Court Of Disaster

Posted by admin - 27/11/12 at 05:11 am

Because of a recent traffic infraction, I had to go down to my local court. And by “traffic infraction,” I mean “airborne collision with a truck.”

Anyway, I strolled on down to the courtroom to speak to the judge, and wound up waiting in court for about an hour and a half before I was called.

Artists conception of the judge’s treatment of my testicles.

Court is a…different place, let’s say.

To begin with, no one seems to dress for court any more. And I don’t mean, “dress nice.” I mean, “dress at all.” There were several guys who were all decked out for a pickup basketball game. A couple of mid-twenties women were dressed for work, as long as they were employed as either prostitutes, strippers, or undercover cops posing as stripping prostitutes.

Another interesting observation, of the roughly thirty people who saw the judge before me, I’d say half of them were there because they had some community service assigned to them and they had failed to complete it.

Let that sink in for a minute. These people committed crimes and offenses ranging from drunk driving to grand theft meth, and all they had to do to not go to jail or pay their fines was to show up and do something for charity. And they didn’t. They took the mercy of our court system, and decided to just take a zero instead.

I’ve heard an old Southern expression about laziness being a crime. Well, apparently that’s actually true if you push it far enough.

The judge read one guy his community service log. He worked for part of a week, asked to be let off early on Friday, and then never showed up there again. You know, like a three-day-weekend, except it lasts forever, and it’s illegal.

Most of these people got extra time to do their community service. One of them had gone so far they were handcuffed and taken to jail, everybody else got a warning, a scolding, and more time.

Except me.

I asked for community service because I have a surplus of time and a certain lack of cash, and I figured the public good might be better served by spending a week at a food bank, or bathing the homeless, or whatever the judge would like.

Nope. The judge turned me down flat, said I could have a payment plan, and I was whisked out of the court. I spent less time in front of the judge than I would have spent ordering a hamburger.

The guy who was dressed like an extra in Breaking Bad? He got off easier than me, partially because his wife was one of the people the judge had already sent away in handcuffs earlier for ignoring her community service.

The eighteen-year-old white kid busted for his first bong? He got off easier than me. As he was waiting outside the courtroom, he had a friend go bring him a pack of Newports. What are the odds of an 18-year-old kid with a bong in one pocket and a pack of menthols in the other growing up to be anything further than either a drain on society, or a part of a hilariously bad rap video? Not very good, I’d wager.

Perhaps wearing a shirt and tie to show proper respect gave the judge the wrong impression of me. Maybe I should have followed the lead of the other guys in the courtroom, and dressed like I was on my way to an Arkansas date-rape. Perhaps that would have tipped him towards leniency.

— Reid Kerr paid off the ticket, and is now a productive member of society again.

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