My Day in Court

I had to go to court today to fight some penalties that were assessed on my speeding ticket. It's unbelievable how many penalties and fees your local gubmint will try and tack onto a routine speeding ticket. Believe it or not, there's even a fee for having your ticket dismissed, meaning, you did nothing wrong but still have to pay a "processing fee." That's mafia-logic as far as I'm concerned.

So the judge goes through his list calling one person at a time. Eventually he gets to this kid, probably 19 or so, tie barely below his navel, hair ineffectively brushed, wearing a pressed suit and tennis shoes. Whereas every other case opened up with "what is your plea?" this one opened up with "I see you've brought a motion." Prepare for awesome.

The judge starts flipping through a stack of papers and has this look on his face like they were handwritten in ancient Elvish. Judge says there's only one copy of the motion which poses an insurmountable hurdle for the court. It's like they've never heard of (a) a photocopy machine and (b) common courtesy. "We can charge them a dismissal fee, but no way in fuck are we making them photocopies, Johnson!" Fuckers.

The kid tries to argue his case, but the judge just repeats his mantra.
Kid: But your honor there's...
Cooperative Judge: There's only one copy.
Kid: Yes, but in --
CJ: One copy.
Kid: But I --
CJ: One copy.
Kid: My staple --
Everyone in the courtroom, in unison: ONE COPY.
The kid regroups and launches into his explanation of why he got his ticket. Judge give fewer shits than the honey badger and demands a plea.

Suddenly I feel like I was watching the most intense round of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (<--- click that when you're done). The kid is narrating all his thoughts, rehearsing what he ate for lunch, trying to recall everything he read on the internet that morning, when finally he says: "I'm not sure I understand the charges being brought against me."

I'm thinking oh shit! Maybe something complicated happened! Maybe he was arrested underwater or maybe he was a bystander in a police chase! Or maybe his car flipped and exploded! Right? Totally! America! FUCK YEAH!

Judge shuffles through the documents, squints, and calmly says "it's for failure to stop at a stop sign." I just start laughing my ass off from the back of the courtroom. Fucking awesome.

The lesson is this: Having guts is laudable, but there's a point where you realize struggling won't do you any good because the opportunity to change the situation has passed...for now at least. Remember the serenity prayer? "Serenity Now!" "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."