Thursday, July 24, 2008

There we were, just sittin' on the bench...

A few years ago Heir 1 got a speeding ticket during the first year he was driving. In this county that meant he was required to appear in juvenile and domestic court.

Not to give any excuses, but while everyone I talked to related horror stories about their kids doing 95 mph on the interstate or 65 mph down a gravel road, we were there for him doing 40 in a 35 zone. I’ve done 40 in a 35. Daily.

At any rate, there we sat in our Sunday best, just like the instructions told us, in a waiting room full of the lowest life forms the county could scrape out of the sewer – and their offspring. At the time I turned to Heir 1 and said, “If you ever make me sit here again, I will kill you in your sleep.”

Three years later, Heir 2 gets into a minor fender bender and there we were, back on the bench (resisting…the…urge…to…break…into…Alice’s…Restaurant…).

Now I have to admit up front that our length of time spent in the waiting room is completely my fault. We were actually called in right away and Heir 2 went before the judge neatly dressed and with an aura of humility. The officer was not there and the judge proceeded to dismiss the case. We were on our way out when the prosecutor pointed out that the officer had been told to report at 2 p.m. and it was now only 1:40 p.m. Upon hearing that, I paused outside the door in case the judge wanted to call us back; even though the deputy had told us to go on; even though the judge looked like he was going to let it go.

So the deputy calls us back and the judge sends us back to the waiting room until the officer shows up and the docket opens up. On our way back to the waiting room one of the defending attorneys whispered to me, “Next time, keep walking.”

So back we went, only now the room was full. Ya know how three years ago it looked like the court attendees were scraped out of a sewer? Well, take those scrapings, heat ‘em up a bit and let them stew in a dank, dark, nicotine encrusted hotel room for three years and that will give you a rough idea of what was inhabiting the waiting room.

So there we are, sitting on the bench, me in a dress (the dress – I own one) and Heir 2 in dress pants and shirt and a tie, just like we were told, sitting next to women in cutoffs so short their butt cheeks were spilling out, boys with pants down around their crotch, and men who hadn’t bothered to shave or bathe for several days.

“We just may be too naive to get out of this unscathed,” I mumbled to Heir 2.

But he was in shock. He couldn’t speak.

No, not because we had to wait a long time to know his fate; but because sitting across from us was a woman a large as me, but with considerably less and tighter clothing and a tattoo on her ankle. But all that wasn’t particularly remarkable.

It was the mole that horrified us – the biggest, hairiest mole we’d ever seen. Try as we might, you could not not look. It was a mole with its own zip code.

Then there was the teenager dressed like a hooker – a really used up hooker – making eyes at Heir 2 and an old lady with one of those flat-looking tanning bed tans and talon nails who turned out to be the teenager’s mother, all looking like they had a family business of sorts they were petitioning the court to allow them to maintain, what with gas prices being so high and all.

But we sat on, looking like two deer caught in the headlights, trying to discuss happy topics like eventually being able to leave. And I think the bailiff took pity on us and finally called us in. The officer told the judge Heir 2 had a good attitude and was a responsible driver all-in-all (he was one of Heir 2’s Little League coaches back in the day), so the case was dismissed and we hightailed it back to the car before we caught something.

“Mom…that lady,” Heir 2 stuttered on the way home. “I couldn’t…stop…looking…at…the…mole.”

“Yeah, there were some pretty rough characters there,” I admitted.

“But the mole…”

“Yeah, it was pretty memorable,” I agreed.

“And her tattoo said, ‘I (heart) AXOR,” he said.

“Who is AXOR?” I pondered. “Maybe her boyfriend?”

“Uh-uh,” Heir 2 said. “It’s the name of the mole!”

1 comment:

Gwynne said...

I am also resisting the urge to break into a song about color glossy photos with circles and arrows (pointing st AXOR). I love your rendition of sittin' on the bench though. The courtroom is such a fascinating microcosm of humanity. ;-)