Read The She-Hulk Diaries Online

Authors: Marta Acosta

Tags: #Fiction / Humorous, #Fiction / Action & Adventure, #Fiction / Contemporary Women

The She-Hulk Diaries

BOOK: The She-Hulk Diaries
11.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Contents

1: OPENING STATEMENT

2: INFECTIOUS INVALIDITY

3: INVITED ERROR

4: NOLO CONTENDERE

5: FRESH START

6: JURY INSTRUCTIONS

7: OBJECTION TO DISCHARGEABILITY

8: ASSUME

9: THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT

10: STRICT LIABILITY

11: PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL

12: IMPLIED CONTRACT

13: JOINT LIABILITY

14: GRIEVANCE

15: INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE

16: DEMURRER

17: DIMINISHED CAPACITY

18: DISSENT TO DISAGREE

19: COURT OF ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

20: NO-FAULT PROCEEDINGS

21: BILL OF PARTICULARS

22: ASSUMPTION OF RISK

23: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

24: HARMLESS ERROR

25: MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

26: MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

27: WORDS AND PHRASES LEGALLY DEFINED

28: MUTUAL ASSENT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COPYRIGHT

OPENING STATEMENT
JANUARY 1

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that you’re expected to make tectonic lifestyle changes immediately after the holidays, when your brain is as lumpy and dried out as a slice of fruitcake that someone shoved under the sofa. When I advise a client who is in a state of physical/mental/emotional exhaustion, I always say, “Take time to decide your priorities. Write down your goals so that you can stay on target and identify problems.”

That’s why I’m starting this year by keeping a record of my own activities. I’ll make a special effort to accurately transcribe conversations so they won’t get jumbled in my head when I replay them over and over. I wish life was like being in court: because I can drill someone under oath and have the stenographer keep a record.

Ruth gave me this journal when I stopped by the Avengers Mansion to sign several hundred Christmas cards with “oxox, She-Hulk, aka Shulky” in her childish loopy script. Ruth reminds me of a summer camp counselor, but in a good way, with her khaki pleated pants and pastel polo shirts. I love her carrot-top curls and bright blue eyes that are always open in OMG! amazement.

“She-Hulk was supposed to do this herself,” I said. “These are for
her
VIP pals, not mine.”

“Here’s something for you, Jen!” Ruth handed me this journal with the cute stripey kitten hanging from a branch on the cover.

I assumed she’d grabbed it from the
LAST MINUTE GIFTS!
display, but Ruth said, “I know things haven’t been easy for you lately, what with all the conflict with the others…”

“I don’t take it personally,” I said. “She-Hulk’s not as responsible as they are, so it’s natural that they’d get tired of her antics.”

Ruth reached over and patted my hand. “She’s so OMG! rambunctious and exciting. I don’t worry about her, and I was a little worried about you, but I’m sure this year will be totally awesome if you
keep hanging in there!

I thanked her and was already intending to re-gift this journal, when Ruth added, “You know the reason I like cats so much? Besides their amazing fluffiness! It’s because they have an internal gyroscope—no matter how far they fall, they figure out a way to land on their feet, just like you!”

I informed Ruth that I didn’t even have a job, and she was good enough to point out that I’d lost several positions in the past, always managing to go on to better ones. She’s right. I’m not going to let the dark winter weather get me down. I’m going to be like that fluffy kitten and be brave enough to take
an honest
a ruthless assessment of my life so that I can improve it:

CURRENT STATUS
: No job, no boyfriend, no permanent place to live, no car, and most of my clothes are held together with staples and duct tape. Bank account almost wiped out. Many of my former associates have expressed a desire that I never darken their doorways again for legal and financial reasons.

She-Hulk got us got us kicked out of the Avengers Mansion. People keep posting videos online of her New Year’s Eve shenanigans: twirling flaming telephone poles in Times Square, climbing the Empire State Building while dangling Anderson Cooper, dancing wildly at parties, and commandeering a motorcycle cop’s ride to do wheelies across the Brooklyn Bridge.

POSITIVES
: Excellent health. Don’t smoke, floss daily, exercise and train regularly. Allowed to store weapons collection at the Mansion. Allowed access to Mansion’s fleet of vehicles. I have the use of fantastic corporate loft with a private elevator that goes directly from my foyer to a secret subbasement entrance.

I think the private elevator is worth bonus positive points—since I’m the one who has to sneak back home in shredded clothes and clean up the trail of wreckage that Shulky leaves in her wake.

That is why I’ve made a decision that’s as huge as She-Hulk’s ginormous inflated ego. I’m not relying on her anymore to live my life. Okay, I’ve made this New Year’s Resolution
once occasionally
frequently before. I am a bright and accomplished woman—so why do I always slip up and revert to being a six-foot-seven, jade-green party girl/superhero? Even the other superheroes don’t want to deal with her anymore, not that she cares.

If that happened to me, I would totally care. My reputation means everything to me.

After considerable deliberation, I’ve decided that my problem is that I try to adhere to life-altering resolutions
too
soon. Marathoners train for months and carbo load before the actual race. Medical students practice on cadavers before operating on a patient. Attorneys draft outlines before drawing up a suit. So doesn’t it make absolutely perfect sense to allow myself a warm-up period before challenging myself with extremely difficult goals? Yes!

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I am setting Valentine’s Day Resolutions. Now I have an entire month and a half to prepare for them.

I have narrowed down my list to these important goals.

VALENTINE’S DAY RESOLUTIONS

I, Jennifer Susan Walters, being of sound mind
and body bodies
whatever
do promise to try to achieve the following life-improving objectives beginning February 14:

1.
 Stop hanging around the loft playing online games (take sabbatical from Skyrim, BF3, Massive Threat, etc.) and get a new job as myself: apply to my five top dream legal firms. Update CV. Replenish business wardrobe with clothes that can survive hulking out.

2.
 Meet an actual human man and establish an actual relationship. He should: (a) be employed, (b) have a sense of humor, (c) like me no matter how I look that day, (d) not be attempting to rule the galaxy, and (e) be considerate (e.g., remember to put the toilet seat down). Cancel account with Smingles.com because they match me with smorons.
Stop Severely restrict
Moderate cyberstalking and crank calling exes.

3.
 Have a
real
date on Valentine’s Day: flowers, lingerie, the whole deal. Going out for burgers with my cousin again DOES NOT COUNT.

4.
 Seek balance in work environment and social life. Have fun
and
learn how to speak up for myself without doing anything that will get me fired. Participate in more activities and get more culture: buy membership to Met, go to opera, ballet, and theater. Join a book club?

5.
 Stretch outside my comfort zone. Don’t automatically reject opportunities to do something new and different especially if there’s a chance to meet friends/boyfriend.

I’m totally psyched to take control of my life and I’m determined that my new year will be the best one yet!

JANUARY 2

Bought tickets to see
Wicked
again, so I’m off to a great start culturewise! If people can get over initial ookiness to green skin, they’d realize that
most green
people
sentient beings have wonderful qualities. Case in point: Kermit the Frog.

JANUARY 3

Took my last remaining good suit to the dry cleaner. They said they can fix the ripped seams. Then I went to the bookstore, where bleary holiday survivors hovered around the self-help section, all of us hoping to go from good to great.

I skimmed through several books and there seemed to be a surfeit of banal encouragements and/or magical thinking. I thought everyone knew by now that magical thinking only works if you actually possess magical powers. Even Dr. Doom prefers to use gadgetry to achieve his nefarious ends because Murphy’s Law always applies where magic is concerned. That’s why I advise my clients, “Although casting an enchantment or invocation seems like a shortcut, I strongly recommend that you avoid magic because it has deeply regrettable blowback consequences.”

Then I had brainstorm #2.

Doesn’t it make sense for me to follow my own expert advice instead of taking advice from a stranger who probably made up his credentials? Yes! I was excitedly thinking about the brilliant guidance I could give myself when I received a high-priority message.

Text from Dahlia:
Meet me @ Laundromat STAT!! Bring Korean tacos & raspberry Joocey Jooce!

I bought kitten-hanging-from-a-branch supplies (calendar, notebooks, pencil case, pencils) and slogged out into the frigid sludgy day. I followed Dahlia’s link to a nearby food truck, got two plates of food, and extra Sriracha, kimchee, and lime wedges.

Even though I walked by three Joocey Jooces on my way to Delancey Street, they all had lines out the door. I’ll never understand New Yorkers: people were shivering on the sidewalk to buy cold fruit smoothies.

The blast of heat from the Laundromat thawed me out. Dahlia was
ignoring the “Do not sit on folding table!” sign and wearing a black miniskirt, spiderweb stockings, platform boots, and a gray security guard jacket. Her short spiky hair was electric blue today and so were her contacts, making her look like an anime character.

BOOK: The She-Hulk Diaries
11.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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