Court House Observations
After my big adventure at the courthouse yesterday I thought I would share a couple of key findings:
1. This might surprise you, but no matter how flagrantly you are defying the CLEARLY posted rules by sneaking in a contraband bottle of water in your purse, it really is pretty tame in comparison. I was gloating over my bad assery when I happened make eye contact with one of my compatriots. I don't think I've ever seen such an obviously stoned individual in my life, and I HAVE watched Reality Bites. Several times. He looked at me with heavy lidded, bloodshot eyes, giggled like a schoolboy, and said "grand theft auto, yeah buddy". For some reason, I don't think he was voicing his enthusiasm over the video game. Yeah buddy, indeed.
2. You would be amazed the number of people that will hug you after you break down in sobs in the courtroom. Total strangers of all types. A lady in a Burka, a Spanish guy covered in tattoos, even a nice African gentleman with a heavy accent. In fact, the only one that didn't approach me was the uptight-looking old white lady in the corner. Wonder what the deeper meaning behind that is...
3. Evidently, the court house only takes cash, check, and debit cards. No Visa, no MasterCard, and definitely not Starbucks gift cards. No matter how many times you offer. And you have to have your fees paid by 2:00. Thankfully, I have friends that live only 15 minutes away, but my lunch plans were screwed by running back and forth to get cash to pay my court costs.
4. Cops give tickets for a dizzying array of bullshit reasons. I completely feel that they do a valuable job, and have always thought of them as "upholders of our society", but sitting through just three hours of traffic court, I was shocked. In many cases, it would be hard to defend those tickets as anything other then a revenue generating opportunity. And the judge was so bored that he dismissed one ticket when the lady explained she had been speeding because "it was a beautiful day, she had the top off her convertible, the radio turned up loud, and lost track of her speed".
5. Judges are remarkably unimpressed when you break down in heavy subs in front of them. I am not generally a crier, so I was mortified at my tears. I could clearly hear the judge thinking "hurry this up lady, I'm letting you off, and you're keeping me from lunch".
Posted by Caraline Hickman