Sitting in court on a Wednesday afternoon. This is one of my favorite dockets to cover. It is unlike anywhere else I go, and is easily the most fun. What follows is an example of why:
1:04 PM — IF YOU HAVE TO ASK…
Judge: Do you have any thought process issues?
Defendant: Well, I fell from 12 feet and landed on my head. At first they thought I would have brain damage, but I don’t.
1:18 PM. BACK TO THE FUTURE. Marty McFly, 30 years later. (Special thanks to J.W. who spotted this gem, and to L.M. Who provided the caption.)
1:36 PM — SELECTIVE HEARING.
Defendant, a young woman, is signing a consent judgment at the bench.
Judge (speaking to me): Boy, it sure is a beautiful day today.
Jenn (speaking to Judge): It is really pretty.
Defendant: Thank you.
Defendant (blushing): Were you taking to me?
Judge: We were talking about what a pretty day it is.
2:00 PM. CAR ENVY. Judge is talking to another female attorney about cars. It seems said attorney has recently purchased a new Mercedes. As did her husband. As they discuss models and features, it comes out the the female attorney purchased an SLK model prior to whatever model she has now, but after driving it a few weeks, felt it was too little.
Judge: There’s no back seat is there?
Female Attorney: No.
Judge: Can you even fit a rolled-up newspaper back there?
Female Attorney: No. I couldn’t even turn around. I felt like a fat girl in a little coat from that movie “Tommy Boy”.
And with that, the courtroom is now empty.
Back when I was a kid, going through the awkward and (seriously) ugly duckling years, I remember being jealous of the girls everyone described as being “cute”. In an attempt to make me feel better about my not-so-attractive self, I remember my mother telling me that “cute” was for puppies and kittens, and that while some of those girls were cute, cute would not last. (She was dead accurate about at least one of those girls; she grew up to be the furthest thing from cute, both in her appearance, and more importantly, in her personality. Just saying.) That conversation stuck with me, and to this day, I still bristle a little when someone calls me cute. (Parents, if you think the things you say to your kids now won’t have a lasting effect on them, I submit to you that you are wrong.)
Today I went to court and as I sat down to discuss a case with a Defendant who appeared representing himself, he looked at me and said, “You ARE cute!” Um, okay? Is that really what you say to opposing counsel? He went on to say he had had a free consultation with a local attorney who, when asked who the defendant should talk with at court, told him to “just look for the cute one — and he was right!” Nice. Under the philosophy that a compliment is a compliment, I said thank you and redirected his attention to his case, which we agreed to continue.
While in the courtroom waiting to call his case, I lined up with the other attorneys at the front of the room. Mr. Defendant was seated in the front row of the courtroom seating. He apparently was not blessed with much of an “inside voice”, because from several feet away, I heard him say, “I get to go up there with the cute attorney.” I did not hear what his conversational parter had to say, as I was trying to stifle a giggle & not let on that I had heard.
For fear that he would persist in declaring my alleged cuteness to all who would listen, when it was my turn to call cases, I called his first in an attempt to get him on his way. All went well as Mr. Defendant approached the bench. The judged asked him if he was, in fact, the defendant identified in the case. Mr. Defendant verified that he was, then looked squarely at the judge and said, “I get the cute attorney”. The judge, as if he wasn’t sure what he’s heard — and maybe he wasn’t; Mr. Defendant was a little difficult to understand — replied, “I beg your pardon?”, and Mr. Defendant repeated himself. I am pretty sure I heard giggled from the peanut gallery at that point. The judge, rather impressively, did not bat an eyelash, and I somehow managed to refrain from cracking up right then and there. Not because I like being called “cute”, but because it was freaking hilarious, and because I was already plotting the “cute” story it would make on my blog…
Based on some of the history with the attorney who planted the “cute” seed in Mr. Defendant’s head — things like trying to intimidate me by telling me he and the judge are friends from way back, to standing close enough to invade my personal space while picking up my key necklace and ogling it, among others — I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit peeved. A compliment is a compliment, though, and I appreciate the sentiment. I just wonder how “cute” Mr. Attorney will think I am when I kick his tail in court!
Granted, I disapprove of the pajamas- in-public phenomenon whether the wearer is male or female; this time, the offender just happened to be male. They are pajamas, for crying out loud. Nightclothes. Sleepwear. Bedclothes. All of those terms imply that they are not intended to be worn in public. I know some vendors have marketed them as “lounge pants” — Gap & Old Navy, I am looking at you — and I can even accept that. Here’s the thing about “lounge pants”, though: “lounging” implies that a person is relaxing, and sitting around AT HOME. It does not imply that you are shoving a cart through the congested aisles of your local Walmart. Really?! Is it that hard to put on a pair of pants before imposing yourself upon the eyes of the public?
Despite my obviously, um, strong feelings about pajamas in public, I would almost welcome that if given a choice between that and what I saw exiting the store.
He was a couple of registers closer to the door than I was, and his cashier was a little faster than mine, so I had to all but sprint to be sure I didn’t lose him before I got a photo. (I’m sure it was comical to watch.) I am still not sure what the pattern is on his shorts. I AM sure, however, that those shorts should have never been worn outside his house. I’m pretty certain they shouldn’t be worn in the house, either, but that is between him and his significant other. (She was with him, by the way. I can’t believe she allowed him out of the house, or was willing to be seen with him wearing those shorts, but maybe that is just me.) Those shorts can’t possibly have been comfortable. Just look at how they are bunching up. (I know; it hurt my eyes, too.)
Guys, really? I’ll ask again: Does it take that long to put on a pair of pants? The answer to that is no. I know this, because it doesn’t take me that long to put on a pair. So next time, take a few extra seconds to put on a pair and leave the pajamas at home, okay? (Oh, and next time you are stricken with the urge to buy those shorts, don’t. Really. Don’t.)
Special thanks to Tracey for the title idea.
6:40 PM — ALL CHEVRON IS NOT CREATED EQUAL. I understand that chevron is very hip and happening right now. I understand that chevron was part of the evening’s theme. I also understand that there is a big difference in a nice, neat chevron and looking like a really unfortunate Easter egg. This? Yeah, this is the latter.
(In the interest of not taking photos of the booths, I swiped this photo off of the Internet after the fact. And yes, for anyone who cares about the tabs at the top of the screen capture, I was attempting to learn how to field strip a particular firearm at the time.)
6:56 PM — TULLE. Okay, that’s it! I want a freaking tutu!
(In the interest of not taking photos of the booths, I swiped this photo off of the Internet after the fact.)
7:14 PM — BLANKET DRESSES. You know that super-soft, ultra-cuddly fabric they use to make blankets and stuffed animals for babies? I won’t lie; I fondle that fabric when I encounter it (which isn’t often, as I don’t spend much time around children. Shudder!); it’s soothing to the touch. With that said, I would not wear that fabric as a dress. And the lady peddling them? I’m going to say she shouldn’t wear a dress made out of it, either.
7:44 PM — DOUBLE TROUBLE. Making one last lap around to pick up a couple of things. I just keep seeing things that distract me. Like this:
This is an actual exchange I had with another attorney in court yesterday.
Male Attorney: That young lady was dressed very nicely; you should have taken a picture of her for your blog as an example of what is appropriate.
Jenn: You’re right; she was. And I should have. But I was too distracted with trying to get a picture of that — [nods on the direction of a young man standing near the judge’s bench] — to get her. Why would you come to court dressed like that?
M.A.: Maybe he thought if he wore camo the judge wouldn’t be able to see him?
Jenn: Hmm… Could be. From this angle the color does sort of blend with the carpet…