.
“You sound like the guy who says it’s his recipe! It isn’t! It’s ours!” Vee hollered.
“Veronia and Vernita, listen carefully to me, please. If you found a recipe in a magazine and just doubled everything, all you did was make someone else’s recipe twice as big. You didn’t create anything but a bigger bizzelcake or whatever it is!” the sheriff said sternly.
Now Ver and Vee were both crying. “What are we going to do?” Ver finally asked.
“Well, you need to talk to Hardin Sievers and ask him to represent you. You have to take care of this before January 15th. Call Mr. Sievers today and make an appointment. Will you do that?” Pete asked.
Ver and Vee Burthrap said, “Yes.”
Pete Terkinberry shook his head as he walked back to his patrol car.
“Well, we still have a lot of Christmas shopping to do,”Ver said.
“We sure do!” Vee said with a teary smile on her face.
The Burthrap twins walked into Clampelman’s Boutique as if nothing had happened.
“Isn’t Christmas the best time in Maple Valley?” Ver asked.
“It sure is!” Vee answered.
3 thoughts on “Scandal at Maple Valley – Episode 34: The Christmas Disaster”
Oh no!!! I can’t wait to see what happens next. Poor Ver and Vee need to understand plagiarism ~but not to the tune of $750,000! On a side note, Dale~I’m a twin! My grandmother, Deloris was a twin to her sister, Doris, and I had a great aunt named Verda Lee and we called her Ver and Vert! I always enjoy your stories! Maple Valley is a great mini! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
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Oh my gosh!! Small crazy world! Merry Christmas to you and yours, and thank you for your kind comments.
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It really is!!! You’re so welcome, Dale!