OK, OK, no more politics: I am afraid that if I write another political post, Joe will taunt me a second time. (Go, Joe, by the way, kicking butt in the 50 fly!)
Take a moment today and wish NCMarcus a bon anniversaire: even though it is many years ago now that we would always celebrate together, and even though birthday cards do not seem to be something I am capable of getting into the mail, I always think of her mid-November, of chocolate bricks and somewhat less successful chocolate mousse, of swingset conversations and beachwalks, of rose crusades, of too much Depeche Mode, of too many black turtlenecks. Now she's a mom too, and with a new idea of what a birthday means. So I, too, thank her mother for the work of bringing her into this world, and even though I know that was a huge labor for her, November 15 is still for me and always a celebration of Maman Marcus herself.
Now, the news.
You will be pleased to know that although my plea of guilty was accepted today in court, I got off without a fine. I hardly had to explain a thing, which is a shame, because I had a D.A. MacCoy-style argument planned, to explain to the jury why condemning me to punishment beyond what I have already endured would not serve American justice or make the city safe. Might have worked, too, except that there was no jury. The judge seemed to understand, though, that I neither meant to do it nor planned to do it again.
All in all, it was not much of a Law & Order scene. No blond assistant DAs, no inspiring oratory, no tricky message at the end. The main message seemed to be that if you can get off work to get to court and explain your sad self, then the system will not punish you as it would if, say, you might lose your job for missing work. The courtroom of our fair city was not as glamorous either: the dark wood paneling surrounding the judge's dais was diminished a bit by the flush fluorescent lighting and old-school ceiling panels.
I am curious, though: the judge suggested defensive driving classes as a way of getting rid of the points on my license. Maybe I did not make my situation clear to him: it was in trying to remain aware of the jackass behind me who was driving like, well, a jackass, that I did not see the light change. I am curious to see whether this kind of matter might be covered in the class: which parts of driving is it that I am supposed to be defensive about? More than likely, in being a Hermione-like too-many-questions-asking presence in the classroom, I'll just force the teacher to flunk me for spite.