I was on foot (as usual) walking along with Wilkins. It always feels so out of place to be without a car in these big shopping centers. Only good way to get here is by highway so everyone knows what a loser you must be to have humped your way over in the Texas sun. Then I look down over by the highway and see a car stopped with smoke rising from it - but no one was noticing or stopping.
I turned to Wilkins and said, "We better get down there. Looks like it's on fire."
"What for? I don't see a fire."
"Yeah, but there's smoke so something's on fire."
"So says you."
"Are you coming or not?"
"Hell, no. None of my business."
"What the...?" I mouthed to him as I ran down the slope. Wilkins yelled after me.
"You always want to play the hero."
Even if that's true, how does that dis-obligate one from helping? By the time I get there, a tall plump man had stopped his car and was standing there watching.
"We better get that girl out of there," I coaxed as he was clearly stronger.
Not this guy too! "Because the car could explode any minute."
"That's your world view, not mine. I don't subscribe to that sort of negative apocalyptic outlook."
"You idiot! This is physics, not philosophy!"
"Name calling won't help. I'll have you know politeness goes a long ways and you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. My grandmother always said -"
By this time I was struggling to get the stuck car door open. "Fuck your grandmother! Give me some goddam help!"
"I think you must be one of the worst people I ever met in my life! You have absolutely no sense of right or wrong!"
I was covered in smoke and sweat but my efforts were futile. "I don't know what to do..."
"Well, don't look at me, I'm an idiot."
It was then I noticed a crowd had gathered round and they burst into applause with the big idiot's response. "Touché! Great comeback!" "Such language! There's no place for rude people like that man." "It's easy to see who the responsible person is here."
Unable to open the door myself and with no one willing to help, I started to put some distance between me and a possible explosion. The big idiot pointed to me and said, "Look at him! Selfish bastard thinks only of himself!" The crowd started booing me.
"You better move away from the car. It could blow at any minute!"
"As I stated before: I'm an optimist! Everything is fine just the way it is. You keep on with your doom and gloom and see where it gets you."
Seeing an audience, a pollster showed up and having taken tally I did not get a single vote. That's when the car blew up, killing the idiot and the girl inside. A cop showed up asking what happened. The crowd was an eager informant.
"It was that guy there! See how he's covered in smoke? He was messing with that car and next thing you know it blows up. And he was cursing out that big dead guy there right before it happened. That self-serving bastard!"
I tried to explain to the cop but then he too declared me a self-serving bastard. Dragging me in handcuffs on the way to the squad car, the officer stopped to check with the pollster. "Will I get to keep my job?" The poll came back 100 percent 'Yes'. I was doomed.
I kept trying to explain myself on the way in to jail but all he would say is, "I have mouths to feed. I could care less what you have to say." Ah, yes, it's a beautiful world we've made.
In court, where the judge is presiding but the truth is not, I find presentation is everything. "Well, looky here at Mr. Orange Jumpsuit. He's killer-diller when he's dressed to the hilt."
I don't know what stunned me more: being reprimanded for my enforced jail wardrobe or the obscure Beatles reference (Fucking Baby-Boomers are in the positions of power now. Apparently they mistakenly think song references make them less assholes than the assholes they replaced.). My first instinct was to reply in kind and say, "Yes, you could say I was attractively built." Looking back, I should have considering all the good a "proper" response did.
"I didn't ask to be put in this jumpsuit! You people did it."
"I didn't ask - you people -", mocked the judge. "It's always somebody else's fault. You're never to blame. Well, I won't tolerate that behavior in my kangaroo court!"
At that point I just wanted to yell out, "YOU DICK!" At least that's what they heard in heaven. His Dishonor continued.
"Clothes make the man. I would never trust a man dressed like you. Without proper clothing a man is incapable of speaking truly. In that outfit it is impossible to win an argument."
I was even more shocked when the jury was seated as they too were all in orange jumpsuits. They were booing and hissing at me as they entered, a jury of my jeers. Lovely.
If debates were performed in clown outfits
would they still be as relevant?
would they still be as relevant?
When my attorney stood up all I could think of was the woeful absence of Emily's sanity-tethered presence as I sat there like a Ping-Pong ball bounced into outer space. "Your Honor, I wish to point out my new shoes: Bontoni Tancredi's, fresh from Stanley Korshak. They take ten weeks to make, handcrafted in Italy. I would argue they are the finest shoes in this courtroom."
"A very good argument!" applauded the judge happily.
My attorney looked at me and winked. "Your case is going well," he whispered. Then he looked at the judge and said: "The defense rests!"
WHAT?? Then I thought: Who knows? Maybe this kind of argument will "win" in a place where appearance trumps reality. One thing I knew for sure: Whomever wins the debate will be deemed the most moral.
I actually did feel a glimmer of hope as the opposing attorney looked down at his inferior shoes in dismay, worrying of his credibility. "No cross," he said, clearly sulking. "But the infallible institution of our state has evidence of its own!"
"First, I'd like to submit a photo of the girl who died in the car. As you can see, she is blonde-haired and blue-eyed!" The court gasped. "It's not like this monster killed a nigger or a Muslim. This is a white girl who counts: one of us!"
The court got rowdy but the judge did not even try to quiet the room. My lawyer shrugged. "It's the truth. Can't argue with that."
The State confidently continued, even allowing his crummy shoes to show. "I also have further evidence in these scientific journals that the moon revolves around the earth. I have expert witnesses lined up to verify this along with many Wiki articles. Does anyone dare deny this fact!"
I urged my arguer to object. "For God's sake, say it's not relevant." He told me that would only make it worse but I said do it anyway.
"Your Honor, I would like to be objectionable to that as to relevance."
"But it's the truth! Are you to say truth has no relevance in this courtroom? This is the church of truth! You don't want the truth because you can't handle the truth!"
It helps the jury decide when you come out pre-labeled
Then came the final nail in the coffin, the true crux of the matter. "Lastly, I'd like to point out no one else was near the car that exploded. This self-serving bastard in his hideous jumpsuit has laughably claimed he was trying to help but if that was true then what does that make the bystanders? Are you to tell me everyone else was wrong and only he was right? Does that sound reasonable and prudent? Are we to convict the world based on the word of an ill-mannered, ill-dressed man? That, sir, would be to invite chaos and destruction. If the glove fits you must convict!" Wilkins laughed.
It was then I noticed the jury was in fact made up of those very same bystanders on the highway. And that speech showed me they know the truth if only to rig the outcome of our debate. I got sentenced to fifteen years (the judge said it would have been twenty had the state had better shoes). What could I do? It's like I've always said: When people vote they always vote themselves to be Jesus. You can try to debate that with them if you please.