austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And the judge said ``This isn't a court of justice son''

(You know, that would have been a better subject line yesterday despite how well it all turned out. Ah well.)

Of course, court wouldn't be court without some odd things. My sister-in-law thinks traffic court is one of the finest forms of public entertainment. There was some delay getting into court as the guard watching us go through the metal detector himself kept setting off the detector when he got within a few inches of it. He didn't seem to be aware of the problem, as he kept searching by wand everyone who triggered the alarm, which was everyone. I didn't correct him any since I supposed that he was happy.

There was another delay as the original prosecutor for the day couldn't make it, and the original judge for the day couldn't make it, and the replacement judge was late as well, which the bailiff said never happened. I didn't mind, as I had books, though the bailiff watching over the court warned everyone once the judge came in there was to be no reading under penalty of being called out on it and taunted mercilessly in front of everyone. Also subject to taunting was carving on the wooden pew-like chairs, although the ease with which the judge would notice carving was undercut by how much of the rows was carved. (Of course, I wouldn't have believed how easy it was to notice students sleeping in class if I hadn't taught.) Also a ringing cell phone will be confiscated and you'll be fined $200, and the bailiff sees that about once a week and it hadn't happened yet so he was ready to see it.

None of this happened while I was around. Most of the cases ahead of me seemed routine. There was one guy there on a charge (I think) of driving a car with false license plates, fraudulent registration, and no insurance documents, but because of what the judge called ``bizarre circumstances'' the other people who were in the car weren't being charged with anything. It seems unfair to dangle something like ``bizarre circumstances'' in front us without saying what they were. He was let out for later processing, but had to turn in his driver's license. He made a fuss of going through every single document in his wallet, as if he could get the judge to say ``all right, just get out'' if he dragged it out long enough.

Trivia: The Fleischer studios weekly payroll, during the making of Gulliver's Travels, swelled to $18,000. Source: The Fleischer Story, Leslie Cabarga.

Currently Reading: Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, Mark Kurlansky. Kurlansky's an entertaining writer and I suppose that cod are, economically, important, or at least were before we ate them all. I'm just not quite convinced that they actually changed the world so much as they inspired a couple of international hissy fits over fishing rights.


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