Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: INSOUCIANT (06/02/16)
- TITLE: How to Budge a Judge...
By Noel Mitaxa
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No, all they want to do is to twist their opponents’ versions of events around to try to look good themselves. And if they can’t achieve that, they hire lawyers to paint everything so much worse. And while it may be true that anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client, some of their lawyers’ claims and counter-claims would give the word ridiculous a bad name!
I hear lawyers almost salivating at the prospect of milking their clients for all they are worth; with offenses ranging across petty theft, libel, divorce, embezzlement, assault, sedition, business takeovers―all the way to treason. My fellow judges and I have been working on an upcoming publication – “A Brief Summary of Self-Interest in the Legal Profession.”
We’ve cut it back to twenty-five thick volumes, and we think its most eager buyers will be our legal colleagues. They are sure to find it offering a fresh supply of untried ideas that could prove to feather their nests even more comfortably.
My only sense of anticipation for each day is to see how much more of a mess people can make of their lives. Truly, the mother of stupidity is always pregnant.
And it’s not just the crooks who are at fault, even though prison has to be the final home of the fool. Look at those repeat offenders―so familiar with court procedures that they could almost declare their own judgements. They would even presume to be on first-name terms with me. Scum!
Oh yes, the life of a judge is to enjoy rarefied air. Everyone has to respect me, or they may find themselves in serious trouble. So who needs God?
But wait, lately I’ve had a stone in my shoe. Old Crazy Hannah, who has known me since I was a little kid. Well, she knew my mother better. Maybe it’s the loneliness of being widowed that has attached that “Crazy” epithet; but anyone who asks her how she is going is in for a long account of how bad everything is. Especially between her and the cobbler at the town market. It appears that he hasn’t honoured a flimsy kind of guarantee on some shoes he repaired, and she is one unhappy lady.
So unhappy that she tried to pull me in on enforcing the guarantee. I had made the mistake of leaving the court for a lunch recess by the front door, when she pounced on me. “I knew your mother,” she declared, “and she would be turning in her grave if she knew that you, her only son, was ignoring her dearest friend in such a time of deep distress! Why don’t you tell that cheating cobbler what he needs to do?”
I hurried on. Places to go; important people to meet. You know how it is.
But she was still there when I returned – and she had told the story so
often that bystanders were repeating it with her. Word for word!
That was bad enough, but she had given herself time to compose a song
about the alleged injustice. Now a man in my position is privileged to enjoy some high quality music, but this was not one of those times. I felt some familiarity with song, but she wasn’t letting any tune or rhythm stand in the way of her voice. Even the dogs were cowering; hushed as she held forth.
Could it go on any longer?
Not wishing to find out, I hurried inside and called an extended adjournment.
There was a cobbler I suddenly needed to see.
For my sole definitely needed to be at peace…
Author’s note. Luke 18: 1-8 records Jesus’ parable of a persistent widow who convinced an unjust judge to rule in her favour. He was not giving any guidance in how to convince God of our needs, but to reassure his followers that if an insouciant judge could be moved out of his apathy, how much more confident can we be that the God who loves us will answer our prayers.
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