Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What a day it was…

From the moment I walked into the crowded waiting room nearly a half-hour before court started, I decided I should have just paid the ticket (expired tag).   It was standing room only, and they were already on the second sign-in sheet.   It was hot and loud, and a sampling of every sort of character in the Shoals was present: some of them didn’t smell too good, and more than once, I caught a whiff of someone’s whiskey breath. 

When they finally opened the doors to the courtroom, people poured in like free donuts were being offered, but I assure you, there were no donuts; though perhaps there were a few nuts. Seating was unpadded church pews.  I made myself at home on the back row…much like I do at church.   There was probably enough room for everyone to have a seat, but some chose to stand, leaning against the outside walls.   One individual decided to take up residence on the wall beside me.   I should point out that I don’t like crowds, and I am an admitted germophobe.   The man obviously didn’t want to be there and he kept sighing heavily, and blowing his bad breath right on me. 

A few young men of color wore pants around their knees, so I know what make/model of underwear too many of them were wearing.   A chick with boobs protruding like overstuffed water balloons beneath a white tee had the words “Mrs. Dirty” air brushed in big letters across her bosom.  Some of the men who showed up must have been working in the mud all last night and didn’t have time to change before they came in for court.  One of the ladies, having obviously been to traffic court before, brought her crocheting and kept herself busy.  

There was some really strange chick who made her rounds all over the court room, showing anyone who would look a handful of photos.   She was loud and remained loud even after the court officer told her to keep quiet.  She hugged some unsuspecting stranger, and after 10 minutes of showing the poor woman her photos, never missing a beat, she whipped out an old high school yearbook.   Yes, she really did!

When my name was finally called, it was only for me to get in line.   I then had to stand.  And wait.  And wait and stand.   The man behind me had a crazy story, and the chick in front of me had an even better one, neither felt they shouldn’t pay their tickets.   Me?   I had my own story, and I didn’t want to pay, either.   I thought it was just traffic court (DUI’s and tickets), but it was not.   Apparently theft cases were being tried as well.   Lawyers kept breaking line with their shackled clients, making the wait even longer.

When I finally (after nearly two hours) made it to the bench, the judge said, “Ticket dismissed.  You’re free to go.”  He didn’t even ask me how I pled, not that I minded.   Now, I wonder if Mom’s prayer had something to do with that?


  1. Sorry about court but happy it was dismissed.

  2. hmmm...your mother was praying and you wonder if the dismissal had anything to do with it?? well....yeah!!! :) glad it was dismissed!

  3. everyone needs a day in court!! it is an experience isn't it?? I've never been to "big people court" but juvenile court is an equal adventure (except for the smells) but you get there early because you have to be there early and then you just sit and wait and wait and wait for hours.

    I am so glad your ticket got dismissed!!! It was worth the effort to get there to avoid the fine!!

    Always good when God answers prayers like this (even when we are guilty isn't it??)

    I'm sure you won't forget to renew those tags again and get them on the car!

    seriously glad it went well and just think you got enough fodder from it to write a blog post!!


  4. Fantastic! And I never did give you the name of my attorney...sorry, but it seems you came out on top anyway!

  5. If you would obey the law you wouldn't have to go to court. You're right...everyone has a story and yours is no better than theirs.

  6. Forgetting to renew a car tag (and I have done it) is quite different from many cases heard in Municipal Court. If you've ever had the distinct displeasure of visiting said court, I'm sure you must wonder how Judge Hall and the attorneys are able to toil there week after week without throwing up their hands and quitting.

    Many defendants seem glad to be there, or at least not to comprehend the gravity of the charges against them. Yes, Margaret's story is different...she's an honest person who made an error. Her case deserved to be dismissed just as mine was.

  7. Thank you very much, Firenze. It really was an oversight. I agree...I was impressed with Judge Hall and his patience.
    As far as Anonymous goes...I figure she just saw herself in one of the characters I described. (You know how the truth hurts, lol.) I can't put too much stock in silly comments made while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.
    Thank you again... :)

  8. I guess I should have mentioned that the man's "crazy story" behind me, and the chick's story in front of me were pretty interesting; and, if true, I agree that neither of them should have gotten a ticket. Indeed, my story was certainly no better than theirs...in fact, it was far less interesting.

  9. I'd rather have root canal...but sometimes you just need to go to court.

  10. Kathy Thompson GiffordJune 24, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    Love it Margaret! Very similar to my court experience late last year...never again and I repeat...never again...just pay the stinking ticket!

  11. Loved your story, soo true to whatone encounters in court and soo well written! You had me laughing outloud ! You have true talent!

  12. Thank you Anna and Kathy.

    Kathy...but the end of it, it was :::almost:::worth it to not have to pay the $135!

    Anna, I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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