Xavier Fernandez got here to court docket in Center Village, N.Y. to combat a minor cost. Then a cross-eyed cat jumped on the desk. “You bought any drawback with a cat being on this listening to?” stated Listening to Officer Brad Lamel.
The Wall Avenue Journal
You higher not don’t have any drawback with a cross-eyed cat being on this listening to, I assumed to myself, being as how State Assemblyman Mort Shusterman (D-Center Village), received me the job and he’s received extra clout in his little finger–the one with the massive pinky ring on it–than a mook like youse. Typically they plead “cat allergy symptoms”–like I ain’t heard that one earlier than.
I’m grateful for my job, don’t get me flawed, however when folks dump on wonderful, upstanding, hard-working public servants like me, it actually frosts my ass. I might be makin’ a lot extra within the personal sector.
“Doin’ what–Friskies commercials?” Bailiff Tony DeLoSantosuosso at all times says after I say that, then laughs actual loud, like he’s some kinda standup comic. An actual card, that Tony is.
I maintain a day by day depend of what number of days I received left ’til retirement ‘causa guys like Tony. As quickly as I max out my pension, I’m outta right here to Jupiter, Florida, a kind of sunny locations for shady folks, as they are saying. However till then, I’m simply doin’ my job, makin’ positive no miscreants right here in Center Village pulls a nutty and goes after a listening to officer after they’re sentenced for crimes like placing plastic bottles in together with your newspapers on trash-pickup-and-recycling day.
However till retirement–which is only one,023 days away, not that I’m counting or something–they will’t eliminate me. Not solely am I a patronage rent, I’m cross-eyed, so I’m handicapped–a twofer! I oughta get somethin’ for the merciless hand that destiny has dealt me–I don’t get no handicapped parking spot within the courthouse parking zone. No, that goes to Evelyn, the assistant D.A. who’s boinking the Choose. She wants a handicapped area explanation for her allergy symptoms, she says.
Effectively, time to mete out some justice. The primary perp walks in and who do I see however Mitzi, the smoking scorching Persian cat who’s a lifeless ringer for Sally Struthers, or perhaps Charo. I’m wondering what she’s right here for.
The bailiff escorts her in and the docket clerk publicizes the fees: Leaving a discarded cat mattress on the sidewalk, and never the curb, as required by Center Village Code of Sanitation Rules 1-203.745(a)(ii)(B)–to not put too wonderful some extent on it.
She flaps her phony eyelashes at me, however I don’t chew. What number of occasions have I sniffed her rear finish, solely to be advised to go pound kitty litter? I’m going to like watching the Choose fry her wiggly little ass.
“How do you plead?” he asks.
“Not responsible, Your Honor.”
“On what grounds?”
“Necessity. There was some form of doody on the curb. If I’d put it there, the cat mattress would’ve been ruined and no one would take it.”
The choose turns to the City Prosecutor, a child who went to an on-line regulation faculty and in consequence needed to take a job that pays lower than a bartender, who can at the least settle for gratuities legally.
“Your Honor,” he begins, drawing himself as much as his full 5′ 10″-inch top, “ignorance of the regulation is not any excuse.”
“She stated she was harmless, not ignorant.”
The prosecutor checks his notes. He’s been taught to suppose on his toes, however his toes are failing him proper now. “If we let one particular person get away with this, quickly our sidewalks will likely be cluttered with kitty beds!” The previous “slippery-slope” argument; society will descend into chaos if we let folks begin ripping tags off of mattresses, willy-nilly.
“Counselor,” the choose says, and you’ll see the pathetic delight within the prosecutor’s eyes–he thinks I’m a lawyer!
“You must tackle the particular circumstances of a explicit defendant, not broad generalities.”
“I didn’t name her a broad.”
The choose’s head virtually hits his desk, however is saved within the nick of time by his hand hitting his brow. “Let’s begin over–are you aware of any instances that maintain the protection of necessity just isn’t obtainable for kitty beds?”
He places his palms collectively and does that little church-and-steeple factor, which means a lawyer goes to say one thing silly however desires to make it appear to be he’s thought it over verrry rigorously.
“Possibly he can’t, however I can,” I say, stepping out of my function within the curiosity of seeing justice accomplished.
“Are you ready to testify?” the choose asks me, one eyebrow hovering skyward like a pole-vaulter.
“Sure,” I say, and lift my proper paw to be sworn in.
“Do you solemnly swear to inform the reality, the entire reality, and nothing however the reality?” the court docket clerk asks.
“Ab-so-Friskies-lutely!” I say, not stinting on the emphasis–or the product placement.
“Proceed,” the Choose says.
“Your honor, the defendant’s story is a skinny tissue of lies, a prevarication, and an evasion.”
“My dad used to personal a kind of–received good mileage on it for twenty years. Go on.”
“The defendant had no trigger to be involved about contaminating that mattress,” I say.
“And why was that?” the Choose asks.
I flip and provides Mitzi my steeliest gaze. She’s going to get her comeuppance, and in addition her come-down-ance.
“As a result of she’s slept in it with each tomcat between right here and Mt. Kisco!”
There may be an audible gasp–is there another type?–within the courtroom. Then the choose brings his gavel down–laborious.
“If there are any extra outbursts of that sort, I’ll ask the bailiff to clear the courtroom–is that understood?”
I gulp, and search for at him. He does that factor all of them do–looking out from proper to left, attempting to determine which eyeball to take a look at.
“Maybe I can settle this matter,” Mitzi says, in what seems to be an try and throw herself on the mercy of the court docket.
“And the way do you intend to do this?” the Choose asks. Like many within the judiciary, he’s leery of different dispute decision. Sure it might be cheaper, faster, and extra environment friendly–nevertheless it might put him out of a job!
“If I conform to go on one (1) date with the disgruntled court docket officer and get him gruntled once more, would that do it?”
The prosecutor rises, begins to say one thing, after which thinks higher–or worse–of it.
“Cat received your tongue, counselor?” the Choose asks.
“I’ve no objection,” he says lastly. “Pure love between two cats is known as a victimless crime.”
“Case dismissed,” the Choose says. “Oh, and Miss?”
“Sure,” Mitzi says with a tone of suspended reduction in her voice, fearing she’s going to be placed on probation.
“I don’t wish to see you in my court docket once more, understood?”
“Effectively, positive, your honor–however how am I going to do this?”
“Subsequent time you throw out previous furnishings, name me first.”
Obtainable in print and Kindle format on amazon.com as a part of the gathering “Cats Say the Darndest Issues.”